Iron-on patches can be created in a variety of ways. The key behind all iron on patches is an heat reactive adhesive is added to an imprinted material to allow an iron or heat press to activate the glue. Different glues react to different fabrics in different ways.
There are primarily 2 types of iron-on patches: a form of material tape; and a form of vinyl similar to that used on graphic t-shirts. With the vinyl type the objective is to effectively melt the patch onto the cloth so the label and garment become one, hence a permanent bond. The application of a patch typically takes about 10–15 seconds for the patch to become one with the garment and then a few minutes to cool.