Iron on Patches Frequently Asked Questions

Iron-on patches have become a trendy and creative way to add a personal touch to clothing and accessories. They’ve gained popularity in fashion circles and among DIY enthusiasts looking to express their unique style. Iron-on patches are more than just decorative pieces; they’re a representation of your personality, your interests, and your style. In this blog, we’ll dive deeper into iron-on patches by answering the frequently asked questions.

1. What are iron-on patches?

An iron-on patch is a type of patch that can be ironed on your clothes or other materials. An iron-on patch has adhesive layers at the back, which get activated when heated with an iron. Simply feel the patches back with your fingers to tell if a patch is an iron-on. 

2. What are the types of patches?

The seven different types of patches are:

  1. Embroidered patches.
  2. PVC patches
  3. Chenille patches
  4. Woven patches
  5. Leather patches
  6. Name patches
  7. Printed patches
  8. Bullion patches

3. What does iron on patches look like?

Iron-on patches have adhesive on the back, which is activated by the heat of an iron. If the back of the patch only has embroidery or fabric threads with no signs of an adhesive coating or backing, it is not an iron-on patch.

4. How to tell if a patch is iron on?

Here’s how you can tell if a patch is iron-on:

  1. Check the Backing: Examine the back of the patch. Iron-on patches typically have a smooth and slightly shiny surface, which is the adhesive side. You might notice a thin layer of glue or heat-activated adhesive that becomes tacky when heated.
  2. Look for instructions: Many iron-on patches come with instructions printed on the packaging or a separate insert. These instructions usually detail the steps for applying the patch using heat.
  3. Feel the Texture: Gently touch the back of the patch. If you feel a slightly sticky or tacky texture, it’s likely an iron-on patch. This adhesive activates when heat is applied and bonds the patch to the fabric.
  4. Perform a Heat Test: If you’re still unsure, you can perform a heat test on a small, inconspicuous area of the patch. Use a low heat setting on your iron and press it gently onto the patch for a few seconds. If the patch starts adhering, it’s iron on. If nothing happens, it might be another type of patch.

5. How to iron on patches?

To apply iron-on patches, simply heat your iron to its highest heat setting for the patch to adhere correctly to the cloth. Then follow the steps below:

  1. Heat up your iron to its highest heat setting for the patch to adhere properly to the fabric.
  2. Plan your design to avoid placement mistakes. 
  3. Place a thin cloth or baking paper over the front of the patch.
  4. Iron on the patch.
  5. Flip and repeat steps 3 and 4.
  6. Let it cool, and you’re done!

Please read our “Patch Iron on Instructions” to learn more about applying patches.”

Reasons Why Embroidered Patches Are Great for Your Business

6. What setting do you need to iron patches on?

Preheat your iron to the highest heat setting suited to the material you are using, and position your patch where you want it on the material. Be careful with delicate fabrics, such as polyester, silk, or rayon, as some of these are not supposed to be ironed, and the material may not be able to hold up to the patch.

7. Can you use a steamer for iron on patches?

You do not use steam while ironing the patch. Once the iron is set to the highest setting, place a plain cloth or parchment paper on top of your patch. This protects the garment and the patch from being damaged by too much heat.

8. What does the back of the iron-on patches look like?

Some iron-on patches have a layer of glue on the back, with a smooth plastic-like texture and an off-white appearance. Embroidered iron-on patches can be pretty stiff and do not fold easily. Some iron-on patches have a thin, fabric-like adhesive covering on the back.



9. How do you attach iron-on patch to leather?

Using fabric glue or sewing is a fast, and easy way of applying patches to leather. If you decide to use fabric glue, use the correct type of glue, as some adhesives can discolor the leather. Some glue can also come off after a few months of wash and wear.

10. What material works best for iron-on patches?

Iron-on patches work best on fabrics made from cotton, polyester, or cotton-polyester blends. Nylon, vinyl, leather, and rayon materials are not suitable for using iron because the material could burn during heated application. You can apply patches to these materials by sewing or using fabric glue.

11. Are iron-on patches durable?

Embroidered iron-on patches are beautiful and durable. They are created to last for many years. 

12. How long will iron-on patches last on clothes?

As several variables are involved, there is no timeframe for how long iron-on patches stay attached to clothes. Iron-on patches have strong glue, but the constant wearing and washing of clothes will cause the glue to lose its potency over time.

13. How to store garments with iron on patches?

To preserve the patches on your garments:

  1. Fold them carefully to prevent excessive creasing.
  2. Consider using padded hangers for hanging items.
  3. Avoid overcrowding in your closet, as friction between garments can cause patches to peel off.

14. What are the other ways of applying iron-on patches?

Iron-on patches can be applied to the fabric by sewing or gluing using fabric glue.


15. Are iron on patches permanent?

The longevity of iron on patches can vary. While they’re not as permanent as sewing, proper application and care can make them last quite a while. The permanence is influenced by factors such as the type of fabric you’re applying the patch to, the washing instructions you follow, and the technique used during ironing.

16. Can iron on patches be removed?

While iron-on patches are designed to stay in place, they can be removed if needed. Applying heat with an iron and gently peeling the patch off can work, but caution is required, especially with delicate fabrics. Adhesive removers can also help dissolve the adhesive for easier removal.

17. Are iron on patches machine washable?

The washability of iron-on patches depends on their quality and how well they were applied. Higher-quality patches tend to withstand machine washing better. To maintain patches during washing, turn the garment inside out to protect the patch, use a gentle cycle, and air-dry instead of using a dryer.

18. What if the patch doesn’t adhere properly?

There are a few potential reasons if a patch doesn’t adhere properly. It could be due to insufficient heat during application or using the wrong iron setting. In these cases, you can re-iron the patch with more pressure or add a thin cloth over the patch to enhance the adhesion. You can use fabric glue or sew the patch for a more permanent application. 

19. Can you use fabric glue on iron on patches?

Yes, you can use fabric glue on iron-on patches, but it’s essential to proceed with caution. Iron-on patches are designed to adhere using heat-activated adhesive, so adding fabric glue might interfere with their intended application. 

20. What type of glue is used on iron-on patches?

The best glue to use in applying iron-on patches is fabric glue for patches. 

Fabric Glue

21. What is fabric glue?

Fabric glue (also called fabric adhesive) is a glue that, depending on the formula, permanently or temporarily adheres to fabric to other fabrics. It can also be used to fasten trims, beads, lace, and other embellishments to materials. 


Iron-on patches offer a fantastic way to personalize your clothing and accessories without hassle. Their simple application process and the range of fabrics they adhere well to make them a versatile choice for creative expression. So, explore your artistic side by experimenting with iron-on patches to make your style your own.

4 Comments. Leave new

  • If a piece of the adhesive is missing on the back of the patch, mainly a small area in the middle, (smaller than a dime), can I still iron it on? I know the other areas will adhere, but that small area I’m worried will stick out like a sore thumb

  • I have a hoodie that had a hole about the size of a nickel in it. So I put a little piece of cloth on the inside of the hoodie over the hole. I applied it using the basic iron-Ion instructions. I know it’s not the exact problem you have, but I think it’s close. Definitely worth a shot.

  • have a hoodie that had a hole about the size of a nickel in it. So I put a little piece of cloth on the inside of the hoodie over the hole. I applied it using the basic iron-Ion instructions. I know it’s not the exact problem you have, but I think it’s close. Definitely worth a shot.

  • Can you use sheet adhesive suitable for fabric instead of glue with patches?


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