How to Easily Attach a Velcro Patch to Your Backpack 

 May 25, 2023

By  Keith Terrell

Many of us can relate to the challenge of proudly displaying our loyalty to our favorite sports team or military branch, regardless of where we go. However, with limited space on backpack straps, caps, and lapel pins, it can be difficult to showcase our passion. Fortunately, Velcro patches provide a solution to this problem. 

To attach a Velcro patch to a backpack, prepare the two surfaces — the surface of the backpack and the Velcro. Then use the hook side of the Velcro to attach it to the already existing loop side of the backpack.

With a Velcro patch, you can easily embroider your logo, message, or insignia onto any bag, jacket, or other looped surface.If you're interested in taking your backpack game to the next level, read on to learn how to attach a Velcro patch without needing to use a sewing needle. Let's get started!

Attaching Velcro Patches to Backpacks

Attaching Velcro patches to backpacks is a simple task for most. All you need is a patch and a backpack, along with some pressure or heat. Many are divided when it comes to deciding which kind of attention sticks best — pressure or heat?

On the one hand, some feel that the plasters these days are designed in such a way that they usually only need to be attached by manual pressure. This means you do not need an iron or any additional heat. By simply pressing on the patch with your fingers and thumb, you should be able to attach the patch in seconds.

On the contrary, others believe that for a strong and lasting attachment, it's crucial to apply heat to the patch, as this allows the glue to bond effectively with the backpack material. You can achieve this by using an iron or a hair dryer to ensure that the patch is fully sealed and securely attached. However, it's essential to be cautious as excessive heat can damage both your bag and patches. Therefore, it's advisable to use a specialized iron designed for patchwork, rather than a regular clothes iron, and regulate the temperature accordingly.

There are pros and cons when it comes to deciding whether you prefer to use pressure rather than heat heat or vice versa when attaching Velcro patches onto bags. Although it may seem like a trivial decision at first glance, a fully attached patch that will not peel off is essential if you want to make sure you still have enough space on your backpack in case you want to add more designs later.

Now that you have decided which method is best for you, let’s talk about how to properly prepare the patch and the backpack before you attempt to attach it.

Preparing the Patch and Backpack for Attachment

Preparing the patch and backpack for attachment is an important step that should not be overlooked when attaching a Velcro patch or any other type of badge to a bag. The surface of the patch and backpack must be clean and dry to ensure a strong bond. For the glue to adhere effectively, it's important to prepare the surface of your backpack where the patch will be placed. 

Start by using a damp cloth to wipe down the area, and if necessary, lightly sand the surface with fine-grit sandpaper, then wipe away any excess dust with a cloth. It's also crucial to clean the patch's application surface to ensure a secure bond between the surfaces.

Depending on the type of patch you're using, it may be beneficial to apply a layer of craft glue, such as fabric glue, before attaching the patch. By following these steps, you'll increase your chances of achieving optimal adhesion and prevent the patch from falling off easily.

The debate about attaching Velcro patches with adhesive or sewing has been around for many years, but recent studies show that using adhesive-assisted Velcro patches is just as reliable as sewing them on by hand. Several consumer trials on items attached with self-adhesive backing showed promising results, which far surpassed those of traditionally sewn patches.

In addition, the use of adhesive has been proven to be much quicker and easier than sewing as no thread or needles are required for application. Also, when used correctly, it bonds two materials together just as strongly as sewing by hand does. As such, many hobbyists prefer this practical method instead of doing the time-consuming procedure of sewing patches onto backpacks or other items by hand.

Knowing how to best prepare both application surfaces and what type of construction material works best will ensure optimal performance when attaching Velcro patches to backpacks or other items. Knowing the difference between glue and sewing makes it easy to choose which method is best for your needs and time frame.

Now that you have all the necessary supplies, have properly prepped both surfaces, and decided whether to use glue or sew your patch on, it's time to discuss which method is better: gluing vs. sewing and pinning.

Glue vs. Sewing and Pinning

After preparing the patch and backpack for attachment, you can choose between different methods. Two of the most popular methods for attaching patches are using glue or sewing on a Velcro patch. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, depending on preference, situation, and material.

If you opt for gluing only, less skill or preparation is required as it is quick and easy. All you need to do is apply a thin layer of fabric glue to the back of the patch, stick it to the desired area of the bag and press it down. However, this method can leave residue if not applied properly and it can weaken over time due to water or sunlight.

The more traditional option is to sew or pin on a Velcro patch. This requires some time and skill as you need to measure boundaries of the patch and use a suitable needle to match the material of the patch. One advantage of this method is that it is stronger and safer than glue, making it ideal for heavy work and outdoor use. Additionally, it also offers a neat finish rather than excess glue peeking out from underneath.

Depending on your needs and desired aesthetic, both gluing and sewing can be viable solutions for attaching patches onto backpacks. If this is too elaborate for you, don't worry! There is another alternative that requires little effort and can still be a good choice.

Heat-Activated Adhesive Strips and Glue Gun Options

When it comes to attaching a Velcro patch to a backpack, there are other options you can consider besides sewing and pinning that people can consider. Two of the most popular options are heat -activated adhesive strips or glue guns.

Heat-activated adhesive strips are easy to attach to fabric and other materials and require little effort. All you need is an iron set to low heat and the strip itself. It bonds well to fabrics if given enough time and heat to create a strong hold. However, buyers should pay attention to the fabric they are working with to properly adhere the strip. Also, these strips can be easily repositioned if you need to make adjustments when putting on your design.

