Types of stitches—including chain stitch, buttonhole or blanket stitch, running stitch, satin stitch, and cross stitch— are the basis of embroidery. Patches are often crafted from chain, satin, and hemming stitches and machine work relies on the use of multiple threads.
Advanced technology allows virtually any design to be recreated in thread on an embroidered patch. Images previously created by hand in a time-consuming process can now be quickly, digitally scanned, and computer-controlled, with multi-head sewing machines use several colors of thread simultaneously.
Other modern advancements include applying a plastic backing to the patch, improving stiffness, and preventing bunching or wrinkling of the design. Patches are often die-cut into specific shapes with a border protected from unraveling by serge stitching. Polyester blend threads are colorfast and have superior durability as compared to cotton thread.