How To Sew A Patch On A Leather Jacket

Patches look so cool on leather jackets, isn’t it? It is almost like giving the ones you meet a short introduction to yourself without speaking a word. And the best part is that sewing patches on leather jackets is easy-peasy!

Sewing patches on leather jackets is easier with sewing machines than by hand. Basically, you will gluing the patch to the jacket and keep stitching until the first and last stitch overlap.

Sewing is a permanent solution for putting patches on jackets. Though you can use ironing or gluing, sewing will always be more effective. On that note, here is a detailed look into how you can sew a patch on a leather jacket.

How to Sew a Patch On A Leather Jacket?

Use a sewing machine that can push through a material as thick as leather. Choose the spots where you want to sew the patches. Set up the machine with a wide stitch and an 18-gauge needle.

Change the length of the stitch to the widest option available. Spray the back of the patches with adhesive. Put them over your chosen spots and start sewing from a corner.

Overlap the first and last stitch to make the sewing strong. Finally, pull out the jacket and cut the thread.

Prepare For Sewing A Patch On A Leather Jacket

You need to start by organizing all the things you will need. Here is a list:

  • A leather sewing machine
  • 18-Gauge Needle
  • Nylon or polyester thread (and not cotton)
  • A Spray Adhesive or glue stick
  • Scissors


The thread you use has to be a hundred percent polyester or nylon without any cotton present in it at all. Cotton starts reacting to the tannin present in leather and rots easily. Most threads found in the market have cotton in them so ensure that you get a thread that has zero cotton in it.

Also, you can choose to sew leather by hand, though it is more difficult to do than using a sewing machine. The process is the same as the one mentioned below, but remember to use a thimble.

Steps To Sew a Patch On A Leather Jacket

Step 1: Have a Sewing Machine That Can Sew Leather

It is easier to sew through leather using a sewing machine rather than by hand. So, get a sewing machine that is particularly made for leatherwork. Basically, any heavy duty sewing machine will do the job.

The standard sewing machines are not strong enough to get the job done. You will have to buy the specific machine from the stores that deal in leather sewing machines or working tools. Also, you might be able to buy such a machine online.

Step 2: Take a Wide Stitch and an 18-Gauge Needle

Set up the machine with a wide stitch and an 18-gauge needle. Now, fit the needle in the sewing machine. Then, change the length of the stitch to the widest option available to you, which is usually somewhere around 0.32 cm (1/8 inch) in width.

Thread the sewing machine with the polyester or nylon upholstery thread. Your best bet is to use a leather needle. If not that, at least make sure the needle is sharp and thick.

Step 3: Use a Spray Adhesive on the Back of the Patch

Use a spray adhesive for the back of the patch. Shake the spray adhesive can for a couple of seconds and hold it about ten to fifteen cm (four to six inches) away from the back of the patch.

And remember to apply a light touch of adhesive. Just a simple misting of the adhesive would be enough. Actually, you do not need to use too much because the adhesive is only to hold the patch in place while sewing.

You can also choose to use a simple glue stick or a bit of rubber cement to do the job if you can’t find a spray adhesive. The reason we are asking you to ditch the sewing pins is because they will make permanent holes in the jacket.

Step 4: Put the Patches at Your Chosen Spots

Choose the spots where the patches should go. Now, place the patches on the jacket. Also, you need to check the label on your spray can to know whether or not you should wait for that glue to dry down first.

Press down on the patches gently until they feel secure. You can look at the seams on the jacket as the reference point if you need assistance about placing the patches.

Step 5: Start Sewing the Patches from a Corner

You can now start sewing from a corner of the patch. While you’re at it, keeping sewing as close to the patch’s embroidered border as you can. Additionally, go nice and slow on the tricky curves.

So, when you come to a tricky corner or hit a difficult angle, start pushing the needle down. Then, you need to lift and rotate the jacket.

Now, push your foot back down and continue sewing. Remember to smoothen the jacket’s lining first in case the vest is lined.

Step 6: Overlapping the Last and First Stitches

You need to overlap the first and last stitch by at least one to one-and-a-half inches, i.e., 2.6 to 3.9 cm. After coming back to where you began sewing, keep on sewing for another one to one-and-a-half inches.

It will create an overlap of one to one-and-a-half inches right at the beginning and end of the work and avert unraveling. Moreover, this will save you from the hassle of backstitching which would have only led to more work for you.

Step 7: Pull Out the Jacket and Cut the Thread

Get the jacket out of the sewing machine and then, cut the thread. Pull up the foot and lift the needle out of the jacket. Now, slide out the jacket from below the foot and cut the thread as close to the path and the lining as possible.

Tips for Sewing Patches on a Leather Jacket

1. Plan the Stitches Beforehand

You need to plan the stitches well beforehand. After all, once the patches are fixed, you will not get a chance to redo them. The stitching holes are permanent.

2. Never Use Pins to Fix Patches

There is no need to use pins for securing patches to the leather. The patches are not strong enough for most leathers and it will end up leaving holes.

3. Practice Stitches on Scrap Leather

It would be best if you practice a few stitches beforehand on a piece of scrap leather. Remember that sewing through any other fabric and leather is not the same thing. You will get an idea of how thick leather is when you practice it beforehand.

4. Never Put an Iron Directly on the Patch

You should never iron on a patch over a leather jacket. The temperature that you would need to iron and fix a patch to the leather jacket will end up ruining the jacket forever.

What to Do When You Cannot Remove the Lining?

It is okay if you cannot remove the lining. Make sure that you keep the lining centered and smooth so that it does not bind or tear when you wear the jacket. Furthermore, the stitches need to be really close so that they do not get ripped or become loose.

How Can You Remove The Patches From Leather Jackets?

The patches that you sew on the leather jackets are pretty difficult to remove. So, you will have to undo the lining in case the path and the Schell are attached.

If that is not the case, you will have to undo all the stitching on that patch itself. However, the holes made while stitching will stand out after you remove the patches from a jacket.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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