Almost all embroidered iron-on and sew-on patches as well as hot fix appliqués are washable and dry cleanable. Any exceptions noted below are merely warnings and special handling situations. What follows is a summary of how best to protect your investment and ensure that your creations will endure.
Laundering and Dryer Tips
Turn your garment inside out during washing or drying. This is especially important for hot fix iron on’s as washer and dryer walls and agitators can damage individual stones. It is also important with intricately embroidered fabric patches as well. Think about the potentially damaging effects of rubbing that can happen to the whiskers on a cat patch or the stems on a flower iron on motif.
Use cold water for washing or you risk loosening the patch or studs. Heat is what sets and applies patches and stones, and heat will loosen them as well. Should you mistakenly use hot water and your patch or stones become loose, you can try to re-ironing them on again. However, most likely once loose, you will need to find an appropriate fabric glue to re-attach it. You also risk damaging the patch and your garment or fabric in the process.
Air dry patches and appliques away from the sun!
If you use a dryer, use the coolest setting possible. If you need to touch up with the iron, do so quickly and with a cool iron. Again, a hot iron is what melted the glue into the fabric. You do not want to melt the glue again so work quickly. The embroidered patch itself will not have “wrinkles” so it and the fabric behind it will not need ironing. Carefully work around the patch or motif – use a pressing cloth as necessary. With a hotfix appliqué if you applied it to cotton that has wrinkled, just use a steam iron with a pressing cloth to remove wrinkles quickly or have your item professionally dry cleaned.
Iron-on patches, appliques, and hot-fix motifs can be professionally dry-cleaned with very rare exceptions. If your garment or project can be dry-cleaned, so can the decoration you have added.
- The adhesive holding on stick-on patches is not washable; nor can it be safely dry-cleaned. If you wish to wash or dry-clean and “keep” stick-ons, you will need to sew them in place. A word of warning. The adhesive will make sewing more difficult as the glue acts as a barrier. Plan to use a stronger needle or remove as much of the adhesive as possible before sewing.
- Patches with sequins; holograms; clear plastic coatings, leather, vinyl. There are some wonderfully unusual patches being designed and sold by a variety of manufactures. Some of these are made of some high tech materials. If it isn’t made of thread or fabric, presume it is not washable and must be dry cleaned.
- If a patch includes a bright color like red, black or purple, also assume it cannot be safely washed. If it is made of plastic of any kind, assume it cannot go into a dryer and must be hung to dry away from the sun or dry-cleaned.
- Patches that include feathers or what may be acrylic or polyester feathers cannot be laundered. Consult with your dry-cleaner.
- Beaded patches. Use care when laundering. We strongly recommend hand-washing any items with beads.