Anyone can wear a custom embroidered patch if they choose
The dictionary may define a patch as 'a small organizational or affiliational emblem of cloth sewn to one's jacket, shirt, cap, etc.' But that doesn't begin to cover the reality of the custom embroidered patch. The patch is a symbol, not just of an organization but of a sense of belonging, a group identity, a statement that one is not alone in the universe. It answers a longing as old as humankind.
The custom embroidered patch may be only a small piece of cloth, but it brings people together. Some would say that's giving a simple piece of embroidery too much credit. But there's no denying that custom embroidered patches can foster team and group unity among colleagues.
Embroidered patches began as a way for military members to recognize each other. Military patches have evolved over the years and each U.S. military branch, unit and division now has its own patch, a way to identify specific organizations and their purpose.
Custom embroidered patches are a quick way to determine rank within an organization. Police, firefighters and other emergency workers also wear patches to help fellow officers or civilians quickly identify them.
Motorcycle clubs also use custom embroidered patches as a major part of their identification. As a rule, these patches are hard-won and something the wearer treasures for a lifetime.
Even NASA astronauts have designed patches for their missions. For a time, each mission had its own custom embroidered patch. Since the tragic Apollo 1 launch pad fire in 1967 that killed astronauts Virgil 'Gus' Grissom, Roger Chaffee and Ed White, the patches have been silk screened onto flame-retardant cloth instead of embroidered.
Businesses employ custom embroidered patches too, often as a means to identify employees. The patch becomes part of the uniform that employees wear, and a visible link to the employer. If the patch bears the business logo, it can promote the business to the public.
With today's computer-controlled embroidery machines, custom embroidered patches are a cost-effective, highly visible way to make a statement.