History of Embroidered Patches

An embroidered patch is an artistic expression that can be attached to article of clothing or accessory in order to signify a company, organization, achievement, or club. Seeing an embroidered cloth patch is a common occurrence. These adornments have been an icon of the apparel industry for hundreds of years. The appearance of the embroidered patch is estimated to have first appeared in ancient china, around the 3rd century BC. In china, seamstresses used different types of embroidery to patch and fix clothing. Often, these reparative materials were adorned with intricate and unique designs. Over time, these designs were shrunk down to patch-sized items.

Historically, embroidered patches were created by hand. It wasn’t until the industrial revolution that they first embroidery machine was designed. A textile inventor, by the name of Alphonse Kursheedt designed a machine that used looms and hand embroidery to create textiles. This mechanized device inspired Isaak Groebli, who is famous for creating the Schiffli Embroidery Machine, which is a device that uses a continuously threaded needle and shuttle.

Currently, embroidered patches are made with digitized patterns in order to make designs. Computerized machines can mass produce-embroidered patches for all different types of purposes. In the U.S, patches were first made popular in military applications. Different patch designs signified rank, division, and skill set. For example, if a solider was a member of the tank division, he was typically outfitted with a tank inspired patch.  Medics in the army were clearly marked with Red Cross embroidered patches, in order to more visible on the battlefield.

When the soldiers returned home from battle, they often attached their patch to a common jacket, in order to signify what they had accomplished during their military career. 

Civilians also began to use patches. Many sports teams and clubs used patches in order to display membership.

Embroidered patches have transformed from simple cloth materials, to sturdy, plastic backed pieces of art. Modern day patches are made to last, and withstand many elements.  They are made with studier materials, which improve thickness, prolong longevity, and prevent fraying and unraveling. They can also be attached to an article of clothing in a number of different ways. If you are in the market for an embroidered patch, it is best to contact a professional patch designer.  These companies can design a multitude of patch styles, to meet your every need.


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