Patches in Different Eras

Every day, you meet people from all walks of life. You come across people of different occupations – police officers, students, company employees, and many more. While you might not know them personally, there is a common thing that they share – uniforms that have stitched or embossed pieces of fabric that show the logos of the institution they belong to or their names. These pieces of cloth are more popularly known as patches.

To begin with, a patch is a piece of printed or embroidered fabric that is usually attached onto another piece of fabric. Methods can be by using adhesives, by sewing, or in modern times, by using Velcro. Long before, a patch is used to cover torn or ripped parts of a clothing. Furthermore, members of a community or organization sometimes use a patch for identification purposes. The patch of their company logo is usually attached to the upper left part of a t-shirt.

This article from will narrate the purpose of a patch in different eras in history.


The Beginning

Historians say that the use of a patch as an ornament in the everyday clothing of people began in India, South America, and China many centuries ago. However, a patch was used as a fine piece of art. The mentioned places also brought about the birth of thread stitching, which was primarily used to attach fancy pieces of fabric onto the coats and robes of royal people. Additionally, these cloths were considered sacred in various religions, because these were religious relics that symbolized the beliefs of the followers.

The Military

However, history shows that it is in the 1800s when the very first embroidered patches were made in order to identify the rankings and units of the soldiers. Before the invention of it, there was no formal and official way of identification among military personnel. History recognizes the British Army as the very first institution that honored the military positions and units of the officials by using an embroidered patch.


The army of the United States followed suit and during the Civil War, a patch on the shoulder of a soldier’s uniform became a common thing. When World War Two ended, this practice spread rapidly around the world. Today, officials from the lowest to the highest rank have an attached embroidered patch onto his or her uniform.

The Hippies

In the 1960’s, during the Vietnam War, numerous protesters coming from the young generation had filled the streets of the United States. With the use of streamers, posters, banners, and flowers, they voiced out their desires for peace instead of war. In line with this, they brought with them customized patches with the message “Love and Peace” embedded on these.

The Hippies, a group of young men and women reinvented the idea of fashion in the 1969 music fest called Woodstock. Together with the shift from the traditional tailor-made clothes to the military uniforms and denims, the Hippies had sewn badges of love and peace as a sign of protest against the Vietnam War. They also stitched a customized patch onto their bags, caps, and head bands. This movement quickly spread throughout the world and soon enough, most of the young people coming from their generation have been influenced.

The Punks

However, as trends go, the Hippies’ time had ended when the Vietnam War protests died down. The “Love and Peace” protesters were soon replaced by the young generation who voiced out their radical opinions in rough and brusque manners. These people are known as the Punks.

The Punks’ denim uppers and leather jackets took the place of the Hippies’ military uniforms and denim pants. Nonetheless, their use of customized patches continued to spread. The only difference in the use of patch between the Hippies and the Punks is that the latter embedded the labels of their favorite rock bands contrary to the former’s love and peace theme.

Modern Day

Today, these embroidered pieces of fabric continue to be used in conducting peaceful rallies, in repairing ripped garments, in supporting an organization, and more. Additionally, this piece of fabric opened new doors for entrepreneurs. The small piece of cloth has come a long way. From being a fine piece of art to the Punks, it has a rich history that continues to evolve until now.

The company Patches4Less can become your partner when it comes to printing out high-quality and durable patches. Whether it is because you belong in a military unit, an organization, a fan club, or because you just want to have your own customized patch, Patches4Less will not fail you. For more information, visit now.


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