Stadri Emblems
For Over 30 Years: The Nation's #1 Choice for
Quality Custom Embroidered Patches
US. Toll Free: 1-800-679-7909
Or call: (845) 679-6600

Designing Your Custom Embroidered Patches

You don't have to be an artist! Stadri's skilled art department will do all the work necessary to turn even your roughest sketches into finished art pieces at absolutely no cost to you!

Step 1: Concept

Every custom patch starts with an idea. That idea may be a theme, an event to commemorate, or a brand identity. A good patch converts that idea into an understandable graphic. Stadri Emblems has a team of award winning, in-house artists, ready to create your custom patch from a text description, photograph, or sketch. The design service is free, included with each patch produced. The following guide can be used. 

For those who are more adventurous and would like to create your own art, draw the design in the same size the patch will be. This will help you visualize the overall layout and size of the design. Besides making it easier to make corrections, using a pencil will offer the appropriate width for text. Details that are smaller than the width of a pencil point may get lost when embroidered and necessitate a change. Having designed and produced more than 25 million patches, the team at Stadri is always able to offer recommendations to enhance existing artwork.

Step 2: Patch Design

patch sketch to artwork

Most important, the intended message of you custom patch needs to come across to your audience. Simplicity is always best. Don't try to crowd in too many details. An idea, simply stated, makes for a better embroidered patch. Prepare a rough or finished sketch, or send a logo, decal, photo, or sample patch. If you are not an artist, don't worry; you don't have to draw your ideas! Simply describe your patch design in words. Our art department will interpret your ideas into a stunning graphic! If you are an artist, be as precise as you'd like. We will conform to your design as closely as possible.

Upload art/sketch/image

If you do not have artwork, you can describe your concept at the time of placing your order.

Step 3: Patch Shape

Below are some suggestions for the shape of your custom patch. Your design is not limited to the shapes pictured here, although they represent popular patterns.  Use these if applicable, but feel free to consider other shapes as well. You can also view shield shapes.

top rocker
bottom rocker

council strip
lodge flap

Choose your patch shape from the list above.

Patches can be made in virtually any shape. The traditional shapes such as ovals, circles, squares, and octagons have always been popular choices, but are not the only shapes available. Through the use of lasers and hot and die cutting processes, patches can be made into any shape imaginable. The centers can be cut out achieving fine detail and adding to the appearance of the embroidered patch.

If you would like a shield or custom shape, specify here:
View shield our shapes

Step 4: Backing (This step is required)

Plastic: This backing adds stiffness and gives your patch support, allowing it to retain its shape over time. Plastic is still thin enough to sew through. There is no charge for this backing.

Heatseal: Another word for iron-on. Allows you to apply your patch onto a garment using a home iron. If you are planning to wash your garment more than 50-80 times after the patch is applied, it is recommended that heatseal only be used for pre-placement before sewing, and then followed up with a few tag stitches along the patch to hold it in place longer. NOTE: Heatseal will not stick to nylon or other synthetic fabrics.

Velcro® brand fastener: One (hook) side or both sides are available.

Adhesive: This is a peel and stick backing to hold a patch in place for a single event. It will not hold up to machine washing. If you desire your patch to stay in place permanently, go with the heatseal option, or plastic and sew your patches.

Magnetic: A magnetic strip is placed on the entire back surface, turning your patch into an embroidered magnet.

View more information about patch backings>>

Choose your patch backing:

Plastic   No backing   Iron-on   Adhesive   1 Sided Velcro®

Step 5: Border

The most common type of border is a merrowed border, which wraps around the edge of the entire patch, and is always 1/8” in thickness.  This is best for simple shapes, such as circles, squares, rectangles, etc.

A diecut border is cut to the shape of the design and is ideal for more complex custom shapes with many in-cuts and sharp angles.

merrowed and diecut borders

There is no price difference between these two types of borders. We choose the border that is most appropriate for the design, unless the customer has a specific preference.

Choose border preference:  

Tip: Borders need to be taken into account when designing your patch. If there is too much detail, often a border won’t fit. If planning to use a merrowed border, make sure you add at least a 1/8” buffer around the design.  

Step 6: Size (This step is required)

Determining the optimum size depends on a few considerations. The proper size for your custom patch is usually determined by its intended use. Start by using a ruler to measure the location the finished patch will be displayed. This will help give some idea as to what will fit within the patch.

