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18 Indie Embroidered Patch Companies

by Grace Bonney

I thought it would be fun to end the week with a roundup of creatives you can follow and learn more about through the weekend. Over the past few weeks, we’ve shared lists of some of our favorite paper flower makers, embroiderers, and museums online, and today I’m happy to add one more roundup to the list: creative and up-and-coming indie embroidered patch makers. From cats and mantras to abstract art and hands, these designers have turned the combination of everyday imagery and powerful words into must-have patches. Whether you attach them to your jacket, purse, backpack, or frame them on the wall, these artists are making us rethink the way we look at the humble patch. Instead of curating this roundup myself, I turned to one of my favorite artists — and patch makers — Tuesday Bassen. Take it away, Tuesday! xo, grace

A beautiful thing is happening in the fashion world: Patches are having a serious moment, and it is primarily driven by artist-operated small businesses. Embraced by the DIY scene and major outlets alike, these quick and cheap ways to personalize your clothing range from riffs on classic 1970s designs to pieces of original artwork. Featured here (just click through the slideshow above) are 18 of my favorite independent companies that are on the forefront of the patch trend. —Tuesday Bassen



World Famous Original: World Famous Original comes from the brain of chainstitch embroiderer Ben Goetting with a healthy dose of punk cynicism. The chenille “Whatever Hand” is my favorite, but the Suicidal Tendencies “All I Wanted Was a Pepsi,” and Dead Kennedys “California Uber Alles” souvenir riff patches also have permanent places on my jacket. @worldfamousoriginal
Tuesday Bassen: Grace asked me to write this article as per my involvement in the patch trend, so I’ll include my own: As an illustrator, I make work based solely around badass women characters and look at patches and pins as a way for people to turn themselves into my characters. In the coming months, I’ll be releasing my own line of clothing, and patches will continue to play a large role. @tuesdaybassen
Rosehound Apparel: Rosehound Apparel serves up some adorable realness with a slew of Lynchian pins and patches that are as bitter as they are sweet. My current favorite is the sheet cake patch that reads “Baby, You’re Torturing Me.” @rosehoundapparel
Jess Warby: Jess’ charming patches are unique in the sense that her patches are created on a home embroidery machine instead of mass produced. The result is a slightly off-kilter, handmade look that makes her patches among my favs. @jwbadges
ADAMJK: I first came across ADAMJK’s work in 2013 and haven’t stopped nodding my head in agreement since. Adam takes a hopeful look at sadness that manages to be humorous while meeting depression head-on. While he finishes his second book, you can find his patches at Strange Ways (a patch specialty shop!). @adamjk
Big Bud Press: Lacey Micallef mixes nail salon neon with Floridian motifs for a clean and striking aesthetic. It’s worth noting that Big Bud Press makes everything in the USA, which is rare. Her pins are also worth a long look, with the cigarette as my favorite. @bigbudpress
Explorer’s Press: One of the first in the designer patch resurgence, EP makes macabre patches for wanderers and troublemakers. Owned and designed by Brendan Megannety, with some guest artist pieces interspersed. @explorerspress
Monsters Outside: SoCal based Monsters Outside specializes in punk/metal culture mashups, and my favorite is this “Through Being Cool” Devo/Peanuts patch. @monstersoutside
Mokuyobi Threads: Primarily known for their hyper-color bags, Mokuyobi doesn’t shy away from bright tones in their patches either. I love the “Color Club” and “It’s Always Banana time” patches. @mokuyobithreads
Valley Cruise Press: Though VC only designs a few of their own pieces, they work with a lot of incredible artists to make their line. The Luke Pelletier ones are my pick. @valleycruisepress
No Fun Press: No Fun Press is self described as being for “disgruntled people with discerning taste.” Equally steeped in inspiration from punk and hip hop, NFP brings a streetwear vibe to the patch scene. @nofunpress
Stay Home Club Officla: Your destination for well designed emo-inspired patches with phrases like “Crying at the Party,” “Frequent Crier Program,” and “Sad Songs Forever.” @stayhomeclubofficial
Killer Acid: Stonerific patches for the low-brow art connoisseur. The “Peel Out” banana cyclist patch is my favorite. @killeracid
Sara M Lyons: Sara’s goodies are the perfect gift for a petulant teenager (or adult), with weeping ghost patches that read “cry now, cry later.” Believe it or not, Sara is also the originator of the phrase “Whatever Forever,” and you can find patches emblazoned with WEFE in her shop as well. @saramlyons
Sick Girls: The patch scene is definitely the strongest in Los Angeles and Toronto, and Sick Girls is a part of the latter group. A Canadian duo comprised of Natalie Beaw and Fox Xoft, their patches land firmly in the “goods for bad girls” territory. @sickgirlsofficial
Hanecdote: The British queen of handmade patches definitely reigns supreme for sad girl DIY looks, and are a perfect counterpoint to when all the commercially made patches on your jacket need something to spice them up. @hanecdote
Wishcandy: You’re probably familiar with Sashiko’s psychedelic illustrations, featured everywhere from Juxtapoz to Hi-Fructose. I’m so pleased that she’s made a patch debut, and this angry mouth is my favorite of the two. @wishcandy
Brrybnds: Good Morning New York, Let's Get This Money! I'm an Angeleno and there's a version for me, but let's be real: This color scheme is superior and it definitely exemplifies the NY daily hustle.

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