Biker Patches

Best Motorcycle Patches for Leather Vests & Jackets

Best Motorcycle Patches for Leather Vests & Jackets

What comes to mind when you hear the word biker? An eccentric man or woman wearing a leather jacket full of colorful patches and riding a stylish motorcycle. A biker patch can be just as important as a motorcycle. Bikers wear different patches to let the world know about their beliefs, motorcycle club affiliation, and political preferences. Funny motorcycle patches are a great medium to express one's sense of humor as well. Not to mention, a biker patch improves the look of a jacket or vest.

1. A Brief Background of Biker Patches

All biker patches for motorcycle riders look contemporary and cool. However, they are not a modern accessory. Biker patches have a long history known only to riders with a deep knowledge of biker culture.

Biker patches date back to the 1920s when the American Motorcycle Association was founded. The AMA promoted motorcycling and biker patches by organizing different events and competitions. Like-minded people formed groups and designed unique biker vest patches to set them apart from other motorcyclists.

In 1947, the AMA announced that the 1% of motorcyclists involved in the rampage after the Gypsy tour motorcycle rally in Hollister, California were lawbreakers and not part of the AMA that only supports the 99% of law-abiding motorcyclists.

The lawbreakers rebelled against this statement and accepted their infamous reputation. They now called themselves the 1%ers and wore a distinct 1% diamond biker patch.

The law-abiding riding clubs have a single biker patch, while the outlaw MCs have a three-piece biker patch called colors. A member must complete the tasks assigned by the club leaders to earn the different patch pieces and become the “fully-patched” member.

Hence biker patches are not just mere decoration. This small piece of fabric tells the tale of the evolution of motorcycle culture in America and is a tradition in itself.

2. How to Wear Motorcycle Vest Patches?

Bikers can wear motorcycle vest patches for various reasons. It is not necessary to be a club member to wear the biker patches. But in that case, you need to make sure that you are not wearing the patches of any outlaw or law-abiding motorcycle club. All motorcycle clubs have great regard for their patches. If you wear an MC patch you would have to face grave repercussions.

One can wear safe custom biker vest patches on any piece of clothing. However, real biker fashion requires you to wear it on a leather vest or jacket. There is a wide variety of biker patches available online and in embroidery stores. You can either sew your patch or iron it onto the back of your vest or jacket.

Biker patch stickers are also in great demand. You can put cool stickers on different motorcycle parts to match your motorcycle jacket patches.

For more information on how to wear biker patches, click here.

3. Types of Biker Patches for Vests & Jackets

There are different types of patches for biker jackets.

3.1. Custom Embroidered Patches

The custom embroidered biker patches are made of colored threads of your choosing. These threads are then sewn into a twill weave fabric. Depending on your preference, your patch may have 50%, 75%, or 100% embroidery. The custom embroidered biker vests and jackets are extremely popular and can be made in different sizes and shapes.

3.2. Custom Dyed Patches

Some biker patches feature a dye-sublimation design. With this technique, you get a highly finished image on your patch. It is as durable as the embroidered patch. The dye will not get washed off. It also looks striking against the leather.

3.3. Custom Embroidered/Dyed Patches

Some custom biker patches are made using both techniques mentioned above. The 50% and 75% embroidered biker patches often have patterns and designs made with dye-sublimation techniques.

3.4. Custom Woven Patches

Unlike the embroidered patches, in woven biker patches , threads are weaved together to form an image or text.

4. Size of Biker Patches for Biker Jackets & Vests

Whether you are having a biker patch custom-made for yourself or your entire motorcycle group, wearing the right size is very important. Some bikers don't like to display their patch and opt for small discreet patches while those who want to make a point loud and clear go for large biker patches.

Most biker patch shops sell men's motorcycle patches that are 12-inch wide while women's motorcycle patches are 9-inch wide.

Before you have them custom-made learn how to measure the correct size for your biker patch in this step-by-step guide:

  1. Draw your design on a piece of paper and place it on the jacket exactly where you plan to wear it. See how it looks.
  2. If it seems to be the correct fit, calculate the size of the actual patch by measuring the length and width of the design. Add the two dimensions and divide them by two.
  3. If you are buying biker patches for your teammates as well, then share the size details with them and calculate an average size that would fit all.

5. Best Biker Patch Backings for Leather Jackets & Vests

Biker patches come with various patch backings that determine the method of application of a patch. Not all biker patch backings are safe for leather jackets and vests. Here is a list of the best patch backings for damage-free applications.

Heat-activated : These patch backings are safe for biker leather jackets. The patch gets attached to the jacket when the heat is applied and doesn't come off easily.

