How to Tell If a Patch Is Iron-on

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Estimated reading time: 2 min

There are different kinds of patches that you can add to your bags, your clothing, or other items. They can be part of a uniform such as for Boy Scouts or they can be fun and decorative. Some patches are designed to cover up holes or tears and others are purely for fun. The key is to make sure that you know what kind of patch you have because different types of patches are applied with different methods. Read on to learn how to tell if your patch is iron-on.

Check the Backing of the Patch

There are quite a few different kinds of patches and the backing will tell you what kind of patch you have. Iron-on patches will have a shiny backing but the adhesive will not feel sticky when you touch it. It doesn’t start to stick until it is heated by an iron. You may find some iron-on patches with a tape backing but this type will not stay on permanently so it is better for situations where you will want to remove the patch later.

Some patches do have a plastic backing and they are not iron-on. The best way to distinguish this type is to look at the edges. An iron-on patch will have the shiny material all the way to the edges while the patch with plastic backing will not extend to the edge.

Ask When You Buy it

Another way to find out what kind of patch you have is to ask when you purchase it. If you buy the patch from a store, it might have packaging that tells you it is iron-on. The sales clerk at the store may be able to help you find out. Even if you buy it from a private seller, this person will likely know if it is an iron-on patch or not. If you don’t see a label that is clearly marked, be sure to ask a sales person if the patch is iron-on or not.

Try to Iron it on

You can also go ahead and try to iron it on. You should make sure that you are ironing the patch onto a fabric such as cotton or denim that holds an iron-on patch well and then go ahead and preheat your iron. Place the patch on the item and iron it. If it is an iron-on patch, it will stick to the item very easily. If it is not, no amount of ironing will make it stick.

Be sure to use an ironing board or a flat surface that can handle the heat of the iron. You can also use a table but place a towel on the table underneath the clothing that you plan to iron. You want to protect your table from the heat of the iron. When you turn the iron on, you will want to use the highest heat setting available. You do not want to use the steam setting and you should make sure that you do not have water in the iron because it will interfere with the patch sticking. In addition, make sure that there aren’t any wrinkles on the item.

Take your time placing the patch because you only get one chance to get it right. Make sure that it is even and exactly where you want it to be displayed. You can carefully place a towel over the patch and the item. This will help to protect the patch when you apply the iron. Just be sure not to move the patch when you place the towel over it. Now you can place the iron over the patch and press down as hard as you can for about fifteen seconds. Remove the iron and allow the item to cool for a few minutes. It will be permanently affixed if you used an iron-on patch.

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