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Iron On Patch - Trim Categories

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Application Instructions

Introduction

Iron on and stick on embroidered and fabric patches, as well as hot fix iron on appliqués offer myriad decorating possibilities! You can use them for clothing, scrap booking, quilting, crafting, home decoration. They can be added to just about anything that can take heat from an iron (including paper!) or for which there is a glue available! The options are nearly endless. But with today's unusual fibers and materials, using them does require, on occasion, the need to experiment a bit if you are trying something other than adding a patch to a shirt or a pair of pants..

If you have never ironed on an iron on or hot fix patch, we recommend purchasing an inexpensive iron on patch to test on a similar garment or piece of test fabric to get a feel for the process. It is not hard, but does require some patience and the ability to assess what works best with the material and size patch you are using.

Remember, you can always revert to a bit of glue or hand sewing to keep your patch secure if you want to ensure permanency for years to come. If you are making an heirloom quilt, take the time to iron on and then sew on your patches. They do not need to be machine stitched in place - just a few basting stitches around the edges and on any "points" will go a long way to ensuring a lifetime of wear!

Best Practices

ALL manufacturers recommend sewing on appliqués and patches for permanent applications.

 

However, unless your application requires frequent hot water washing and drying, almost all iron on patches can be safely washed and dried by applying some common sense! Generally, the patch will take the amount of heat your fiber can take (exceptions are vinyl, sequin, and "puffy" patches - see below for more details).

  • DO NOT APPLY iron on patches to waterproof rainwear, highly elasticized fabrics, leather, rayon, nylon or similar fabrics. If unsure, test with an iron on a hidden seam or hem to see how much heat the fabric will accept without damage. Cotton and polyester fiber blends work best. As new fibers are constantly being developed, be sure to test! REMEMBER, you can ALWAYS sew on ANY iron on patch! And, there are wonderful, PERMANENT fabric glues such as Aleene's available at craft stores.

  • ALWAYS turn the garment inside out during washing. This is especially important for hot fix iron on's as washer and dryer walls, and agitators can damage individual stones.

  • NEVER use HOT water or a HOT dryer or you risk loosening the patch or studs. You can TRY ironing them on again, but most likely if they begin to loosen, you will have to use a fabric glue to re-attach them.

  • ALWAYS try to glue onto one layer of fabric. If you have to iron through two pieces of fabric "stacked" (like on a t-shirt or jean leg), put another piece of clean fabric between the two layers or use a Teflon sheet (available at craft stores) between them to ensure no glue passes through to the other side thus bonding the two fabrics! This is especially important with sheer or open-weave material.

  • If your fabric feels stiff, like it may have a lot of sizing, you should pre-wash it. The goal is for the glue to melt into the fabric. Sizing is a stiffener, and can interfere with proper adhesion.

  • LEATHER & VINYL: Do not attempt to iron patches of any kind onto leather or vinyl. They are not designed to take the heat needed. Find an appropriate glue at a craft store, and glue the patch into place.

  • After time, if a patch or stone on a hot fix comes loose, you can reattach easiest with fabric craft glue for hot fix appliques, or iron on patches; or with a few stitches on embroidered patches.

Embroidered
Fabric/Thread
Iron On's

Household Iron

  1. Set iron to "dry" not steam setting.

  2. Pre-heat to cotton setting (or if unsure of your fabric, one or two settings lower).

  3. Position your patch as desired and cover with a pressing cloth (a thick or doubled paper towel works fine).

  4. Place a firm piece of cardboard or other firm, heat safe backing underneath. While some patches adhere quite readily using your ironing board cover, the backing you use can require additional time as the cover pad draws heat as well.

  5. From the front of the patch, press the iron flat in an up and down motion (do not move back/forth/around) for 25 to 40 seconds to tack the patch in place.

  6. Turn inside out (if possible) and using pressing cloth repeat from reverse side for 30 to 45 seconds.

  7. ALLOW to cool, completely.

  8. Test an edge of the patch with your fingernail to ensure it is secure.

  9. If not, repeat increasing the amount of time 10% - 20% each time taking care to ensure the patch and fabric are protected. Rather than a paper towel, we recommend using a real pressing cloth (thin, lightweight cotton or muslin fabric) or, at least, tripling the paper towel.

Heat Seal Machine Depending upon the thickness of the fabric, the patch or size stones for hot fix and your machine, you may need to add more time than that suggested.
  • 350 degrees for 20 to 25 seconds.
  • 375 degrees for 15 to 20 seconds.

Follow steps 3, 4, and 7 through 8 above.

What is nice about a heat seal machine is that as long as you maintain the vertical up and down motion, you can use as much time as needed to be sure the glue melts into the fabric.

Of course, with any method, you need to be aware of the possibility of burning the fabric if you overdo it. Easier to start with less time and just increase it incrementally, allowing the fabric to cool and using the fingernail bond test described in step 8.

Vinyl, Sequin &
Puffy Iron On's

Due to the delicate nature of the patch, heat needs to be applied primarily from the back to melt the glue into the fabric.

  1. Set iron to "dry" not steam setting.

  2. Pre-heat to cotton setting (or if unsure of your fabric, one or two settings lower).

  3. Position your patch as desired and cover with a pressing cloth (a thick or doubled paper towel works fine)

  4. Place a firm piece of cardboard or other firm, heat safe backing suck as a Teflon sheet (available at craft stores) underneath. While some patches adhere quite readily using your ironing board cover, it can require additional time as the cover pad draws the heat.

