Looking for tips on securing iron-on patches that won’t stick? Here’s how I secured a few of mine. This post contains affiliate links which, when purposed through, add no cost to the consumer, but help support this site with a small commission.
Like most convenience items, iron-on patches are excellent….when they work. If you’ve discovered this post, then it is probably because you have a pesky iron-on patch that just plain won’t stick. Maybe it did for a while. Maybe a portion of it is secure while the other half hangs on precariously. Maybe your kid picked the edge of it mindlessly in class for two weeks.
Iron-on patches have an adhesive that allows them to stick to fabric when activated by heat. If the heat is too low or even too high, the patch won’t get a secure “stick.” Sometimes, it looks like it adhered perfectly, but it comes out of the washing machine or comes home from school otherwise. Once the heat activated glue on the back of the patch has been heated and gone through the washing machine, it is not able to be re-activated. One thought is to hand-sew the patches. Depending on how the patch is made, this doesn’t always work. The backing on the patch and the way the patch is woven may prevent a hand sewing needle from being effective and, in some cases, may even ruin the patch.
I recently had this problem with two patches on a few sweaters for my boys. I had adhered them on with what I thought was proper technique, but after a few days at school and a run through the washing machine, the patches were barely hanging on. Here’s how I fixed them to get them to finally “stick.”
#1 Apply re-adhesive.
I picked this product up at a local big box store, but it is available at arts and crafts stores, as well. It acts as a glue to serve as a re-adhesive for the patch.
A few tips when applying:
- Follow the directions on the product. I specifically used the one in the photo here. There are several fabric glue products on the market, each with variations in application instructions. Be sure to follow the directions carefully.
- Place an old piece of fabric underneath the fabric where the patch will be attached. This is to prevent the fabric glue from seeping in to any fabric underneath.
#2 Appropriate heat
Getting the right amount of heat and pressure can be challenging.
When I first bought the iron-on patches, I purchased three patches and three sweaters. I wanted to see how the patch would hold up, so I did a trial with one of the patches and one sweater. I used my Cricut Mini to adhere the patch. This patch did not come off. After seeing how well this patch did over a period of a week, I attached the other two patches to the other two sweaters. This time, I used a regular home iron, assuming that I would see the same results. These two patches are the ones that did not adhere properly.
In hindsight, I kicked myself for not using my Cricut Mini for all of the sweaters. But I learned a valuable lesson in the process. Home irons are excellent for ironing clothes, but when doing any sort of crafts or iron-on projects, they fall short in two areas: pressure and even heat. Iron-on projects need both pressure and even heat. With the Cricut Mini or any of the other products in the Cricut EasyPress line, there is even heat all throughout the heating plate, unlike a traditional home iron where the heat may vary across the heating plate. The Cricut Mini has an ergonomic handle that allows me to have firm pressure to secure iron-on projects.
The Liquid Stitch product that I used to re-adhere the patch calls for heat activation. I used my Cricut Mini on this step to give the patch the correct heat and pressure to help the patch “stick” for good.
If you adhere several iron-on patches, I recommend checking out the Cricut EasyPress line as a product to help with these projects.
By using the Liquid Stitch and the Cricut Mini on the two loose patches, I secured them correctly the second time around. I completed this three weeks ago, and I have had no issue with the patches….washing machine cycles, kids’ school days, and all.