How to Iron on Patches

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Patch-decorated clothing is significantly gaining popularity among people from different backgrounds. Patches can be a fun way to improve the appearance of various items like jackets, jeans, uniforms, shirts, hats, and more. The good thing is that you can purchase iron-on patches which are fairly strong and easy to work with.

You don’t need to be a professional tailor to attach an iron-on patch to a garment of your choice. Knowing how to iron patches onto your clothes can give you the satisfaction of designing something unique, which also saves you from buying expensive designs. In this article, we will explain the steps you can take to install patches on clothing.

Set Your Iron to the Appropriate Heat

First and foremost, you need to determine the amount of heat you will need to iron on the patches. For instance, embroidered patches comprise thick layers of thread and a thin layer of plastic that is usually on top of adhesive. Therefore, you will need a high amount of heat that can pass through all the layers and melt the glue underneath for your patch to stick.

On the other hand, you need to be careful to avoid melting the plastic backing and scorching the thread. Excessive heat can ruin your patch design or damage the garment where you want to install it. However, the highest heat setting on your iron is usually recommended when dealing with garments made of materials like denim, polyester, and cotton.

You should know that not all iron-on patches work perfectly well on all fabrics. Patches may not fit on synthetic materials like nylon, waterproof materials, leather, and rayon. In such a situation, you might consider using a sewing machine on the type of patch. Visit craft stores and check the materials on the items you want to customize to see if they are heat-sensitive or not.

The appropriate heat for pressing a patch should be 270°F. You need to read the manual provided by the manufacturer to gain insight into the temperature settings of your iron. If you don’t have an iron, you can use a hair straightener. This device is handy and it can act like an iron. Most hair straighteners provide correct temperature readings, and this makes them easy to use.

Use an Ideal Ironing Board

You must have a sturdy ironing board or countertop with a heat-tolerant surface. Padded surfaces are not ideal for ironing your patch since they will cause wrinkles on your clothing. Once you identify the right surface, lay out your piece of garment and put the patch in the place where you want to attach it.

The sticky side must be in contact with the fabric. If you want to decorate your hat or shoes, you must know the right type of patch to buy. Attaching patches on leather can be tricky because you need to first stuff the interior with paper tissues or towels to avoid movement when you iron them on. If you want to place the patch on the center of a garment, make sure you use a tape measure to ensure accuracy.

Cover the Patch

When you have located the ideal position for your patch, cover it with a piece of fabric such as a cotton bandana or press cloth. This stage is crucial since it is meant to prevent the scorching of the patch and protect the fabric of your garment. Synthetic fabrics are appropriate for this particular purpose. You can also use a damp towel, pillowcase, or sheet.

Repairing hole in textile clothing with iron on patches

Iron the Patch

When everything is in place, you can proceed with the process of ironing on the patch. You can do this by pressing your iron on top of the patch for about 45 seconds. Once you have applied direct heat to the area where you have affixed the patch, hold the iron firm. Be careful to avoid moving the iron since this can shift the position of your patch.

You may be tempted to remove the wrinkles on the garment, but this is not recommended. Patches come with instructions, and these are the ones you should follow. Leave the fabric with the pressed patch to cool and turn it inside out.

Lay the garment flat on the ironing board and iron the reverse side of the patch for about 30 seconds. You don’t need to cover this side but ensure you apply constant pressure when you iron it. Allow the patch to cool once you are satisfied that it is fixed to your piece of clothing.

If you have attached the patch on an item that cannot be turned inside out, you need to apply a second press using a heated iron in the same position. Do not move the heat source, but hold it firmly for about 45 seconds directly on the patch. Be careful to avoid overheating your new design since this can damage the fabric of the garment.

If the backing of the patch has adhered to the garment, you should leave it to cool. Your patch will be ready, and nothing will affect it. However, you must not wash your garment for at least 48 hours. When the washing time comes, you should turn it inside out to protect the patch from friction damage in the washing machine.

Even if you use hand washing, the interior of your clothing must be turned outside. Let it dry like that to keep weather elements at bay. When you iron the item with a new patch, you should exercise caution so that it is not disturbed. Due diligence will always protect your patch and extend its lifespan.


If you want to improve the aesthetics of the clothes in your wardrobe or other items like bags and hats, you can attach an iron-on patch. These patches are designed in such a way that you can iron them on different types of fabric surfaces. You can achieve this by using an iron or hair straightener to provide the heat and pressure required for the activation of adhesive on the patch.

For the best results, you need to use a temperature of 270°F and firmly hold the iron for about 30-45 seconds on top of the patch. You should carefully read the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the patch. Specific fabrics like denim, cotton, polyester, and canvas can handle the process easily. However, other more delicate fabrics like silk and nylon are heat-sensitive, so you cannot iron them. By following these simple steps, you will be home and dry with your new patch design.

Read also: How to Iron Clothes Without an Iron