Band patches have been a staple of the music/fashion world for years, from punk rockers to hardcore fans! Whether you are looking to make a statement, show your support for a band, or just add a cool piece of flair to your look, (band) patches are what you need. In this article, we’ll show you all you need to know about band patches including where to find them, how to attach them, and the different kinds of patches you can get. Read on for more!
A. What are Band Patches?
Band patches are basically pieces of fabric, usually cloth or leather, that feature a logo or design of a band. They are often used to show support for a band and as a way to connect with other people over shared music taste/interests. Band patches come in all shapes and sizes, from tiny patches to larger patches that cover an entire backside of a battle jacket. A big part of why band patches are so popular, is because they are an affordable way to get some band merch. Besides that, they allow the wearer to display multiple bands at the same time, unlike with shirts and hoodies. They give you a lot of creative freedom in the way you apply the patches too!
B. History of Band Patches
Rock band patches have been around for decades, with some of the earliest examples being seen in the punk rock and hardcore music scenes of the late 70s and early 80s. Since then, they have become a staple of the alternative music and fashion world and are often seen on battle jackets or, especially in Germany, on other clothing items like pants or dresses. They are a great way to show support for a band, or even to pay tribute to a band that has gone on hiatus or has broken up.
II. Popular Uses of Patches
Besides being used to show support and/or connection with a band, patches are also popular among collectors or fashion enthusiasts. Over the years, they have become a popular way to express one’s sense of style and to add a creative flair to a look. People often combine patches with denim jackets, backpacks, vests, and other clothing items to create something unique.
A. Represent a Band
The most popular use of patches is to show support for a band or to represent a particular band. Whether you are a fan of a certain band or even just a supporter of their music, wearing a patch of their logo is a great way to show your appreciation, and connect with people who like the same bands as you do. There are even some groups who will only allow new members if their battle jacket has the right band patches to go with the groups overall theme. Seeing as it’s a pretty easy way to quickly tell if it would be a good fit, at least music wise. It wouldn’t make sense to join a heavy metal group if all your band patches are of underground black metal bands. Or joining a pagan group when all you have are rock band patches.
B. Represent a Subculture
Patches can also be used to represent a particular subculture. Punk rock, goth, and metal are all examples of different subcultures that often use patches to express where their heart lies. These subcultures all tend to have imagery that is linked to them. So those images are a great way to add a bit of spice to your outfit. Especially if you’re pretty new to the subgenre. This way you won’t have to buy expensive new clothes, but you can buy a few cheap patches, attach those to some of your items and ease into the new aesthetic. A skull patch on a school bag can make a bigger impact than you might think.
Probably the biggest subculture that also uses patches besides metalheads are bikers. They are use to show affiliation to certain groups, and what their rank is. These patches are to be respected. Throw a random generic patch on your jacket without knowing what it means, is usually fine. Sewing on a bandpatch without knowing the band can get some pretty annoyed reactions. But wearing patches that belong to a bikergroup/bikergang (however you want to call them), can actually get dangerous. While most bikers are super friendly, there are some groups (the 1%), that don’t take lightly of the misuse of their colours. You wouldn’t get a gang tattoo without belonging to that gang right? This has nothing to do with gatekeeping. It’s all about knowing what the things you wear mean and what the consequenses can be.
C. Represent a Movie Franchise
Another use for patches is to show off your favourite movie franchise. This is especially popular for franchises like Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and Marvel. These patches make a great gift for movie lovers to add to their collection. It’s one of those things that people often don’t think of to buy, so chances are, they don’t have it yet! Just make sure you don’t get a Star Trek item for a Star Wars lover.
D. Represent Political views
Finally, patches can be used to express political views. Some might call these morale patches. Just make sure you are comfortable to talk about your political views as you’ll be wearing yours on display when you wear these patches
With so many uses for patches, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the possibilities. It’s important to remember that patches are a great way to express your individuality. They offer a freedom to express your style and values in a way that’s unique and original. Whether you’re crafting a look that’s totally your own or joining a subculture, patches can be a great way to express yourself. So, what are you waiting for? Get patching!
III. Different Types of Band Patches
When you are looking to get a metal band patch, there are several different methods you can use. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a quick look at the four main types of band patches: A. Embroidered Patches, B. Woven Patches, C. Screen Printed Patches, D. Sublimation Patches, and E. Metal patches.
A. Embroidered Patches
Embroidered patches are one of the most popular type of band patches and are typically made by using a combination of colorful threads and fabric to create the design. Embroidered band patches are extremely durable since the thread that is used to embroider the design onto the patches is dyed through and through. This means that there won’t be a lot of loss of color over time. Embroidered band patches are best for logo’s and designs with harsh definitions. Subtle color gradients are hard to accomplish with this method. One of the most fun things about using this method is the ability to create cutout patches with a solid border.
