Fashion is something many people are fond off on many different levels. While some people preach the “passion for fashion” motto others are more discrete with their likings, but they all are aware of it. Although, there is almost no consistency in the fashion world with all the emerging trends, one trend that stands out and seems to be –somewhat- consistent would be the patch trend.
Patches are added onto clothing and other possessions to make them custom pieces. They come in a diverse variety so individuals can use them as a tool for self-expression without having to utter words. Patches have made a strong comeback into the fashion world, but no one is quite sure about how patches earned all their fame. Since they are a celebrated fashion statement, it is important to be aware of how they came into being.
History of Patches
A cloth badge also referred to as a patch is commonly a piece of cloth that has exotic embroidery on it that can be attached to a fabric with a pin or sewed on. As time has gone on, different methods of attaching these patches have been introduced. These newer, more modern methods are attaching them with a Velcro, adhesive or ironing on. Modernization and technology have taken art and turned it into a product of mass production.
Embroidered patches were introduced many years ago as they were seen as an important way of identifying for the military and others who wore uniforms. Since then, they have been used on military uniforms and other uniforms as a source of identification. They are also used by the government, sports teams, and companies to distinguish the different units, positions, and ranks.
Military patches have symbolic meanings behind them. The color and the images used in these patches are most commonly representations of the qualities a soldier should have. The gold in military patches is a representation of generosity, white is a representation of peace, and green and blue are representations of loyalty. The commonly used animals —tigers, elephants, and lions—are all representations of courage. For a long time, military patches were only worn by people in the military, but now, a product like this is worn as a fashion accessory.
The common reason for people wearing patches, back in the day, was to hide holes in clothing or as labeling tools. However, this perception about patches has drastically changed over time and now they are worn as a fashion accessory.
Revival of Patches
Back in the early 60s, the youth was on the streets, protesting against the war taking place in Vietnam. At the time, protesting was loud and –somewhat- violent, but during the mid-60s, a new way of protesting was introduced. The younger generation was now using patches, flower head bands, and peace signs as means of protest. They were considered to being idealists who were using empathy and love to overcome a tough time. Soon after, this movement spread widely across the globe and was started to being recognized as a trend. That is when the hippie movement began. The movement was not about morals anymore, but it was concentrated towards fashion.
Hippies used to get second-hand military uniforms and would decorate them with these patches. The patches were made with peace-promoting signs that were iconic for the movement. However, these patches and the designs on them were seen as radical and satirical. Since then, the military has greatly influenced fashion as well.
In the early 80’s, the way patches were being made began to evolve. Although, they were signifying the same thing, they have a new outlook. By this time, the hippie culture was turning into the punk movement. All the pretty sunflowers, peace signs and hearts were now turning into chains and spikes. The light and bright colors were changing into darker and duller ones because everyone was done with the whole “kill ‘em with kindness” thing.
This fashion trend started to spread to Europe and the United Kingdom. Designers like Jean Paul Gautier and Viviane Westwood were getting inspired and started the “anti-fashion” trend. Punks started rocking patches that signified their favorite bands on the back of their blazers or on the shoulder of their leather jacket or on the front of their denim vests. Clothes were the only things that were making bold statements. Since they were being worn a lot, people started using affordable materials like safety pins and dental floss to secure the patches in place.
Another trend that became popular in the 80s was of heavy metal. The key elements of this fashion were long hair, all black clothes, and leather jackets with patches. They also wore band tees, and denim vests drenched in patches along with the iconic spiked wristbands. The band tees often showed the interest of the metal head lover. The signs and symbols made on the front of the shirts showed what was going on in the viewer’s mind.
For a long time now, patches have been popular amongst all age groups. Recently, Gucci and Marc Jacobs have released collections that consist of patches as well. The big idea behind these new designer collections was that patches should have an essence of identity that each individual posses. Whether it is social events or political matters, everyone has their own style and preference and how they want to show it off.
Although, original patches that were made are the kind that are stitched onto clothes, but the newer patches are Velcro or iron ons. This means they have an adhesive at the back of the patch that is attached to the fabric with a hot iron. This is an easy way of placing patches onto clothing, which could be another reason why they are so highly adored.
Choose Your Style
Patches can be placed anywhere on your clothing or accessories. They are fun to wear and attention grabbing. Since they have made such a powerful impact, it is something you should give a try to as well!