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.

How To Sew Patches On Leather Vest?

Embroidered patches make your leather vest stand out. And it is very easy to sew patches on leather vests. Here are some steps that you need to follow 

Step 1: Put a Rolled Up Tape At the Back Of The Patch 

Cut a piece of tape and make a roll with a sticky side out. Put the rolled tape at the back of the patch. This will keep the patch in place when sewing. Moreover, ensure that you remove the tape when you are just about to finish. You can use either masking tape or scotch tape for this process.

Step 2: Place the Patch On The vest 

Thereafter, choose a place where you want to sew the patch. After that, put the patch in and give a gentle press. 

Step 3: If required, unstitch the gap in the lining of the vest

A great thing about sewing by hand is that you can create a hole in the lining. This will allow your hand to get a better fit. You can skip this step if the vest does not have a lining. 

Step 4: Thread a Leather Needle With Polyester Or Nylon Thread

Opt for either a clear thread or the one that matches the outer border of the patch. Do not choose cotton thread as the tannin in the leather will damage the cotton eventually. After threading the needle, make a knot. 

Step 5: Push The Needle Through The Leather Vest And The Patch 

Push your threaded needle through the back of the leather and take it out through the patch. Try to get the needle slightly inside the embroidered border of the patch. While it does not matter where you start, it is better to start from the corner. Leather needles are created to prick leather, and they can also pierce through your delicate skin as well; so you should use a thimble. 

Step 6: Push The Needle Back Through The Leather, Right Next To The Patch 

After that, put the needle on the leather’s top, next to the outer edge of the patch. Push your needle back through the vest while pulling on it to secure the stitch. This is the first whipstitch. Bring the needle back down through your patch inside the border if you wish to make a running stitch. 

Step 7: Whipstitch Up to Third Of The Way 

Continue the whipstitch around your patch until you are a third of the way. Ensure that you keep the stitches small, close together, and tight. 

Step 8: Remove the Tape 

Once you have properly sewn a third of your patch onto the vest, it is time to remove the tape. Slide your finger through the gap beneath the path, then pull the tape out. 

Step 9: Finish Your Sewing 

Continue the sewing process around the patch the same way you did before. Ensure your last stitch is on the back of the leather. Knot the thread securely, cut off the excess. 

Step 10: Shut The Lining With Ladder Stitch 

Knot the end of your thread and push the needle through the lining’s back and out from the front. Make sure you do this as close to the seam’s folded edge. Sew the two seams together with a ladder stitch. Knot and snip your thread after you are done. 

How To Iron Patches On A Leather?

Sewing patches onto the leather is a common method. However, you can also use an iron to apply patches to leather without any damages. In this method, iron is your pressing tool instead of using it for the heat. Irons are good for gently pressing as they have smooth finishes that glide over the patches and leather evenly. Iron is a great way to safely apply a patch on your leather vest if you know what to do. 

Things You Will Require:

  • Iron 
  • Ironing board 
  • Leather garment 
  • Craft glue designed for leather adhesion 
  • Clean cloth 
  • Water 
  • Gentle detergent 

Step 1 

You will need craft glue, which is safe to be used on leather. Generally, craft glues do not adhere to leather material, but some of them stick to tough mediums. Make sure that you read labels before buying the glue.  

Step 2 

After that, clean the leather using a gentle detergent, warm water, and a clean cloth. Wipe off any scuffs, stains, or diet to prepare the surface to stick to the patch. Let the leather dry naturally for a few hours or wipe using a dry cloth once done. 

Step 3

Apply your craft glue towards the edges of the patch (on the non-design side). You should be able to make a thin line aligning the perimeter. In the case of a big patch, you need to apply one smaller outline at the patch’s center for better security.  

Step 4

Place the leather on an ironing board and use the craft glue to apply the patch to the area on the leather garment where you want it. Keep the iron turned off and place it over the patch. Thereafter, press the iron firm while gliding the iron back and forth for a couple of minutes. Let the iron rest on top of the patch for 6 to 8 hours to ensure complete adhesion. 

How 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.

Cost To Sew Patches On Leather Vest

A seamstress can charge you a minimum of $3 per one patch; however, it is not enough. Sewing a patch requires extreme precision; therefore, extra efforts are added. And if the professional is using a sewing machine, then you might end up paying $10 per patch. 

How to Attach Patch Without Sewing?

Luckily, you don’t necessarily need to know how to sew or own a sewing machine to apply your favorite patch on your jacket or clothes. 

Applying The Patch Using Glue 

You cannot use any glue to apply the patch on the clothing. You have to invest in high-quality glue that is strong enough to stick to different kinds of fabric. 

  • Lay the garment you want to put a patch on flat on an ironing board. 
  • Apply the glue to the edges of the patch and to the area where you want to attach it. 
  • Place the patch on the garment and press them firmly. 
  • Wait for a couple of minutes, allowing the glue to dry and form a strong bond. 

Ironing-On The Patch 

Ironing is among the best ways to secure the patch on any clothing. But if you want the patch to stay in place, you have to know the right approach to do so. 

  • Place your preferred clothing on the iron board. If you are using a regular table, ensure to put a bath towel underneath.
  • Glue and place the patch in the area you want to attach it. 
  • Heat up the iron and allow it to get hot. Ensure that you don’t heat above the limit the fabric can bear. 
  • Turn off the steam option on the iron and make sure there is no water on the surface. 
  • Put a cloth over the patch. You should never put hot iron directly on the patch as it gets ruined. 
  • Press iron over the patch and hold it for around 10 to 20 seconds. 
  • Take off the iron from the patch and let it cool. 
  • Lift the towel to see whether the patch has been placed correctly. 

Attaching the Patch Using Velcro 

There are three ways to apply Velcro patches. The first is to use an adhesive particularly created for Velcro. The second way is using glue. The third is using fabric-based tape. 

  • Wash and dry the garment that you want to put a patch on. 
  • Cut the Velcro tape into the desired shape. The more Velcro you use, the stronger the bond will be. 
  • Peel off the liner and stick it to the garment carefully. 
  • Wait for 24 hours before wearing or washing the piece of clothing. 


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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