Sewing on Air Force patches is a pain, especially when every new assignment or rank change means removing the old ones and attaching new uniform patches.
Machine sewing is most efficient where possible. Unfortunately, some locations on your uniform mean hand sewing. For this you need the following:
Needle--a #3 embroidery needle; a sharp, medium-long needle with large threading eye.
Thread to match the color of the embroidered edge of the patch.
Thimble to help push the needle through the thickness of both patch and uniform fabric.
Double-sided tape (sticky on both sides)--better for positioning the patch rather than trying to pin it in place.
Position the Patch
Chapter 5, Page 135, AFI 36-2903, Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel will provide for the proper placement of uniform patches, both enlisted and officers.
Apply a strip of tape to the backside of the patch, position the patch and put on the uniform garment. Check the positioning in a mirror and straighten the patch if necessary. Carefully take off the garment and begin the sewing. Ignore the tape; it disappears behind the patch and dissolves when washed.
- Thread the needle and tie both ends of thread together in a knot.
- Lift the edge of the patch slightly and push the needle through the uniform fabric under the edge so the knot will be hidden under the patch.
- Push the needle back through the uniform fabric and through the patch on the inside edge of the embroidery edging.
- Cross the thread over the edge of the patch and push the needle through the uniform fabric, very close to the edge. Pull the thread snug so it disappears in the embroidered edge. First stitch done.
- On the inside of the uniform fabric, advance the needle a short distance along the diameter or length of the patch; push the needle back through both uniform and patch, again at the inside edge of the embroidery.
- Repeat step #5 continuously around the edge of the patch in a "whip stitch" until it is completely sewn and secured to the uniform, ending with the needle on the inside of the uniform fabric.
- Finish by carefully pushing the needle through the uniform fabric near the patch edge but not through the patch. Ease the point of the needle out from under the patch and pull the thread between the front of the uniform fabric and the back of the patch.
- Cut the thread to free the needle and then hand tie the loose ends of thread in a double knot, pulling securely so the knot disappears behind the patch.
- Trim the excess thread as near the outer edge of the patch as possible.
Air Force ABU Uniform Regulations
Each branch of the U.S. Armed Forces has separate rules and regulations that apply to uniforms. In the Air Force, there are...
How to Sew a Patch onto a Military Uniform
Without patches, a military uniform would be little more than an outfit made out of tactical fabric. There are rules and regulations...
How to Advance in Rank Faster in the Air Force
The U.S. Air Force's enlisted rank and promotion system can be deemed slow when compared with other ranks in the military. The...
How to Recognize Air Force Rank Insignia
For those not educated on the rank structure of the Air Force, recognizing rank insignia can be difficult. Identifying an airman's rank,...
How to Wear the ABU
The Air Force, like most military branches, enforces a strict policy when it comes to being in uniform. A serviceman must wear...
Instructions for the Placement of Army Patches
The Army Combat Uniform (ACU) worn by the U.S. Army has changed to adapt to each major conflict in which the United...
How to Sew on ABU Patches
The patches and badges on a military uniform help identify the rank, occupation and unit (among other things) of a member of...
How to Dress Your JROTC Uniform
The Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps, or JROTC, is a federally funded program aimed at getting young people involved and interested in...
How to Wear an Air Force Flight Suit
The United States Air Force requires certain personnel to wear flight suits in lieu of other uniform options when serving on aircraft...
How Do I Put On My AFJROTC Rank?
Preparing your uniform to wear is an important step in your presentation as a cadet in the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer...