Custom patches Tacoma

Embroidered patches

Embroidered patches are a economical way to decorate a item of apparel. The use of patches was very big during World War II. Each unit from a corps to a platoon used embroidered patches to promote comrade and a sense of belonging.

After the war the market for patches grew. Boy scouts used them as merit badges. Sport teams decorated their uniforms with patches. Companies provided patches to sports teams to promote and advertise their products or company.

1974 Patch caps are popular

Around 1974 patch caps started to become popular. Caps were now getting decorated with a simple patch on the front as a method to promote a message. Seed companies used this as their primary method of advertising. Think of all the Cat caps, John Deere caps, Coors beer caps that were sporting custom logos.

Logo Caps

In 1977 recognizing the popularity of logo caps Northwest Embroidery was started in Tacoma, Wa.. The business model was to find a better way to manufacture emblems in the pacific northwest. At that time 90% of the embroidered patches were made in and around Union City New Jersey. This area was known as the embroidery capitol of America. The patches were made on giant Shiffli looms which produced quantities of 220 each.

The team at Northwest realized the real market was for small orders. The goal was to manufacture in groups of twenty four and attach these emblems to caps. The order size made sense because a customer could now purchase small quantities and not have to figure out what to do with 220 patches.

A solution to the problem

In order to make this plan work a machine was needed which could produce small quantities. This void was filled by a Japanese company who developed a multi-head embroidery machine which could produce in multiples of 12. The problem was solved.Off to the races

 

Northwest purchased two 12 head machines and started selling small orders. They have been doing this ever since. The company is now 42 years old.

Embroidered Patches mean big profits

schoolEmbroidered patches can be profitable

Look around you and you see embroidered patches everywhere. Take a look at a NASCAR driver and you see the driver is covered in sponsor patches. Sponsors pay big bucks to get their logo on a driver’s suit.

Think of all the companies, clubs and schools in your neighborhood who use patches. Start with the local fire/police departments all of whom like to buy local.

Before the invention of computerized embroidery patches were made on giant Shiffli embroidery looms or made by hand on a zig zag sewing machine. The shiffl is 10 yards long and makes 340 patches at a time. This really puts a limit on the size of orders they could.

Enter computerized embroidery. In the early 70’s these machines we starting to make headway in the American embroidery market. Northwest Embroidery installed the first commercial embroidery machines in the Pacific Northwest. This was actually the start of small order patches in the Pacific Northwest.

The question begs as to how can I get a piece of the profitable market. The answer is very simple, you first have to get an order and then you are in business.

Do I make the patches or purchase them from a manufacturer. Making small order patches on a single head embroidery machine is very easy. By accepting small orders you are building up your credibility to solicit the big orders.

Look around you and you see embroidered patches everywhere. Take a look at a NASCAR driver and you see the driver is covered in sponsor patches. Sponsors pay big bucks to get their logo on a driver’s suit. Let us at Northwest Custom Apparel give you a few tips.

Think of all the companies, clubs and schools in your neighborhood who use patches. Start with the local fire/police departments all of whom like to buy local.

Before the invention of computerized embroidery patches were made on giant Shiffli embroidery looms or made by hand on a zig zag sewing machine. The shiffli is 10 yards long and makes 340 patches at a time. This really puts a limit on the size of orders they could.

Enter computerized embroidery. In the early 70’s these machines we starting to make headway in the American embroidery market. Northwest Embroidery installed the first commercial embroidery machines in the Pacific Northwest. This was actually the start of small order patches in the Pacific Northwest.

The question begs as to how can I get a piece of the profitable market. The answer is very simple, you first have to get an order and then you are in business.

Manufacturer or purchase

Do I make the patches or purchase them from a manufacturer. Making small order patches on a single head embroidery machine is very easy. By accepting small orders you are building up your credibility to solicit the big orders.

How do I make a embroidered patch

Step one digitize the design that you want to make into a patch exactly and as close to customer artwork as possible. Remember to put a outline or cut stitch around the art work.

Select a heavyweight twill you can purchase from any fabric store. Select a heavyweight fusible backing. Put the two together and you are in business.

Embroider the design and when finished cut the patch out and it is done.

To make it even more professional purchase some heat seal material and fuse it to the back of the finished patch. Then get a hot knife (soldering iron) and carefully burn out all the excess fabric around the finished embroidery.

This patch will net you around $8.00 for  minimum order of 6.

Other patch options

Your next option for large orders is to get a relationship with a asian emblem company. This is really easy to do and once you establish a firm relationship you are in business. These companies generally have larger minimums (around 100). But the prices are competitive. A 3 inch patch will run you around 65 cents and you can sell for $2.00 each.

If you need help contact Northwest Custom Apparel and we will give you all the information you need.

Good luck and here’s to making a nice profit.