Caroline Jones and Marie Brown of GS UK explain how embroiderers can create a heat-applied badge without buying additional equipment

Badges or patches can be a common request for many embroidery companies. They are extensively used in the sports, schoolwear, healthcare, workwear and hospitality industries, as well as in retail as a fashion accessory to embellish and add value to a garment. They are also the perfect solution for adding an embroidery decoration to an existing garment or product where direct embroidery may be difficult or impossible. Needless to say, there are many different options available to create embroidered badges including laser cutting, which is ideal when creating badges that have a more complex outline. Die-cutting is a more traditional method that uses specialist equipment and is often preferred when large quantities of badges are required. However, in this step-by-step guide, we are going to cover how to create and apply a badge easily in-house using only the tools your business already owns plus a household iron.

Step by step: How to make a heat-applied badge

(1) Frame up the appliqué fabric you wish to use as the background to your badge. In this example we have used white Badge Twill fabric. Embroider the whole badge design apart from the final satin stitch border; instead, embroider a running stitch ‘mark-out line’ where the extents of the badge are required. The satin stitch to finish othe edge of the badge will eventually be stitched on top of this running line

(2) Once the embroidery has finished, use scissors to cut out the badge shape following the black running stitch mark-out line. Next, frame up a piece of Solvy 80 Ultra – this is a heavyweight soluble film that dissolves when it comes into contact with water. It is ideal for creating badges or freestanding lace designs. Embroider the same running stitch mark-out line that was used around the extents of the design

(3) Use some temporary adhesive fabric spray such as KK100 on the back of the badge and place into position on top of the running stitch mark-out line

(4) Embroider the satin stitch border edge around the patch

(5) Remove the frame from the embroidery machine and pull away the badge from the Solvy 80 Ultra. Any Solvy 80 Ultra residue can be removed with a damp sponge

(6) To apply the badge to the garment use a product such as BSN thermo film, which will permanently bond embroideries, patches and emblems without sewing. Cut out a piece of BSN to fit the entire back of the badge. Place it smooth side down so that the side facing up is the paper side. Peel away the paper backing – the badge is now ready to be applied to the garment

(7) BSN H thermo film was used in this step-by-step and so can be applied with an iron (if BSN J is used then apply the badge with a heat press). The badge will need ironing on the front and the reverse. It can also be worth ironing or heat pressing the garment prior to the BSN application as then any fabric finishes will vaporise and ensure a permanent bonding

(8) Full adhesiveness of BSN will be achieved after 48 hours, at which point the garment will be ready to wear