Selling pre-made custom patches can be an easy and profitable type of business. Organizations or agencies can use custom patches to identify themselves, to promote an idea, or to commemorate an activity. Merchandise for fans of movies, books, bands, sports teams or TV shows is all the rage nowadays. Fans are always eager to display their love for pop culture, and patches are another way to do this. Another target market is the community of patch collectors.
These embroidered pieces of fabric can be ordered and customized quickly online, and can be ordered in bulk (minimum order depends on the website). But before one starts selling pre-made patches, one must get to know the manufacturing process.
Custom patches are made by cutting out a fabric backing. The edges of this backing are heat-sealed to prevent fraying. After this backing is made, the design is stitched on. Depending on the design, the whole backing can be covered with embroidery or the backing can be part of the design. The amount of embroidery used will affect the cost of the finished patch. After the design is stitched on, an attachment is added to the back of the patch. This attachment can be an iron-on adhesive, a Velcro strip, or a dryer heat-activated adhesive. The simplest kind of custom patches are those that are sewn onto the garment.
Custom patches used to be painstakingly sewn by hand. After the introduction of the Schifflli embroidery machine in the nineteenth century, patches became easier and faster to make. This also resulted in better embroidery. Today, technology continues to improve the process of creating patches. Images are reproduced onto the patches with more accuracy. Computer-controlled multi-head sewing machines improve efficiency by using several colors of thread at the same time.
A recent advancement in the making of patches is applying a plastic backing to them. The plastic backing improves stiffness, making the patch last longer. Other advancements in patch-making are the use of die-cutting and serge stitching. Die-cutting produces accurately-cut, uniform shapes for the backing of the patch, while serge stitching prevents the threads of the design from unraveling.
Due to all of this new technology, making patches is easier and faster. The results are much better as well. One can easily set up a patch-selling business and profit quickly from it. After acquiring some capital, a reliable Internet connection, and canvassing for a reliable patch-making website with reasonable prices, all that is left to do is get customers and design ideas. to order patches, re-seller needs to select the size, the amount of embroidery, and the kind of attachment for the patches. Ten two-inch patches can cost as little as $8.00, depending on the patch-making company, the amount of embroidery used, and the number of thread colors used in the design.
Patch designs can be uploaded to the patch-making website in digital art form or in the form of a scanned drawing. For the less-artsy seller or for those who only intend to sell but not design patches, some patch-making websites offer designing services.
Some patch-making websites ship the patches for free, though this can vary from company to company. The whole process—from choosing a style and getting a design done—can be done from the comfort of one’s home, and manufacturing and delivery can take as short as two weeks. Everything from taking orders, designing patches for the end-users, and having them made can be done from home, thanks to the Internet and social media.
Truly, re-selling or pre-designing patches can be a pretty cool and very convenient way to work from home.