Guide: Sewing Custom Patches on Hats

Written by Robin Brown on May 25, 2023
Hats have long been a fashionable accessory for practical and style purposes. Custom patches on hats add a unique touch. It allows individuals to express their creativity, brand affiliation, or personal statements.

Whether you want to personalize a hat or embark on a small business venture doesn't matter. Sewing custom patches on hats can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. We'll provide step-by-step instructions and valuable tips for sewing custom hat patches.

In this tutorial, we will explore various aspects of the process. We will determine the required tools and materials, such as needles and thread. Also, we will address common challenges that may arise during the process. And we will offer troubleshooting solutions.

By following the guide, you'll get the skills to add patches to a hat confidently. And you will transform them into personalized works of art. So, let's dive in and unlock the secrets of creating eye-catching and stylish headwear!
add patch to hat

Tips to Sewing Patches on Hats Without Sewing Machine

Pinning patches on hats without a sewing machine can be a challenging task, especially for beginners. Without the help of a machine, there are common mistakes people often make. But don't be afraid! This article is here to help you avoid these pitfalls and achieve successful results.

In this block, we will address the common mistakes people make. And we will provide valuable tips to rectify them.

By highlighting mistakes and offering practical solutions, our article aims to empower readers with the knowledge and techniques necessary to overcome these challenges.

With our expert tips and instructions, you can learn:

How to put a patch on a hat.
How to select the right tools.
How to properly position patches.
How to maintain consistent tension.
How to reinforce stitches effectively.

You will be well-equipped to pin patches on hats by hand with confidence. And your hats wil be professional-looking!

1. Choose the Right Needle

Selecting the appropriate needle is crucial. Opt for a sharp needle with a small eye that can easily pass through the fabric without causing damage. A thin needle is ideal for delicate fabrics. At the same time, a thicker needle may be good for heavier materials like canvas or denim.

2. Use Strong Thread

Ensure you use a strong and durable thread for sewing patches on hats. Polyester or nylon threads are good choices as they resist wear and tear. Avoid using weak or fraying threads that may compromise the patch's longevity.

3. Knot the Thread

To start sewing patches on hats, make a small knot at the end of the thread to secure it. This will prevent the thread from slipping through the fabric as you sew. You can double the thread for added strength. You can do it by threading both ends through the needle, then knotting them together.

4. Secure the Patch Placement

Before working without a sewing machine, carefully position the patch on the hat and secure it with pins or fabric clips. Ensure it’s centered and aligned with the hat's design. This step will help you maintain accuracy. And it prevents the textile from shifting during the process.

5. Basting Technique

Consider using the hand-basting technique. It's to temporarily hold the patch in place before sewing patches on hats permanently. Basting involves making long, loose stitches around the edges of the patch. This allows any necessary adjustments to the patch's placement or alignment. You can do it before committing to permanent stitches.

6. Whipstitching

Whipstitching is one of the most common techniques for attaching hat patches without a sewing machine. Start by inserting the needle from the underside of the patch. Then bring it through the hat fabric and back up through the patch. Repeat this whipstitch motion around the patch's edges to secure it firmly. Ensure your stitches are evenly spaced and snug.

7. Backstitching for Reinforcement

Backstitching adds extra strength and durability to the hat with the patch. After whipstitching a few stitches, insert the needle back through the previous stitch from the front to the back, creating a small backstitch. Continue whipstitching. And periodically add backstitches for additional security, especially in areas that may experience more tension or stress.

8. Stitching in Layers

The patch can have many layers or intricate designs. For this, consider stitching through each layer separately. This technique will prevent the patch from puckering or looking bulky. Take your time and ensure you sew through all layers evenly and securely.

9. Test for Durability

Once you've finished, gently tug it to ensure it’s securely attached. If it feels loose, reinforce the stitches. Or add extra stitches to the hat patch for increased durability. Testing the patch's strength helps prevent it from coming loose or detaching prematurely.

10. Finishing Touches and Cleanup

After adding a patch to the hat , make a knot on the inside of the hat and trim any excess thread. Check for any loose stitches or areas that may need reinforcement. Use a fabric marker or pen to remove any visible basting stitches. This final step will give your patch a clean and polished appearance.

Remember, practice makes perfect. If you're new to the process, start with simpler designs. It's to refine your technique. With patience and attention to detail, you can stitch patches on hats without a sewing machine. And you will create personalized, stylish headwear.
hat patch sewing machine

How To Sew a Patch on a Hat Using a Sewing Machine?

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to put a patch on a hat:

1. Prepare your materials. Gather the hat, patch and its proper size, sewing machine, matching thread, and appropriate needle.
2. Position the patch. Determine the desired placement of the patch on the hat. Pin or secure it to ensure it doesn't shift.
3. Thread the machine. Wind the bobbin with the matching thread color and thread the machine with the same thread.
4. Set up the machine. Adjust the stitch length and tension according to your preference and the fabric.
5. Test the stitches. Perform a test run on scrap fabric. It's to ensure the machine stitches properly, and the tension is correct.
6. Sew the patch. Place the hat without a patch under the sewing machine's presser foot. Begin stitching from one side of the patch, following its edges. Work along the perimeter using straight, zigzag, or decorative stitches.
7. Reinforce the edges. Make a second row of stitches along the patch's edges. It's to reinforce the attachment and improve durability.
8. Trim excess threads. Cut any excess thread once you've completed it.

Remember to consult manuals for specific instructions and settings.


Now you know how to put a patch on a hat. Sewing patches without a machine may seem challenging. But with the right techniques and attention to detail, you can get excellent results. Whether you don't have access to a machine or prefer the traditional hand-sewing method, the following tips will help you successfully add patches to the hat by hand.


What is the best sewing technique for patches?

Two commonly used techniques are whipstitching and backstitching. Whipstitching involves stitching around the patch's edges. While backstitching adds reinforcement with backward stitches.

Is it hard to sew a patch on a hat?

Sewing a patch on a hat can be a moderately challenging task, especially if you're new to sewing or working with delicate fabrics. But it's achievable for most individuals with patience, practice, and the right techniques. Taking the time to prepare the hat surface properly.

How effective are sew-on patches?

Sew-on patches are highly effective when sewn properly. Sew-on patches can provide a secure and durable attachment to hats. The stitches help hold the patch firmly in place. It ensures it remains intact even with regular use. Sew-on patches also offer flexibility. They can be easily removed or repositioned if desired.

Can you wash sewn-on patches?

Yes, you can wash hats with sewn-on patches. But following the care instructions is essential. Generally, sewn-on patches can withstand gentle hand washing. Or you can use machine washing on a delicate cycle. Turn the hat inside before washing to protect the patch, and use a mild detergent.
Article written by Robin Brown
Robin Brown is part of the content team at Vivipins where he develops resources to help customers start and grow their own businesses.
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