Choosing The Right Backing

Updated Mar 30, 2023

When ordering one of our custom patches, you can choose between 6 backing options: No Backing, Plastic, Heat Seal (Iron-On), Adhesive (Peel and Stick), Velcro (Hooks, Loops, or both), and Button Loop. These backings vary in ease of application and durability, making them suited for different scenarios.

No Backing

Yes! No backing is an option! These patches are flexible with visible thread and twill on the backside and are not as stiff or thick as patches with backing. They must be sewn onto fabric and clothing by hand or with a sewing machine. Patches without backings are great for fashion and delicate clothing items.

Plastic Backing

This is our standard backing for custom patches. Even though plastic-backed crests are stiff and durable, they are still thin enough to be sewn onto fabric and clothing. Due to their durability, these crests are ideal for sports and rough recreational use. The thin matte sheet of plastic on the back of these crests helps them maintain their shape and remain flat over time.  

Iron-On Backing

Iron-on patches are great for use with a home iron. They are the standard backing for all our in-stock crests. Applying heat to these patches melts the adhesive, which adds stiffness and helps it maintain a flat profile. It is recommended to sew a few stitches to hold it in place. Check out our tips for ironing on patches to learn more about the application process!  

Adhesive (Peel and Stick) Backing

These crests have a layer of peel-off paper over a layer of glue. Simply peel off the paper layer and stick the crest onto a surface or fabric to attach them! They are essentially high-quality stickers and are recommended for one-time use. They are a non-permanent option that can be easily removed or swapped and are great for themed outfits and costumes.

Velcro (Hooks, Loops or Both) Backing

Velcro involves one piece of fabric with tiny hooks and one piece with small loops. If your garment already has a loop fastener area, the one-sided hook is your best choice. They are a common backing for military applications.

If your garment doesn’t already, have a loop fastener area, you need both the hook and loop pieces. You then need to sew only the loop fastener area to your garment. When you push them together, the hooks enter the loops, which hold them in place. These crests are great for uniforms, where you regularly swap crests.

Loop or Button Loop Backing

A loop of thick thread is glued and sewn onto the back of a patch where it can be placed on a button of a uniform or hung from any other fastener. A charm can also be hung from a loop. There can be multiple loops on a patch, as seen on our Charm Patch page. The loop/s can also be placed on the top, bottom, left or right of the crest.

Now that you are familiar with different types of backings, you can order a custom patch! If you still have questions, visit our FAQ page. Patches are a great way to celebrate notable achievements and look fashionable! Head over to our custom embroidered patch quote page to order yours today.

Jenna Wenkoff

Jenna Wenkoff is a freelance communications specialist who loves helping local businesses and non-profits tell their stories. She has worked with clients ranging from the Canadian Celiac Association to the environmental non-profit Drawdown Alberta.

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