With a glue gun, you have more flexibility when creating intricate designs as you can use it like a pen to artfully outline shapes and letters, add accents, and create finer details. Surebonder and hi-temp glue sticks work best for this gluing method. Some household glues work initially but wear out quickly over time, making them unreliable for frequent use.

Overall, these two methods really add convenience when it comes to decorating backpacks without having to worry too much about the longevity of the glue or damage from using pins or needles. Whichever method you choose — whether you sew and pin, use heat activated adhesive strips or a glue gun — you should always be careful when making these decisions.

Below, we will discuss more details on sewing patches onto pocket seam allowances.

Attaching Patches to the Pocket Seam Allowance

When it comes to attaching Velcro patches to the seam allowance of your backpack pockets, there are some arguments for both sides. On the one hand, if you choose not to use an adhesive strip or a glue gun, it can be difficult to ensure that the patch stays on the pocket seam allowance and instead shifts and eventually falls off.

On the other hand, if you choose to use an adhesive strip or glue gun, as previously suggested, this method may not blend as well with the fabric of your backpack as it would if you were to glue a patch directly to the pocket seam allowance of the bag.

If you choose to sew the patch directly onto the seam allowance of the bag, it is important that you use a thread that matches your canvas fabric well. Take extra care to ensure that all seams are even and secure as faulty stitching can mean that the patch not only looks out of place but also does not last long. Keeping this in mind will help your patch last longer if it is securely attached to the pocket seam allowance of the bag.

Overall, although there are arguments for each side on how best to attach Velcro patches to your backpack’s pocket seam allowance, it is ultimately up to you how you want to design your backpack landscape. Whichever way you go, if you are creative and use quality materials, you can be sure that your choice of hook and loop patches will meet all requirements and look great too!

And that brings our discussion of attaching patches to the pocket seam allowance of the bag full circle. We turn to the question of how to remove them if they ever get stuck in a difficult position.

There are arguments for both sides when it comes to attaching Velcro patches to the seam allowance of a backpack's pocket: If you do not use an adhesive strip/glue gun, it might be difficult for the patch to hold, but if you go this route, the fabric can look neater.

If you choose to sew, you will need to pay close attention to the thread and the stitching needs to be even and secure. Ultimately, it depends on individual preference, but if you get creative with high quality materials and take extra care, you can ensure that the decision you make will look good and last a long time

Removing Patches from a Stuck Position

Removing patches from a stuck position can be a particularly daunting task. It typically requires applying some pressure to remove the adhesive that is holding the plaster in place. Sometimes, it may be necessary to use other tools, such as a small flathead screwdriver, specifically designed for prising loose items out, or even a Plexiglas cutter if dealing with thicker fabrics and tougher adhesives. In some cases, using a special adhesive remover solution may also be necessary.

In some cases, however, the patch must be fixed with heat to loosen the adhesive bond. To do this, heat the patch with a heat gun or hair dryer at medium heat for a few seconds to several minutes, depending on the strength of the adhesive bond. Then try to gently press the patch down to release it from its adhesive position.

This method poses a greater risk of damaging the material of your backpack or melting parts of the Velcro patch, so caution is advised when using heating equipment of any kind. Nonetheless, this method is sometimes necessary if considerable force or pressure alone is not successful. Only try this if other methods have failed and always be careful when using a heater as it can cause other damage if handled incorrectly.

Frequently Asked Questions

What materials do I need to attach a Velcro patch to a backpack?

The materials you will need to attach a Velcro patch to your backpack are:

  1. Velcro patch –  The most important item is the actual Velcro patch, which usually consists ofs two components — the soft side and the rigid side.
  2. Scissors or razor – You’ll need something to cut on the Velcro pieces neatly to fit perfectly on your backpack.
  3. Pen or marker – This is useful to mark  the area where you want to attach the Velcro patch.
  4. Ruler – To ensure all cuts are neat and even, use a ruler to measure when cutting the Velcro patches and mark them with a pen or marker as well.
  5. Sewing kit –  If you want to attach the Velcro patch securely, use a sewing kit. This will make sure that it doesn’t come off easily.

Once you have these items ready, the rest is simple and easy!

Is there any specific technique to ensure a Velcro patch is properly attached to a backpack?

Yes, there is a specific technique to ensure a Velcro patch is properly attached to the backpack. First, make sure both sides of the Velcro patch are clean before attaching it. Dirt and debris can lessen the adhesive strength of the Velcro patch, making it less secure.

Align the Velcro patch where you want to attach it to the backpack and press firmly. This will ensure that the Velcro really sticks together. If you are worried about the security of the Velcro, you can secure it additionally with a seam. 

Once you have sewn the patch on, press it firmly to keep it in place for as long as possible.

How do I care for my Velcro patch after attaching it to my backpack?

Caring for a Velcro patch after you have attached it to your backpack is relatively simple. First, make sure the patch is securely fastened and has no fraying around the edges. Taking a few extra seconds to check the patch will ensure that it stays in place and looks great.

Also, be careful when cleaning your backpack with a wet cloth or scrub brush to avoid damaging or losing the patch. If you wash your backpack on the gentle cycle and only with cold water, the colors and shape of the patch will remain intact over time.

If you are often outdoors and find that your patch is dirty or discolored, you can clean it with warm (not hot!) water and a mild soap without damaging it. Also, it's best to let your Velcro patch air dry and do not use direct heat sources such as hair dryers or irons as these will shrink the fabric too much over time.

By following these easy steps, your Velcro patch will not only look great but also last for many years to come!

About the author

Keith is a one bag traveler and the owner of Backpacks Global. His go to backpack is the Osprey FarPoint 40.

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