History of Military Patches
Military patches were originally exclusively worn by people who were serving in a country’s military force or contingent. The patches were commonly sewn onto the shoulder area of their uniforms in order to denote their rank and specific regiment. However, as interest in military related or military themed items have grown in the past years, even ordinary civilians have been wanting to get their hands on the beautifully crafted patches.
It was during the 19th century that the armed servicemen of the United States military forces first started using and wearing military patches as a part of their uniforms. The primitive technologies of the past meant that not only was each individual patch hand embroidered, but that they were also individually hand sewn onto each uniform. As a result, the designs on those patches are not as intricate or as varied as the ones on the more recent patches of today. Likewise, the colors used on the patches were still not vibrant enough to make them stand out against the drab khaki uniforms.
During the middle of the 20th century, darker and more vibrant colors were finally used on the designs of the military patches. The primary reason for the color upgrade was the fact that the army uniforms had been changed to a much darker green shade. Therefore, since the patches were to be used on the uniforms of all of the contingents that were to be deployed to other countries, they needed to become more prominent and contrast against the darker uniform.
As these patches needed to be both beautiful and durable, silk threads were normally used in the embroidery. Although, the designs can vary depending on branch or rank, most patches worn by the American military squads adhere to a standard shape or color scheme.
High ranking officials in the United States Army often wear patches that set them apart from other lower ranking servicemen. While cadets might wear a standard design, generals usually sport a special rounded patch in black that has the words “United States Army” hand embroidered using gold thread.
Similarly, sailors serving in the navy also wear rounded patches on their uniforms. However, instead of using a black background, the gold thread is embroidered onto a plain white background. Meanwhile, though the United States Air Force might also make use of a white background, a more contrasting blue thread is used to engrave the designs and slogans onto the patches.
The United States marines make use of even more vibrant colors on their patches. Instead of using a single solid color for the background, their patches use a combination of red, green, and black. For added interest, an outline is even added to define the outer edge of the patch.
Conversely, the patches worn by the US coastal guard have the slogans other words sewn using black thread. Gold thread is only used for the single symbol embroidered on the rounded patch.
To set them apart from the brightly colored patches used by their successors, the thread used on the patches of military veterans are often much duller in comparison. The patches worn by veterans feature slogans embroidered using off white thread on a brown background.
Normally, most serious collectors and hobbyists would usually choose to invest in authentic military patches and put them on prominent display inside their houses. These patches are usually very rare and quite expensive due to the extensive history that they carry.
Fortunately, for those who are more interested in using the patches as accessories, there are numerous online and physical stores that can supply them with more affordable alternatives. Many of these stores offer their customers the option to either customize their own patches using an original design or to simply have them create a replica of an existing military patch.
Likewise, many of these suppliers often give customers the option of making bulk orders and offering them at discounted rates.
In the end, whether you are part of the military, a collector, or a simple individual looking to make a fashion statement, the technological advancements of the present day have made it possible to manufacture numerous patches in large batches to satisfy any of your needs.