How to Sew Patches on Leather

You can attach a patch to leather jackets, vests, or hats by hand sewing or machine sewing. How to sew patches on leather requires an extra sharp needle due to the thickness and toughness of leather.

Tools and MaterialsHow to Sew Patches on Leather

  • Needle rated for leather work
  • Needle threader (optional)
  • Sewing machine (if machine sewing)
  • 100% polyester thread
  • Tape, spray adhesive, or pins
  • Scissors

How to Sew Patches on Leather by Hand

  1. Use masking or scotch tape to secure the patch temporarily to your leather garment.
  2. Make a loop with a 3 or 4-inch piece of tape.
  3. Put the tape loop on the back of the patch.
  4. Stick the patch on the leather clothing.
  5. Alternatively, you can use a spray adhesive to stick on the patch.
  6. Cut about 18 inches of 100% polyester thread.
  7. Thread your needle.
  8. Pull about one-third of the thread through the eye.
  9. Tie a knot at the end of the thread.
  10. Start inside the clothing and push the needle upward through the leather and into the patch.
  11. Pull the thread all the way through until the knot stops it.
  12. Stick the needle through the patch about 1/8 to 1/4 inches away from your starting point.
  13. Push the needle through the patch and back through the leather. This forms your first stitch.
  14. Continue making stitches of equal size around the edge of the patch.
  15. Before you stitch the entire perimeter, pull out the tape (if you used tape).
  16. Continue stitching until you reach the first stitch.
  17. Push the needle through to the inside of the garment.
  18. To make a knot, slide the needle under a stitch and pull it through until a small loop of thread remains.
  19. Pull the needle through the loop to form a knot.
  20. Repeat the knotting process twice to make a strong knot.
  21. Trim the thread.

How to Sew Patches on Leather With a Sewing Machine

  1. Select a sewing machine with a leather setting on its controls. This setting optimizes the needle and thread tension for working with leather.
  2. Wind a bobbin with 100% polyester thread.
  3. Load 100% polyester thread through the machine and needle.
  4. With tape or adhesive spray, secure your patch on the leather garment. Alternatively, you may use straight pins or safety pins to hold the patch in place.
  5. Position the patch and garment face up beneath the sewing machine needle.
  6. Lower the needle through the edge of the patch.
  7. Lower the pressure foot to hold the patch next to the needle.
  8. Place a hand on each side of the patch out of the way of the needle.
  9. Press the foot pedal to activate the motor.
  10. Gently feed the patch toward the needle as the motor runs.
  11. Guide the patch so that the stitching stays close to its edge.
  12. Slow down the motor to turn the patch to stitch curves.
  13. On a patch with square corners, stop the machine when you reach a corner.
  14. With the needle penetrating the patch, lift the pressure foot.
  15. Turn the patch and garment until the needle is lined up with the new edge.
  16. Continue sewing.
  17. Remove pins or tape as you stitch around the edges.
  18. When you reach where you started stitching, sew over the first stitches by about 1/4 inch.
  19. Put the machine in reverse and stitch backward for about 1/4 inch.
  20. Trim your threads.

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