Designing a Great Patch

Image showing the back of embroidered patch. A-B Emblem. Since 1892. Iron-on backing shown.


Our recommendations for designing a great patch including choosing a patch backing and finding the correct size to fit your garment!

Patch backings

What to choose?

Our recommendations:
  • Sew-on Backing is the lowest cost option. An Overlock Edge Border (aka Merrow Border) can provide a useful guide for sewing to the garment.
  • Iron-On backing provides more options because it can be sewn-on or ironed-on. Best if you are not sure yet or need both options.
  • A Hot Needle Cut border with Iron-On backing creates an integrated, low-profile appearance. It can look similar to direct embroidery.
  • VELCRO® Brand is tough, removable, and interchangeable. The patch usually has the “hook” side. The garment has the “loop” side.
  • Sticky Back is a pressure-sensitive adhesive. Perfect for quick applications! A residue however can be left behind after removal. This is manageable but be careful to take the steps needed to get a satisfactory result.
  • Attach-MY-Patch™ is a new product developed by A-B Emblem. It allows for long-lasting attachment to be done at home without needing to use an Iron.

Picking the correct size

What’s going to work best?

Our recommendations:
  • Uniforms: chest patches should be 3 to 5 inches wide. Sleeve patches: 3 to 4 inches wide.
  • Scouts: 3 inches is a common size.
  • Sports Uniforms: 3 inches is common.
  • Clubs: 3 to 3.5 inches common.
  • Souvenir patches for children: 2 to 2.5 inches wide.
  • Corporate, School & Association apparel (logos for polos, button-downs & jackets): 1.5 to 2.5 inches wide.
  • Motorcycle & sports car clubs: Chest patches: 3 to 5 inches wide. Back patches: 8 to 10 inches wide.
  • Patches for travel bags, soft cases, and backpacks: 2.5 to 4 inches wide.
  • Patches for Hats: Max 2.5 inches tall.
Get a Quote! Measure twice and cut once is always good advice.

Measurements and Proportionator

How to measure a graphic design and convert it to a patch size

What steps should I take?
  • Draw or print your graphic. Or, you can adjust the size on your computer screen to fit a ruler.
  • Accurately measure the original width and height to within 1/16th of an inch.
  • Please check this conversion table if you need help converting fractions of an inch to a decimal point.
  • Write down your original dimensions.
  • Enter your original dims and then the new patch width (or height) into an online proportion wheel.
  • Your other patch dimension will automatically populate.
  • Write down your new patch dimensions or take a screen capture for later.


Please visit our Patch Gallery!

Looking for inspiration? We invite you to visit our Custom Patch Photo Gallery and to visit our Vimeo.

More about Designing a Great Patch

Please make sure to visit our companion page Design Tips from A-B Emblem and Parts of a Patch to learn more about designing the perfect patch.