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How to Sew Patches on a Leather

Up for an ultra-cool or punk look? Patches are your best buddy! They can be a final touch for a leather vest or add an extra flair to your outfit. They’re functional and trendy – extremely popular, especially among men.

Although patches are more than just an embellishment, some attach it to their clothes as a short introduction to the organization they’re associated with. Mastering how to stitch a patch on your leather vest pocket is so easy. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a bit practiced in this craft or still exploring the world of stitching.

Start with this simple tutorial and be ready to sport your new leather vest design.

How to Sew Patches on a Leather?

There are two common ways to do it, manually or with a regular machine. Sewing a patch by hand is most desirable if it’s only a one-time project. Otherwise, rely on the efficient and speedy use of a sewing machine. It is ideal if you have stacks of patches to be done. Moreover, those who do business out of it should also depend on the machine for smoother operation.

How to Sew Patches on a Leather by Hand?

The most traditional method of sewing yet provides the highest sense of accomplishment. It can only take around twenty to thirty minutes to sew each patch. Basic supplies include needle, patch, scissors, thread, and tape or safety pins.

Step 1: You will need a bit of rolled up tape to place on the patch’s back. So, you can use either masking tape or scotch tape. Never use double-sided tape because it tends to get too sticky on the leather. You might ruin the material. If you are using pins, be sure it’s in the midst of the patch. You may need around five pins to accommodate a large patch.

Step 2: Now, you can put the patch carefully on the vest pocket.

Step 3: Use 100% polyester or nylon thread. Pick a clear thread, if possible. However, you can also choose a color that complements the exterior edge of your patch. Knot the thread after threading the needle.

Step 4: Thrust the needle up through the leather’s back then out through the patch’s front. You may find it easier to start stitching inside the corner, though it’s up to you.

Step 5: Next, smooth the needle back through the leather, aligned with the exterior bound of the patch. You now have your first whipstitch. You can choose between a running stitch (visible in the border) and a whipstitch (visible on edge).

Step 6: Continue doing your whipstitch around the patch. Ensure to have tiny and tight stitches that are close together.

Step 7: Remove the safety pin or tape underneath the patch by sliding your finger through the gap.

Step 8: Finish stitching around your patch. The final stitch must be on the back of the leather or inside the vest. Knot the thread tightly, and you’re done!

How to Sew Patches on a Leather with Sewing Machine?

It is the most secure and fastest way to top up your vest pocket with gorgeous patches designs. But unlike the manual method, you can only sew patches on certain areas. Nevertheless, a real-time lifesaver since you’ll only need around five minutes to sew each patch!

Need not to worry if you don’t have a leather sewing machine at home. You can also try a heavy-duty machine. Prepare your materials, including safety pins/adhesive, scissors, thread, and your desired patch.

Step 1: Set up the sewing machine first. Thread with 100% polyester or nylon upholstery. Adjust the settings to handle leather – adjusting the thread tension and length. A sharp leather needle is much more ideal when tackling leather materials. Do not use cotton thread as it tends to degrade over time.

Step 2: Attach the patch on your vest pocket. Do this through safety/straight pins or spray adhesive. However, if you’re using the latter, make certain to apply an even, light mist. Enough to keep the patch in an accurate position as you stitch it. Otherwise, use a glue stick. Whichever will work.

Step 3: Sew around the whole patch. Start at one of the corners. It should be sewn down on the vest. Go gently around curves.

Step 4: For the circular patch, turn it along with the vest as you stitch, next to the patch’s edge. While for straight borders (e.g., rectangle), sew directly to the first corner. Take every pin off as you approach it.

Step 5: Once done, trim off the excess threads. And you’re finished! Appreciate your wonderful creation.

Important Tip:

Whether you are sewing a patch manually or with a machine, ensure to use only the right materials. Putting two or more patches seems enticing. However, it’s best not to overdo your vest pocket. A single patch is enough since it is simply a meek, small area. Lastly, keep all stitches extremely close as possible to avoid getting frayed or caught.

Other Ways to Add Patch on a Leather Vest Pocket

Okay, I get it; you have a super hectic schedule and want the patches to be done quickly. That leaves you with another option we’ve come up with. It does not require sewing, thus, it can guarantee to assist with last-minute requests. We are talking about the leather adhesive method.

Step 1: Put your vest down on the ironing board. Even out to get rid of creases.

Step 2: It’s time to set the patch on your vest pocket. You can mark the edges using a wax pencil. It is to help you in determining where exactly should you put the patch on when pasted.

Step 3: In a small cup, pour the adhesive into. Spread a slim coat over the patch using a small brush.

Step 4: Lay your patch design onto the leather vest with the traces to guide you. If it’s a big patch, you need to use a cold iron or spoon for pressing it to the material. Begin in the middle, then move towards the outside until you’ve completely pushed the patch.

Step 5: Remove wax stains and excess leather adhesive. Damp some cotton swabs and dab in the paint thinner. After that, run gently over the borders of your patch.

Step 6: Wait for the patch to become fully dry. It usually takes 8 hours or more, depending on the product. Check the instructions indicated on the label.

A Few Notes to Remember!

Heated iron is never recommended to use, even on the lowest setting. It will shrink the leather material, which causes it to wrinkle. Sew one or two anchor stitches on the patch’s boundaries so that the ends won’t flake off.

While this is the easiest technique, patches will come off after some washes. That’s why you have to wash your vest through cold water and dry in a low heat setting. Following this simple tip will help keep the adhesive properly in place. And who knows, it might serve you for months.

If these methods still don’t suit your interest or schedule, you have the last standing option. Customize and take to a local tailor. You can even decide which thread color, patch design, etc. to use. Share your customization ideas and leave all the intricate work on their expertise.

What Is the Difference Between Sew on and Iron on Patches?

There isn’t much of a difference. However, sew-on patches are typical patches you see everywhere. It adds more flexibility and function to any garment. Iron-on patches have a heat seal, which you can also sew. You can stitch it on your vest, jacket, etc. and never mind using an iron. The thin film has enough flexibility required for needle dispersion.

Can I Use Other Types of Glue Aside From Leather Adhesive?

Yes, as long as it can attach any patches with its durable, long-term bond. You can buy glue online or at a nearby store. Just make sure you’re getting a good quality product, so you get to enjoy your new design longer. There are glues with a waterproofing feature. It keeps the patch perfectly integral all through the wash cycle.


Hello, I am Jessica Flores, and you are welcome to my website. I am a professional fashion designer and a seamstress. I always carried a passion for craftwork. My love for craft grew along with time. I have spent years researching and practicing in this field to gather colossal experience.

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