When it comes to requiring custom patches for uniforms, small batch orders are typically a huge pain in the rear. Most people instantly look into embroidered patches or the molded PVC patches since they are the most commonly seen style in use. However, there may be a different style of patch on the market that will appease those who are looking for small orders.
These patches are quite different from the ‘standards’ that are out and about. Vinyl printed patches are constructed of a PVC base that then has the image that you want to be printed on top. These particular patches were purchased from the Mutiny Shop, based off of designs that I uploaded during the ordering process.
For me, there are a few things going on and this is my personal opinion on them.
First, I like the ‘stiffness’ that these patches have. They are a little stiffer than embroidered patches that have the plastic backing and the hook velcro applied but they are still flexible.
Secondly, the hook side velcro fastener (the only option that I’ve ever purchased) is laminated to the vinyl with some form of adhesive and without any sewing border. At first, I was slightly concerned about this; the options of glue on the market are plentiful and there was the fear that cheap glue would be used. However, I purchased my first Vinyl patch from them almost 2 years ago and it gets its fair share of abuse. I have yet to see the patch separate from the velcro backing and it doesn’t seem like it will in the near future.
Third, the vinyl patches don’t wear down and get soiled like embroidered patches do. You also don’t have to worry about fading or straggly threads ruining a clean look. An additional concern that I had was that the paint/ink/pigment that they use would flake off over time and that it would look like crap. This is another thing that I haven’t seen yet with my custom patches that I had ordered.
Now, with that being said, vinyl patches are not without a con or two. Basically, I don’t see this style of patch working well with standard uniform shirts. They’ll work gear with hats, plate carriers, external armor carriers, and TRU combat uniform tops. I personally believe that they are too stiff to be used with something like a Class A/Class B uniform shirt (typically what you see on police officers/security officers) or Polos. Will they work, well yeah they will, but it might look weird and/or feel weird on lighter/thinner fabrics.
In conclusion, if you are looking for a robust patch that only costs between $6.50 – $8.50 for one; they are a very good option. I also kind of like the texture that they have.