For Hats, 2-1/2" to 3" sizes are most common. For the shoulder or front of a jacket, 3-1/2" to 5" sizes are preferred. A back patch can be a larger size of 6”x 10” or 8” x 12” (or even up to 17"), which will fit better and offer more space for a design than a smaller sized patch.

The next consideration should be the amount of information and art that needs to fit into the design. A custom patch of a dragon flying a kite atop a grassy knoll will be more detailed in a larger size than in a smaller size.  

Determining Patch Size For Pricing:
Patch size is calculated using a simple formula of adding the length of the patch and the width of the patch and diving by 2. The resulting number is the patch size. A simpler way to put it would be to average the patch's two dimensions.

Size = width + height divided by 2

Width: " Height: "
Your Patch Size Is: 0

Tip: 3” patches are the most popular size and you'll often find sales and discounts at this size.

Step 7: Lettering

For best clarity, we recommend all letters be at least 1/4" tall, which is the equivalent of 14 points in a standard word processing program. Letters smaller than this tend to lose sharpness and will not stand out as effectively as larger letters. Choose contrasting colors for best clarity.

text size on a patch

Allow plenty of room for the best legibility. If lettering seems cramped, consider abbreviating. Block letters are most common and work the best. However, many styles of lettering can be reproduced.

Choose desired font:
View our font options>>

Step 8: Picking Colors

Select contrasting colors for a more dramatic and beautiful embroidered patch. If lightly colored lettering or design elements are desired, then select a dark background color. Use dark lettering or designs on a light background. Using a variety of colors will greatly add to the appearance of your patch.

You may use up to 10 colors and one twill (background) color without incurring any extra charges. So be creative!

Choose up to ten thread colors from our most popular color choices below:

black charcoal navy blue
white dark gray royal blue
red gray blue
orange light gray sky blue
yellow green teal
yellow gold spring green blue gray
athletic gold forest green lavender
old gold sea foam purple
brown olive green pink
chocolate brown olive drab magenta
dark brown khaki maroon
tan sand burnt orange
bronze flesh off-white

Not enough colors? If you have specific color requirements, see below

View thread color chart View twill color chart
List specific thread colors:

You may also describe your colors the best you can (e.g. "bright red, "navy blue", etc)
Specify twill/background color:
You may also describe your colors the best you can (e.g."bright red", "navy blue", etc)

If you have access to Pantone Matching System, you may specify exact colors from the PMS Color Chart. Otherwise, you may leave your color matching in the hands of our professional artists.

Step 9: Embroidery Percentage (This step is required)

Every embroidered patch starts with a piece of twill fabric, and then threads are stitched on top of this fabric. Embroidery coverage simply refers to whether or not the entire surface of the twill will be covered by thread.

embroidery percentage

As you can see in the above example, the patch with less than 100% embroidery coverage has an unstitched background, leaving the gray twill exposed. This is ideal if your design has a large area of solid color. It is also a lower cost option.

Now moving on to the 100% embroidery example. On this patch, thread completely covers the twill. There is no gray showing. The customer decided that they wanted a multi-colored background, therefore making 100% embroidery necessary.

The decision to order a patch with 100% or less than 100% thread coverage is simply a matter of preference. Many customers prefer 100% because of the thickness and fullness it adds.

Choose Desired Embroidery Coverage (This step is required)

Step 10: Submit Request For Quote

Once you submit the following information, you will be emailed a quote. If the quote is acceptable to you, you must click on the "place order" link in the email to turn your quote into an order and receive your free artwork. No artwork will be received without first placing an order.

(required) (required)   (required)
Minimum 6 PCS
Estimated Cost $$$$
Estimated cost with rush free
Estimated cost for Npcs
Estimated cost for Npcs

Stadri Emblems assumes by submission of your design to Stadri Emblems, you have legal ownership of any and all logos, designs, text, graphics, trademarks and copyrights, and the selection and arrangement thereof. You also guarantee that you have the legal right to reproduce and/or have reproduced the above-mentioned properties. Stadri Emblems assumes no legal liability in any trademark or copyright infringement disputes.
VELCRO is owned by Velcro BVBA. Used with permission.