  5. From the front of the patch, press iron flat (do not move back/forth/around) for 5 to 40 seconds to tack the patch in place.

  6. Turn inside out and using pressing cloth repeat from reverse side for 20 to 30 seconds.

  7. ALLOW to cool, completely.

  8. Test an edge of the patch with your fingernail to ensure it is secure.

  9. If not, reduce the heat (give the iron a few minutes to reach the proper, lower temperature) and peat increasing the amount of time 10% to 15% taking care to ensure the patch and fabric are protected. Rather than a single or doubled paper towel, we recommend using a real pressing cloth (thin, lightweight cotton or muslin fabric) or, at least, tripling the paper towel.

Stick On - Glue On
Embroidered Patches

Stick on patches are quick and easy. Perfect for children to use because they do not require needle, thread, scissors or a hot iron to apply because they are removable and can be repositioned a number of times. However, they are meant for temporary, not permanent placement and cannot be laundered. Depending upon how they are cared for they can be used for 2 to 20 times and then will have to be sewn on.

  1. Peel off the white paper backing.

  2. Apply to clean fabric.

  3. Sew or glue on (use a fabric glue available at craft stores) for permanent applications for any items that will be subject to washing or drying.

Hot Fix Iron On Hot fix iron on rhinestone and rhinestud patch appliqués' are among the most exciting design options available today! Not only do they add some "bling" to your wardrobe, they allow you to replicate a designer look at a fraction of the cost.

While they are not hard to apply, they do require a bit more discipline. Since they are usually more expensive you want to take care in applying them as you are, in effect, applying multiple "patches" at the same time because these patches are made up of multiple components.

Again, if you have never applied one, we urge your to start with a small, inexpensive patch (include one with your order!)  to test it out, especially if you have never applied a hot fix iron on before. My first one was a 6" square patch, and while successful, it took repeated attempts to be sure that every stone was secure. I learned that my iron just doesn't get hot enough before it begins to cool down. I switched irons and they worked immediately.

You have to remember, that each stone, while having glue on the reverse side, is going to heat up at slightly different time's due to the size. What I have learned is that you really can't over iron them (short of scorching your fabric!) so the best approach is to start conservatively, and increase temperature and time.

  1. WARNING: DO NOT move your iron while applying these! Other iron on's are far more forgiving, but with a hot fix, if you push a heated stone or stud with the iron, you are also pushing the glue across your fabric. At best, you will not have enough glue to secure the stone or stud. At the worst, you will leave glue residue on your garment! So use a "press down - lift up - move over, overlapping a bit - press down" motion.  
  2. Set iron to "dry" not steam setting.

  3. Pre-heat to cotton setting (or if unsure of your fabric, one or two settings lower).

  4. Place on a flat, solid surface - not on your ironing board unless you place something flat. I use my Corelle cutting board.

  5. SLOWLY & CAREFULLY peel the white backing sheet from the appliqué. If any of the stones or studs have shifted, carefully reposition using tweezers. I

  6. Identify the appropriate position before applying! If you need to experiment with placement, cut a sheet of paper roughly to size to determine placement.

  7. Place the appliqué sticky side down, onto your fabric. If you have to re-adjust, pick it straight up completely and then place it down again. DO NOT slide it back and forth into place! You will loosen the stones and may have to reposition a number of them.

  8. Cover with a clean, average weight pressing cloth (a piece of muslin, an old piece of sheeting or tea shirt, or even a doubled paper towel works fine). You can also use a Teflon sheet (available at craft stores). If you are applying to stretch velour, you should add a second layer of material (organza or similarly lightweight) between the pressing cloth and the patch.

  9. From the front of the patch, press iron down flat (do not move back/forth/around) for 20 to 40 seconds. Heavier fabrics require more time than lighter fabrics. Again, do NOT slide the iron back and forth! Lift and place down, working from one section to the next with a slight overlap. Repeat once more. (First horizontally, and then vertically).

  10. Turn inside out and using the pressing cloth again, apply heat to each section for at least 30 seconds to draw the glue deep into the fabric.

  11. Turn back right side up or outside in.

  12. Gently remove the clear transfer paper when the design and material have cooled, but while it is still warm to the touch. Then leave everything in place to cool - completely - approximately 20 minutes!

  13. Test an edge of the patch with your fingernail to ensure it is secure. If any or a few are loose you are not giving it enough ironing time to melt the glue. Repeat steps 7 to 11 increasing the time by 10 to 20% depending on how many were loose. If just one or two stones are loose, just focus on them. Remember to give the iron time to reach the proper "cotton" temperature before repeating.

  14. When correct, you should be able to run your hands across the design, up and down, and all pieces should feel secure. Gently pick at them with a finger nail (not too hard, or you will remove them!).

  15. SUCCESS!

We've learned that unless you've ironed them moving back and forth thereby removing and spreading heated glue, you really can't ruin a hot fix appliqué unless you have used too hot a temperature. Use more time, not more heat.

Problems? Please contact us for assistance. Sometimes two heads are better are better than one if you run into a unique situation!