Like an old friend, your trusty denim jacket is always there for you, but if it's seen better days - or it's just time for a change - then why not consider up-cycling it.
With some well-chosen patches you can completely transform your jacket, giving it a new lease of life. Add your stamp to this wardrobe staple and you can turn a plain jacket into a unique fashion piece.
So, how do you do it? In this blog, we look at how to create the perfect patched denim jacket.
Picking the patches for your denim jacket
The first step to creating a patched denim jacket is, of course, to find the right patches.
If you've already got a vision for the theme of your jacket, then start by putting together a mood board to collate your ideas.
Choosing woven patches that mean something to you is a great way to inject personality into your design, but if you need inspiration, then big fashion houses are a great place to look.
When Gucci released their own line of customisable jackets in 2016, everyone wanted to get their hands on their jungle-inspired sew-on patches. Nearly six years on, their exotic flowers and tigers are still popular emblems for jackets.
Ralph Lauren and Dolce Gabbana also have a line of patched denim jackets that you can use to gather ideas for your own.
For something less mainstream, try your local charity shops and independent online stores. These places are great for one-off embroidered patches that you won't find anywhere else.
Another way to customise your jacket is to add a word or inspirational quote across the back that brings together the theme of your jacket. You can buy the letters individually or cut them out yourself from a length of material.
Tips for creating your patched denim jacket
Once you've gathered enough patches, you can begin to think about where you're going to put them on your jacket.
If you're using lettering in your design, find a space for this first then move on to your patches. We recommend starting with the biggest patch and working your way down in size.
Small patches are ideal for filling any obvious gaps, but if you've still got room, you can go one step further and add a few pin badges.
If you like pin badges as much as us, you might also enjoy reading our blog on the history of enamel pins.
Position your patches with tacking pins to check you're happy with the overall look before you sew them on. If you're not handy with a needle and thread, look for patches that can be ironed on instead.
Our range of woven, iron-on patches are easy to use – and completely foolproof. All you need is an iron, an ironing board, and a thin piece of fabric (a pillowcase or a damp tea towel will do).
Step-by-step instructions for ironing on patches
Put your iron on its highest setting and leave it to heat up.
Lay out your jacket on the ironing board, then put your patch in place with the adhesive side facing down.
Place your fabric over the patch to protect the patch.
Press your iron against the fabric with the patch underneath and hold (refer to the instructions that come with your patch for exact timings).
Finally, turn your jacket inside-out, and iron it in roughly the same spot as you put the patch.
Like a piece of artwork that's never finished, you can keep adding new and interesting patches to your jacket as you discover them. After a few months or years, you'll have a unique item that even Gucci can't replicate.
Of course, if you can’t wait that long and want a true piece of wearable art to blow the budget, then we have a collection of vintage Levis jackets with embroidered message motifs ready to go.
What else can you add a woven patch to?
If you've caught the bug for customising clothing, then it might be time to branch out from your denim jacket and try something new.
Try adding patches to these items to create something completely unique:
trainers or sneakers
cotton tote bags
It's a great way to inspire confidence – and best of all, no one has to know it's there.
We also have a range of woven patches with Latin mottos and Japanese emblems that are ideal for customising everything from your favourite jeans to your trusty denim jacket.