A Comprehensive Guide to Threaded Patches

March 1, 2024

Is there more than one type of threaded patch?

Yes! There’s more than one type of threaded patch. Woven and Embroidered patches are not the same thing. That’s okay! We’ve seen plenty of confusion before, and we’re here to help clarify their differences. There are three main types of threaded patches: embroidered, woven, and dye-sublimated. Check out our Patch page for more information on how to order your custom patches.

Our Best Patch Styles

1. Embroidered Patch

custom embroidery patch for armor rust prevention

Embroidered patches are created by stitching polyester or cotton threads onto a stock twill backing, which is cut to shape from a large piece of fabric. Threads used for embroidery are typically thicker, which creates a textured and raised appearance. This raised appearance adds depth and dimension to the design. While some folks love this textured look, the thicker threads do not allow for as intricate of a design.

2. Woven Patch

woven patch for homestead valley music festival

Woven patches are created using a special weaving technique, interlacing fine polyester or cotton threads together to form intricate designs. They have a smooth and flat surface, thus allowing for highly detailed artwork with small lettering, gradients, or complex patterns. Although woven patches can be very detailed, there are still some designs that cannot be replicated. Woven patches will not be able to incorporate soft color gradients or extremely small details. To achieve that level of precision, you might consider a dye sublimated patch.

3. Dye Sublimated Patch

dye sublimated patch with merrow border for St. Louis Brewery

A dye-sublimated patch is sometimes referred to as a printed patch. For this process, we will print your logo directly onto a piece of stock fabric using a specialized printer and sublimation inks. The dye sublimation technique can incorporate many fine details including color gradients, allowing you to replicate your original design and know that it will be long-lasting. Dye sublimated patches are perfect for those heavy, detailed designs that you want on a smaller patch. If you are looking for that fully threaded look, however, you may want to consider revisiting your design to make it work for simpler processes.

Patch Borders Options

Once you have selected what kind of threaded patch you want to use for your custom logo, it is time to choose your border style. You can choose how your border is cut and decorated during this process.

Merrow Border

woven patch for the skylark west seattle

A merrow border is sewn around the edge of your custom patch to give an enclosed look. This border is the most cost-effective and recognizable. However, merrowed borders are extremely limited in shape options. This is because the thread has to be able to curve around the sides of the patch, and the more die-cut shaped a patch is…. the harder it becomes to stitch around the border.

Heat Cut Border

Embroidered patch of a softball mascot

A heat-cut border has a “mock” border that appears similar to the merrow border but doesn’t thread from the front to the back of the patch. These borders sit flatter while also still having a similar look to a merrowed border. It’s a good middle ground for wanting to cut along your design and keep that merrow finish on the outside of your patch design, but it is the most expensive option of the three different borders.

Laser Cut Border

custom chenille patch

The laser-cut border is the best choice for matching your design entirely along the design line. As the name suggests, a laser creates a clean sharp border that can be shaped into far more intricate die-cut designs. However, using a laser-cut border won’t create a mimic-merrow border like the heat-cut designs. Laser cut borders are less expensive than heat cut borders but can still create extremely detailed edges.

Need More Help Deciding?

Take a look at some of our fantastic pages over on our main patch page, and see which option will work best for you. If you want to reach out and ask any other questions, feel free to call our direct phone line at (805)738-9800 or submit a formal quote request with your design. We can help pick out the best type of patch for your project!