Plastic: Plastic-backed patches require fabric glue for attachment. They have a small life but they are safe for the jackets and vests.

Velcro: Try to avoid velcro backings. These patches may cause discoloration or damage to the jacket once they come off.

Untapped: The best biker patches don't have any backing at all. These sew-only patches are known for causing no damage to the clothing.

6. Best Biker Patch Shapes for Leather Jacket & Vests

The shape and design of a biker patch can change the whole feel of your leather jacket. If you want to flaunt a more 90s-inspired look then wearing a rectangular patch can do it for you. On the other hand, the round and oval patches give a more retro look.

Below are some shapes and designs of biker patches for jackets and vests that you can choose from.

6.1. Round or Oval Patches for Biker Jackets & Vests

The round or oval-shaped biker patches have been around since the 1960s, and they are relevant even today. You can easily buy them online or have them custom-made. Use the round biker patches to display your name, your club, different sayings, and images. No matter the design, these round patches will make your leather jacket look good.

6.2. Rectangular Patches for Biker Jackets & Vests

The square or rectangle are modern shapes for biker patches. They are a great way to give an old leather jacket or a biker vest a new look. These patches are the ultimate choice for bikers who like to wear slogans and sayings.

6.3. Triangular Patches for Biker Jackets & Vests

Triangle-shaped patches are extremely chic and carry simple designs well. The motorcycle jackets and vests with triangle-shaped motorcycle patches look edgy and unconventional. Bikers can combine more than one triangle-shaped biker patch to create a unique pattern.

6.4. Diamond-Shaped Patches for Biker Jackets & Vests

The diamond patches are extremely popular among motorcycle club members. Most diamond biker patches either display 1% or MC on them. They look extremely badass but the shape is off-limits. A non-member should refrain from wearing the diamond-shaped patch.

6.5. Star-Shaped Patches for Biker Jackets & Vests

Star-shaped biker patches are funky, cool, and colorful. It is the ultimate shape for women's motorcycle patches. Men who prefer a laid-back style can also flaunt star-shaped patches featuring masculine lines, and bold colors. Star-shaped biker patches are usually plain so you don't have to worry about wearing forbidden texts or logos.

6.6. Heart-Shaped Patches for Biker Jackets & Vests

Want to create a cute look for your biker jacket or vests? The heart-shaped biker patches should be your go-to. Feminine and flirty, if a women's biker patch has a particular shape, then it has to be a heart. Men tend to have a dark take and usually wear heart-shaped patches to display heartbreak and the perils of love.

6.7. Vintage Patches for Biker Jackets & Vests

The vintage biker patches are unique handmade pieces with beads on them. Some vintage patches have old-school fonts and a dull color scheme to give the vintage look. The beaded vintage patches create a striking contrast when attached to a sophisticated leather jacket. They are extremely popular due to their edgy look.

6.8. Flag Patches for Biker Jackets & Vests

For all patriots, veterans, and officers of the law, the flag patches for biker jackets and vests are a great way to express their love for the country. Available in funky and traditional shapes, the flag patches are the best way to make a motorcycle jacket look stylish.

7. Frequently Asked Questions About Biker Patches

7.1. How to Sew Biker Patches on a Leather Vest or Jacket?

You can either hand sew the biker patch or use a sewing machine to attach it to your motorcycle leather jacket or vest. Always use a nylon or polyester thread as cotton threads tend to break quickly. Use a large thick needle that can penetrate the material of the vest or jacket easily.

7.2. Is It Safe to Put an Iron-on Biker Patch on Leather Vest or Jacket?

Ironing is a safe method to apply biker patches to your leather vest or jacket. The iron-on patches have a thin adhesive coating that only needs a small amount of heat to become activated. The weight of the iron is necessary to attach the patch effectively or it may fall off after a few washes. Set the iron to a minimum temperature and your leather jacket will have a cool patch without damage.

7.3. Why Is a Biker Vest Called a Cut?

No one knows for sure why bikers call their vests cuts. But according to some anecdotal statements, in the postwar era, bikers began to cut the sleeves and collars of their denim jackets and developed a new biker wardrobe article. They put biker patches or "colors" on these cut-off vests to show their loyalty to a particular group. From there, the term "cut" was invented. Today, only the members of different 1% outlaw motorcycle clubs wear "cut" made of denim or leather.

8. Takeaway

Biker leather jackets without biker patches look incomplete. The patch augments the tough biker look of the rider and makes his/her clothing look edgy. All club members covet these biker patches and have to work hard to earn them. Luckily, civilians only need to tap into their creativity to wear a custom-made biker patch . But, before you go on a biker patch shopping spree we recommend you do enough research so your biker patch doesn't resemble an MC biker patch .

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