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How to Make PVC Patches – 101

PVC Patches are slowly becoming one of the most popular Soft PVC products in our product line. They are so resistant, cool looking and the high versatility they bring, especially when compared to embroidered patches is rapidly making them a crowd’s favorite.
Being a new product is not easy: People must learn all about you so they can get the most out of your capabilities. 🙂

What is a PVC Patch?

The first characteristic one must now about a PVC Patch is the way they are built: PVC products are manufactured by pouring colored soft PVC into molds. There is a base color and each new layer is placed on top of it, creating an unique, cohesive soft PVC item. Each custom design will have its own physical metal mold, if you want to make the same design but at a smaller size, you will have to create a NEW mold for it.

How resistant are Soft PVC Patches?

Very resistant. The Soft PVC makes them sturdy enough to deal with outdoor use, they can resist sun, rain, extreme temperatures and humidity conditions without breaking or fading.

Is there any size limitations? How big can a PVC patch be?

PVC patches can be as long as 11″.

What about the layering capabilities?

One of the coolest features of PVC Patches is the freedom of using as many layers as you want: this allows to create eye-popping designs WITHOUT increasing the price of the product (How cool is that?)

How do PVC layers work?

In order to understand the way layers are built, let’s think about a coloring book design where you have a design per color: you add colors to each area and then overlay these designs on top of each other, creating a layered design, where each layer can have its own height and colors.

What makes a PVC Patch different than a PVC Label?

How is PVC better than Other Patch Types?

The best patch type for your project will depend on your likes and dislikes, the nature of the project, the place it will be attached to, among other things. But, the one use where PVC definitely wins the battle is a custom design used as Velcro Patch, on Tactical Gear (commonly known as a Tactical Morale Patch). Always accompanied of their respective American Flag Patches

What Makes These PVC / Rubber Patches So Special?

They look amazing!
You can have very small text on your design, without those stinking jump-stitches (read our article about PVC vs Embroidered patches)
They have “substance”. The weight of a PVC patch is much more than the one of woven patches (read our article about PVC vs Woven Patches)
Did we mention they do not have threads? The MAIN reason custom rubber patches are the Preferred Choice of any Law Enforcement Agency that is looking to get new patches for their uniform or tactical gear is that rubber Will Not Get Stuck, unraveled or Ripped (unlike thread in custom embroidered patches) while you are doing your job.

Can I Have My Patch Design Made in PVC?

99% of the time, the answer is Yes! In occasions we will have to simplify some elements if they will not work with the PVC manufacturing process, but it will be worth it!

How to attach a PVC patch to your item?

You don’t need to be an expert to attach a patch to your jacket, vest or hat. You just need to choose the right backing for it.
1- For a permanent use (You will sew them on) Choose no backing. But don’t worry, all of our patches come with a sewing channel, which will make it easier to stitch them up to your item.
2- For temporary use (Easy on and off) Choose Velcro backing. Easy peasy. Take them off before washing your jacket, or vest, and reapply when needed.
3- For a one time use (Or for items that will not be washed) Choose Adhesive backing. They will stay on as long as the conditions of moisture and heat are favorable. – Ask for samples and test them yourself –

Learn more about the differences between a PVC patch and a PVC label.

 Understanding PVC Patch Terminology

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We can break the options for a PVC patch in

  1. Basic Elements
  2. Layer Options
  3. Element Options
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Basic Elements

The basic elements of a PVC Patch are:
  1. Base Layer: It is the base layer where the whole patch will be “resting” on. It is the main color on the design. It can (or not) be the same color as the…
  2. Border: It is the edge of the patch. It can be raised (or not), it can be the same (or different) color than the Base Layer.
  3. Design: Any other elements that “rest” on top of the Base Layer.
  4. Sewing Channel: It is a little channel or recessed line made with the purpose of making it easy to attach the Backing (i.e.Velcro). It usually follow the contour of the patch.
  5. Backing: Applied to the back of the patch, its purpose is to help with the application of the patch on the item. (ie. Velcro and Adhesive backing)
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Layer Elements

The basic elements of a PVC Patch are: Any Design Can be:
  • Single-Layered: All elements are at the same level, when you pass your hand through the top, it feels smooth, nothing sticks out above the rest.
  • Multi-Layered: Some elements are at different levels, it feels a little rough to the touch, with some elements (i.e. left picture: text is resting on top of the shield)
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Elements Options

Any PVC Design element can be
  • 2-Dimensional: the top of the element is flat, as if it was sliced with a knife. Edges are at 90 degree angle.
  • 3-Dimensional: the top of the element is concave, there is no edge, just a curved border. They are usually a little thicker than 2-D elements.
See our post about 2D vs 3D PVC Patches

Learn more about Custom Soft Rubber PVC Patches!

There is still more information about custom PVC patches you should know before making an order, such as: backings, colors, sizes, shapes, and other design options.