Emblematics | Embroidered Patch Art Show

Emroidered Patch Portland

from the PDX Monthly....

Used to cover holes in a sleeve, emblazon “John” on a uniform, or proudly portray a love for the Misfits across the back of a denim jacket, embroidered patches have long been an important part of fashion for functional and aesthetic reasons.

Todd Richardson, owner of local company Ways & Means, produces top-notch woven labels and patches for designers of all sorts, and knows how important patches have become to us on a personal level. “I had recently created some patches for other artists, and had this idea to try and make an art show around them. But I wasn’t quite sure how to bring it to life,” he says about the impetus for Emblematics, an art show on display at Yanagida Projects.

Richardson bought on local artist Adam Garcia and his company the Pressure to recruit 18 artists to each design an embroidered patch that represented something important to them. “Embroidered patches have traditionally been used to signify roles, status and organization—always rife with symbolism,” Garcia says. The idea of Emblematics is for each artist to create a new, custom patch that explores a personal story, to represent how artists communicate through symbols, explore catharsis, and project those stories into the public.”

Pulling together artists from around the nation–including Grammy-nominated Eric Timothy Carlson, Stacey Rozich, Erik Marinovich, Dan Christopherson, Thomas Bradley, and Nishat Akhtar–the show will feature custom patches, and the personal stories behind them. Each patch, manufactured locally in Portland by Ways & Means, is available for purchase, as well as a handful of custom satin varsity jackets, with each of the artist’s patches already applied.

Garcia shares the story of his own patch in a preview of the show: “Time is an ocean, slowly crashing waves against our shores. And it can erode our sense of self as experiences, moments; life can shift our own ideas of who we are. My last year has met a lot of change, a slow tide that has reached a point where I realized I needed to challenge my definitions of what I am, and what I’m supposed to be. The triangle, held by the hand, is the alchemical symbol for water, held in an askew peace sign. This patch is a reminder to find comfort living in the liminal, diving headfirst into change, and embracing formlessness. Like water.”

Embroidered Patch Jacket Portland

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The Emblematic Art Show happen on June 9, 2017, at our sister store, Yanagida Projects. With the success of the first event, we definitely plan on a similar event in the near future. We'll keep you posted!

What is a Woven Overlock Stitch?

If you are purchasing a custom embroidered patch, chances are you will hear the term "woven overlock stitch." Also referred to as a merrow border, a woven overlock stitch is the thicker woven edge that creates a border on many embroidered patches.

Not only does a woven overlock stitch typically create a better looking patch, it also provides longer durability and the best possible protection against shredding.

The only disadvantage to this type of border, is that you can only apply a woven overlock stitch on simple shaped patches. Here are some examples of both types of embroidered patches.

Embroidered Patches with a Woven Overlock Stitch

Embroidered Patches without a Woven Overlock Stitch

As you can see from the examples above, a clean edge is still possible on a patch without a Woven Overlock Stitch, it simply has a different look. For patches that have a more intricate shape, the edge is made using the same embroidery technique which is used to embroider the design. The patch is then cut as close as possible to this edge using thermal, hot cut technique.

Please contact us for further information on custom embroidered patches. Your sales representative will be able to determine all of your options to turn your idea into a beautifully made, custom patch!