Applying Patches with Heat Seal Glue Backing
Sewing patches to your garment with a sewing machine or a needle and thread is the #1 way to go. Your patches will stay securely attached to your garment and will look great for a long time without the risk of peeling. Still, many people prefer the convenience of patches with a “heat seal” glue backing. It can be much faster to apply patches with a glue backing and you don’t need to sew!
Many people also choose to first heat seal the patch and then sew it on. This works well to hold the patch in place while you sew.
If you’ve decided to go the heat seal glue route, we recommend using a commercial heat press. If that’s not an option, you can use an iron. But first, be warned: While they work great on firm fabric, iron on patches don’t usually work well on garments with high elasticity. And, you shouldn’t try to use heat to apply patches on fabrics that can be damaged by the heat. If in doubt, test the fabric before heat sealing your patches.
Instructions for using an iron for heat seal patches. These are your basic DIY at home instructions.
1. Set the iron to “cotton” or “high heat” on the temperature setting.
2. Lay the garment flat (on an ironing board).
3. Preheat the garment where the patch will be attached. You should protect your garment by putting an inexpensive cloth, sheet, or pillowcase between the iron and the garment. Then, press the heated iron firmly down on top of that cloth for 10 seconds.
4. Place the patch on the pre-heated spot. Put the cloth, sheet or pillowcase on top of the embroidered part of the patch so you don’t burn the embroidery thread. Press firmly on the iron for 15-20 seconds.
5. If possible, repeat this step through the reverse side of the garment. Be sure to use your thin cloth, sheet or pillowcase so you don’t burn the garment.
6. This is important: Your glue will be hot and liquified but it will cool fast and harden soon. Be very careful to not let the patch move around on the garment before the glue hardens. If it moves around, the bond will not be as secure.
7. Set your garment aside and let it cool back down to room temperature.
Heat Press Instructions
How to attach patches with a commercial heat press machine.
1. Preheat your garment to 325 – 400 degrees depending on the garment type.
2. Place your heat seal patch on the preheated part of the garment.
3. Heat press at 325 - 400 with medium pressure for 15 - 20 seconds.
4. If possible, flip the garment over and repeat step 3 on the reverse side.
5.This is important: Your glue will be hot and liquified but it will cool fast and harden soon. Be very careful to not let the patch move around on the garment before the glue hardens. If it moves around, the bond will not be as secure.
6.Set your garment aside and let it cool back down to room temperature.
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