B. Woven Patches
Woven patches are another type of band patch. Unlike embroidered patches, these patches are created by using a loom to weave thin strips of fabric into the patch design. The result is a patch that is more detailed and intricate than an embroidered patch. Woven band patches are also very durable, but are a little more prone to loss of color because the htread used is thinner. When going with this method, there is a lot more freedom in the kind of designs you want on a patch. It won’t be photorealistic, but the ability to create thin crisp lines allow for quite a bit of detail. Most album covers will translate great to a woven patch, something you can’t do with an embroidered patch. You can still create cutout patches, but these will either be of a simple shape with a solid border, or lasercut without a solid border. Lasercut patches tend to show wear and tear at the edges pretty quickly
C. Screen Printed Patches
Screen printed patches are often found in the form of backpatches. It’s a pretty simple and straightforward method. The design is printed on the patch with ink the same way as it would be printed on a t-shirt. The downside is that the design can fade a bit more quickly and needs a bit more care. The inks used for this process are also less durable, so the colors can start to fade and crack a little over time. When it comes to the shape of the screen printed patches, there is a lot of freedom. As you can print on whatever shape you can create.
D. Sublimation Patches
Then there is the sublimation patch. This type of band patch is created by using a heat press to press ink into a patch. It’s a very nice and modern way to create a patch. It’s also a pretty fast method, with near instant results. The downside is that the patch won’t be as durable as the other methods. The ink is transferred to the patch, meaning that the colors can fade a lot easier than other types of patches. The upside however is that you can get near photorealistic results. If the printer used can print it, you can press it on a patch. Shapes and sizes are pretty limited, because you need to use previously made blanks, which are made of a special material that can take the ink transfer.
E. Metal Patches
And lastly, my personal favorite kind of patch: the metal patch. While very limited in design possibilities and shapes, they are truly unique. These are made by engraving a (logo) design onto anodized aluminum plates. Since these base plates are mostly found in the size of a credit card, this is also the most common size metal patch you’ll find. While it’s technically possible to get these in all kinds of colors, simple mat black is pretty much to go to color. This will ensure that the logo will be visible, due to the silver underlay. If you were to engrave on, let’s say, yellow, the silver engraving won’t really pop. With metal patches, you shouldn’t place on an area with a lot of movement. While very sturdy, and slightly bendy, there is a limit these bad boys can take. These patches can also get scratches on them. You don’t have to be extremely carefull with them, but know it can happen.
IV. How to Wear Band Patches
Now that you know what these patches are and how they are made, let’s get to the fun part: wearing them. There is no right or wrong way to wear band patches. But there are some guidelines you should keep in mind.
A. How do you apply a band patch?
With the exeption for metal patches, we always recommend to sew on patches, even if they have an iron on backing. That way you can make sure the patch is securely attached to your garment, so you don’t have to worry about it coming off. Of course, the patch should be placed on an area of your clothing that can take the needle, but also where the needle can handle the fabric. So don’t try to sew it onto very thin fabric, or on extremely thick areas. This can either cause the fabric to rip and ruin the garment, or the needle to warp or even break. Just don’t
The metal patches are something else. We deliver these with 4 studs, as we think this is the easiest way to secure them. On thicker fabric we recommend to first punch a small hole to put the stud through. Get the patch in there and fasten the stud.
There are many more ways to apply patches, but these are the main methods we recommend
What is our issue with iron on patches?
The patches on their own aren’t really an issue, it’s when you use the iron on backing as a way to actually apply the patch. While this may seem like a good idea to quickly and easily apply patches wherever you want, it won’t be in the long run. They are a pain to remove properly, and at the same time the longevity of the application is not guaranteed. Which can leave you with a patch that is partially falling off, which will also leave residu when you actually try to take it off. It can warp the patch in the process. It’s just a mess.
B. How do I remove a band patch?
If you’ve followed our recommendations, removing the band patches is very easy. Just take a stitch remover or a small pair of scissors and cut the thread that is holding the patch in it’s place, and you’re done!
It’s even easier with the metal patches. Just unscrew the studs, et voila!
You can check out a tutorial here
Band patches can be an amazing addition to any wardrobe and can really show off your personality and style. They are also a great way to show your support for the bands you love and to represent the music you listen to. Make sure to keep in mind the guidelines we discussed here and you’ll have the perfect patches in no time!
A. In Summary
Just go and get the metal band patches you like, try to be mindful of what you are wearing (I feel like the bare minimum is at least knowing what you’re wearing and liking their vibe, no “name 3 songs” bullshit). Find a place to put them, a battle jacket is the most common place. But even just storing them somewhere and keeping them as a memento like that is perfectly fine! Take your time when applying or removing the patches to keep them in proper shape. And if patches aren’t your vibe, you can always go for stickers, metal pin badges, or any other type of metal merchandise. Besides, sometimes it’s just not a patch metal band, but shirt metal band or something like that
B. Where to Find Band Patches
No matter what kind of patches you like, there are plenty of places to find them! You can obviously get them at Savage Looks. We have a pretty insane collection and it just keeps growing. In case you can’t find what you’re looking for here, there are always websites like Etsy, eBay, and even Amazon that have a wide variety of patches that you can choose from. But going directly to the sites of the bands is also a great way to get some unique merch!