Embroidered patches are a great way to show belonging
Embroidered patches originally were a way for military members to recognize each other and render the proper customs and courtesies. Today, each U.S. military branch, unit and division has its own patch, a way to identify specific organizations and their purpose.
The identification function is a major part of embroidered patch use. For example, you're immediately able to recognize a person wearing a patch bearing the logo of the city police department as a police officer. During potentially dangerous incidents, this information can be critical for both fellow officers and civilians. If an officer is giving you instructions, you can quickly see by the embroidered patch that you should follow those instructions.
Embroidery as an art form dates back thousands of years. Modern machine embroidery became feasible only within the past 150 years or so, and only really took off with the advent of computer-controlled embroidery machines in the last 25 years or so.
Machine embroidered patches are durable, affordable and can be created quickly. Computer graphic artists can design a custom patch and send it to the factory electronically, speeding up production time to get your patches delivered in a timely fashion.
Embroidered patches are available with a variety of backing materials to suit specific purposes. The standard backing is a twill surface, ready to be sewn onto any garment. Plastic backing adds extra sturdiness to the standard backing.
Iron-on backing allows easy installation of embroidered patches in only seconds. Velcro backing is especially popular with military units, and is ideal if you need patches that can be removed and reapplied. Tape backing is perfect for temporary and short-term applications, where patches need to be removable.
Embroidered patch backing affect the border style. A merrowed border, hand-stitched onto a patch, is the standard type. A laser hot cut border allows for a flat appearance and is necessary for some types and shapes of patches.