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Embroidered Patches Versus Direct Emboidery

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When it comes to adding a custom touch to your clothing or accessories, you have a few options to choose from: embroidered patches or direct embroidery. 

Both methods can be used to create custom designs and logos on garments, but they have some key differences that you should consider when deciding which option is best for your needs.

In this article, we will compare embroidered patches and direct embroidery by:

  • Discussing the pros and cons of each method and the situations where one might be more appropriate than the other. 
  • Providing tips on how to choose the best method for your specific needs and budget. 

Whether you are a business looking to add a professional touch to your uniforms, or an individual looking to express your personal style through custom clothing, this article will help you understand the differences between embroidered patches and direct embroidery and make an informed decision.




  • Easy Application: Applying embroidered patches is simple and doesn’t require special equipment or skills. Iron-on patches, in particular, are very user-friendly.
  • Repair and Cover-Up: Patches can be used to cover stains, holes, or blemishes on clothing, extending the life of garments.
  • Professional Look: Direct embroidery provides a seamless and flat appearance, which many consider more professional and sleek compared to patches.
  • Durability: Embroidered designs are typically more durable and long-lasting as they are stitched directly into the fabric, making them resistant to wear and tear.
  • Slightly Raised Appearance: Patches have a slightly raised appearance compared to direct embroidery, which may not be suitable for all design preferences.
  • Potential for Detachment: While patches are generally secure, they can potentially become detached if not applied correctly or if the adhesive weakens over time.
  • Bulk and Thickness: Patches can add bulk and thickness to the fabric they are applied to, which may affect comfort in some cases.
  • Complexity: Direct embroidery requires specialized embroidery machines and skilled operators, making it less accessible for DIY or small-scale projects.
  • Limited Design Flexibility: While direct embroidery allows for customization, it may not be as suitable for highly intricate or large designs as patches.
  • Permanent: Unlike patches, direct embroidery is permanent and cannot be easily removed or repositioned.
  • When customization, easy removal, and intricate designs are desired. They are also suitable for situations where the clothing or item may need to be reused or updated frequently.
  • When a polished, durable, and integrated appearance is needed, such as for corporate attire, high-quality uniforms, or clothing intended for daily wear in demanding environments.


custom made patches


Tips for Choosing Between Embroidered Patches and Direct Embroidery


If you have a specific placement in mind for your design or logo, direct embroidery may be the better option as it allows for greater flexibility in terms of placement. However, if you don’t have a specific placement in mind or if you want the option to easily remove or change the design in the future, embroidered patches may be the better choice.

Type of Clothing or Item

The type of clothing or item being embroidered may also influence your decision. Some fabrics, such as leather or nylon, may be better suited to direct embroidery, while others, such as cotton or canvas, may be better suited to embroidered patches.

Care and Maintenance

Consider the care and maintenance requirements of the embroidered item. Follow the washing instructions on the care label, typically machine wash on a gentle cycle. Air dry the item to avoid heat damage and iron on a low to medium heat setting while protecting the patch. Store patches flat in a cool, dry place, and spot clean with a mild detergent if needed.


Embroidered patches can be easily moved from one garment to another, making them a more versatile option if you plan to use the design on multiple items. Direct embroidery, on the other hand, is permanently attached to the garment.

Customization Options

Both offer a wide range of customization options, including size, shape, and colour. However, embroidered patches may offer more flexibility in terms of placement, as they can be placed anywhere on the garment.


The aesthetics of the embroidered item may also be a factor in your decision. Embroidered patches may have a more traditional or classic look, while direct embroidery can create a more seamless and integrated look.


Embroidered patches may have a slightly longer lifespan as they can be removed and laundered separately from the garment, while direct embroidery is permanently attached.


Ready to Complete Your Look with Custom Made Embroidered Patches?

Both patches are excellent options for adding a custom touch to your clothing or accessories. While both methods have their own unique benefits and drawbacks, the best option for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences.

When deciding between embroidered patches and direct embroidery, consider factors such as design, budget, intended use, the type of clothing or item being embroidered, care and maintenance requirements, and versatility. By weighing these factors, you can choose the option that best meets your needs and helps you achieve your desired look and feel.

If you want to complete your look with high-quality custom made logo patches and custom made embroidered patches, at an affordable price. We can help. Contact us here.