Proper Way to Apply Patches on Karate Uniforms

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    Sewing Patches to Uniform

    • Be sure to use a very sharp needle when hand sewing.

      Sewing your patches to your uniform is fairly straightforward, if you know how to sew. You can either hand sew or machine sew.

      Hand sewing typically takes a lot longer, and is not as strong of a bond as machine sewing. You simply pin the patch in the correct position, and loop stitch the outside edge of the patch to the uniform, using a double length of thread and a sharp sewing needle.

      Machine sewing requires a bit of know-how but is far faster, and the bond is very strong. When machine sewing, the inner bobbin color should match your uniform color, with the top spool of thread matching the outlining area of the patch. This avoids any color bleed of the thread onto the inside of the uniform. Simply pin the patch in the correct position, and straight stitch the perimeter of the patch.

    Iron Transfering Patches to Uniform

    • If you have limited sewing experience, or if your patch has an iron-on coating on the back, you can opt to iron transfer your patch to your uniform. Pin the patch in the correct position, cover the uniform and patch with a clean white towel to avoid any color transfer and iron on high heat until patch is secure to the uniform fabric.

      If the patch doesn't have iron-on coating, you'll need to source some iron-on transfer material from a local fabric store, cut to the shape of the patch and follow the manufacturer's attachment instructions for secure adhesion.

    Gluing Patches to Uniform

    • Be careful when using glue adhesion, to avoid patch bleeding color.

      In addition to iron-on transfer paper, you can also buy a fabric glue that bonds using iron heat called Patch Attach. You can purchase this fabric glue from a local fabric store; the attachment process is very similar to iron-on transfer. If your patches have deep colors, you'll need to be careful that the glue doesn't cause the colors to bleed to the uniform.

      There are also other types of fabric bond or fabric glue, which do not require heat bonding but generally have less adhesion strength than heat-bonded products. These come in liquid or spray can formulas, and can be bought from your local fabric store.


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