People use custom embroidered patches for various purposes, including promotions, fundraisers, showcasing your organization’s name, standing with a cause, etc. Creating them has never been easier with the technology and options. Once you settle on a design, you will find several customizing options for size, type, backings, and borders. Most people concentrate on artwork and other things but seldom pay attention to its borders. They play a vital role regarding looks, quality, and durability. They protect patches from unraveling and fraying and allow them to stand wear and tear. Most know the benefits of custom patches but don’t know about the advantages of borders. Let’s start by discussing them.
Importance of borders for custom patches:
It provides a professional appearance: Borders help refine the overall look of custom patches and give them a more pro look. It is helpful when you want them for employees, trade shows, conferences, etc. Wearing them shows you are serious about the business and pay attention to every little detail. People can see and feel the things you want to convey. Many studies indicate having a professional look also helps to increase productivity and involvement.
It protects the patch: One of the primary purposes of borders around custom patches is durability. It safeguards the threads from fraying and guards them against general wear and tear and washing. Patches with borders last more without borders.
It brings out the design: Borders complements the design and help the artwork pop out. You can match many shapes per the patch design, thread colors, and stitch patterns.
There are two types of popular borders, each with unique characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages. Your choice should depend on aesthetics, budget, requirements, and apparel. There are patches with complete or 100% embroidery coverage. They cover the entire area of the patch. Twills are visible on parts of the design on patches with less than 100% coverage. The first thing to consider is whether the patch has 100% or less coverage. Below is detail about both so you can make an informed decision.
Merrowed border/ edge: It is the most famous and traditional option. People also know them as overlocked sewing borders. They gave the name after the company of the same name; they were the first to popularize the overlock stitch.
The stitch wraps around the outside of the patch and forms a wrapped thread border. The method looks lovely, adds weight, provides durability, and removes frayed edges. It has a particular style that looks old-school and appeals to everyone. Because of their thick threads and stitches, they are suitable for simple shapes like circles, squares, rectangles, triangles, hexagons, etc.
Aesthetic: First, they stitch/ create the patch design and then apply a heavy and thick border. It provides the patch border with an even finished look. They typically measure between 2-3 mm.
Durability: They are durable and resistant to fraying because of the thick and flat over-stitching. They also provide additional protection to the interior sides.
Cost: The cost is low because of the simplicity of shapes and widespread use.
Uses: They are popular among first responders like police, EMTs, firefighters, the military, etc., and sports teams, scouts, and clubs. They are ideal for regular use in demanding and harsh conditions. Even NASA uses them for their name patches.
Hot cut: People know them as laser-cut or satin stitch and are suitable for complex designs and unique shapes. Use the hot cut process for less than 100% embroidery coverage. The issue with less coverage is that the twill is exposed and frays when cut. It creates an unclean and unprofessional-looking patch. Some dislike a merrowed border look; it is a better option for such customers. The third one is production time: it takes additional time for merrowed patches.
Aesthetic: The border is simple and thin compared to the previous one. It uses a hot knife or laser to seal the edges. That’s why people sometimes also call them border baking. The edges are 1mm thick and are ideal for uneven edges, like die-cut designs. Sometimes they appear unfinished, especially from the sides. They look like a part of the apparel and provide a much more seamless look.
Durability: They are thinner and more susceptible to fraying and wear and tear.
Cost: They are costlier than merrowed cuts because of the unique shapes, sharp edges, and precise cuts. But they may be the only option for you because of the design.
Uses: They are famous for creative designs, unique logos, artists, etc.
Thick, Simple shapes
Thin, Complex Shapes
Less than merrowed border
Police, the military, scouts, etc.
Creative organizations, logos, sharp edges, etc.
Design is the most vital aspect of a high-quality patch. It includes artwork, text, and composition; it is the first that gets people’s attention and invokes interest.
Consider the reasons for creating them because it will dictate the look and layout.
Don’t fit in too many insignificant details. It can overwhelm the aesthetic and make them challenging to read.
Ensure the design and borders are cohesive and do not contradict.
Colors dictate how people perceive and respond to the patches. A colorful patch may draw attention, but does it represent your values?
Select colors that apply to the purpose of the patches. For example, choose the brand’s colors for business.
Add complementary or contrasting colors to the borders; they make the artwork pop out.
Avoid going overboard with colors; too much can make them muddy.
Try to keep it simple for branding and use bold for creative ones.
Others: Pay close attention to the backings and other additional threads. They can take the patch from average to outstanding.
Metallic threads are a sure-shot way to make them unique. They make them shine and garner attention, for example, gold and silver.
Choose backings like sew-on, iron-on, hook & loop, etc.
Don’t overuse additional colors or metallic threads; keep a balance. Use them sparingly and only when it goes with aesthetics.
In the end:
While there are various elements to think about when designing custom patches, borders are one of the vital ones that impact how the patch will look and feel. If you are still unsure, contact EverLighten. They can help you choose the right border for a clean, professional, and unique look. They can bring your design to life, regardless of the artwork. With over eighteen years of experience helping startups, large companies, sports teams, the military, firefighters, scout clubs, etc., they know everything about custom patches.
The Fire and Rescue Department of Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) was looking for custom embroidered patches for their recruit class. They contacted EverLighten after not finding a reliable manufacturer. However, they were unsure about the backing and edges. Since the patch size was 7-inch*9-inch with 75% embroidery, we suggested merrowed borders and delivered on time.