Hi everyone, time for me to make another good article on biker leather! Today I’ll talk about how to put on a patch for your leather jacket. By patch I mean any kind of logo, picture or saying made to go on leather jackets. Now before you ever put on a patch, think long and hard if you really want it on there. Just like a tattoo, it seems like a good idea at the time, but you might change your mind later.
Now you might think well, if I don’t like it I can always just take it off right? Yes, but the only really good way to put a patch on a leather jacket is to sew it on. I know some places say you can find glue to put your patch on, but there always seems to be a problem with that. So many glues discolor the leather.
Or they often start coming off a few months down the road, or if you try to take it off, it takes the leather with it! So I’m not going to recommend you glue it on. If you do fine, but remember, I told you so! So that leaves the other way, which is to sew it on. If you sew it on, the holes the needle make are there forever.
So if you take off the patch, you’ll have a nice hole pattern where the patch was! If you know for sure you want a logo or something on your leather jacket, I would get it airbrushed on. But, lets say you really want a patch on your leather jacket and know your going to keep it on forever, okay fine then.
Leather jacket patches come in all sizes, shapes and colors. The most common ones are large ones in the center of the back, shoulder patches and front lapel patches. But you can put them anywhere. Trust me, fewer patches look better. You don’t want to look like the bumper of an RV with stickers showing they’ve been in all 50 states!
So let’s say you found one you want and are ready to sew it on. First, if you have a removable liner you want to take it out. The thread should be 100% nylon or 100% polyester with no cotton in it at all. Cotton reacts to the tannin found in leather after it has been tanned and will rot. Most thread has cotton in it, so make sure you get thread that has none in it.
Try to get thread that matches the color of the boarder of the patch, or clear thread. You also need a heavy duty needle and a thimble. Nothing hurts quite like shoving a needle end under your fingernail, so get a thimble! The most common problem is the inside liner, often a nylon layer that is loose fitting and moves with your body inside the leather jacket.
If it’s not a big job to do, remove some stitching on the lining so you can run your hand under it so when you sew on the patch you can keep from sewing through the lining. But if you can’t, try to keep the lining smooth and centered so it does not bind or tear when you put it on and start moving around.
The best way I’ve found to hold a leather jacket patch in place until you’ve made some stitches around it is use common scotch tape looped around so it’s double sided. Stick that on the back of the patch and press it tight. Then once you’ve stitched 1/3 of the way around reach under and pull the tape off.
Everyone has their own way of making stitches, so I’m not going to say that any one way is right or wrong. I myself like to loop the thread over the edge of the patch, rather than having it all flat around the edge on the inside of the patch. One thing you should do is both start and end the threading from the inside of the leather jacket.
That way any knots and ties you make are not seen from the outside. I keep each stitch very close, that way it’s less likely to come loose or get caught and ripped. Of course that also puts more holes in the leather, you can’t have everything! That’s pretty much it for how to put on patches on leather jackets. Most leather shops carry hundreds of different patches for leather jackets, enjoy!