As a child of the 60’s and 70’s, and a girl it was acceptable to cover up perfectly good clothes with sew on (and later iron on patches).
Even then, my mother by today’s standards, was still just a child herself and the idea of covering clothes with unicorn’s, fairies and flower patches was a stay at home mums favourite past time.
One of the hottest trends this summer is the re-emergence of the embroidered patch or badge. Clothing manufacturers in the American and Europe can’t keep up, so now they are bringing out clothing already patched to meet retailers demands.
Patching in the early part of last century was seen as a quick way to increase the longevity of clothes, but by the 60’s we saw patches hit the street as a show of solidarity by the young against the Vietnam war. Later a new counterculture hit the streets, embracing peace signs, hearts and flowers. The vision of patched denim and headbands is synonymous with the hippy movement.
Later in the 70’s and 80’s this morphed into what became the punk movement and the patches were loosely stitched or safety pinned on to clothing. Regardless of the movement, the patch fulfilled it’s role and became a badge of identity, personality, and even solidarity.
Today, patches are being revised, reinvented in the fashion houses and on the streets and offer a quick way to bring some old faves in your wardrobe up to date in a personal and quirky way.