Caring 4 Patches  Page 1

The Tipsy Gypsy

(904) 269-1369

Caring for your new Patches:

Gypsy patches require very little maintenance.  The only thing you really need to do is brush them off with a soft brush.  If they get dirty use plain water on a very soft lint free cloth and gently blot the surface. Don't rub hard and don't Scrub.
  Our patches are made using dyes, pigments, Inks, Paints and a UV protective resin to seal the surface of the leather.  Leather is an organic material. It breathes and changes with the weather and humidity. You cant cover it with a stiff hard sealer or it will crack and deteriorate quickly. We use a very fine surface film to protect the leather and seal the color. This film is very resistant to daily wear and does a good job protecting the patch  However it can be penetrated by  abrasion Strong cleaning solvents and chemicals.

 Dry Cleaning your flight Jacket;

 If you must do it - Make sure you tell the operator to hand clean the lining and keep the solvents away from your Patches.

Do It yourself Cleaning:

A good safe do it yourself job entails Wiping your liner down with a mild cleaner like windex or 409 - Then the same for the the outer leather shell ( except for the Patches) Dont clean your patches with windex or any other amonia based cleaner - Use plain water on a soft cloth and "gently Blot them clean "  Let your jacket dry then follow up with a coat of quality Leather conditioner on the jacket .  The jacket liner gets a few sprays of Fabrize to freshen it up and your back in business. I shouldnt have to mention keep the flight jacket and patches away from the Washing machine and the dryer.  Ive seen many flight jackets that Spouses and girlfriends have washed and dried to surprise their significant other.

Gettn' em' Sewn On:  Get a Reference  !

You Just got your new leather patches. They look Great and you can't wait to get em' on your Jacket. Beat feet over to the alteration shop and they tell you "Sure we can sew em' on " . The Guy lays the patches on your brand new jacket -  grabs a 2 inch wide strip of masking tape, slaps it across the front of each patch and pats it down - On the hanger it goes - "Come back in a couple hours".  Pretty typical , No problem right !   Well not exactly - You may be in for an unpleasant surprise.

 The majority of alteration shops have little or no experience with leather jackets and patches. They do fine with fabrics. They may not even have the right sewing machine for the job.

Some shops that have the right equipment may not have the skills to do a proper job.

You should expect to have the patch neatly stitched with a nice even line of evenly spaced stitches. There should be no teeth marks or scrape lines from the machine and no tape pull marks or glue  thumb/ finger prints. The  under side of the stitching should be nice and flat with none of your jacket liner bunched and caught under  the stitching.  A highly skilled operator can open the lining and sew the patch instead of sewing straight thru the liner.

Finding the right shop:

Before trusting your jacket to an unknown shop, Ask other avaitors in the area. Get a reference .
Ask for pictures of their work.    Ask them what happens if you have an accident and stitch across the front of the patch or what if you sew my sleeve to the  back of the  patch - 

 Ask them to show you their sewing machine.  A walking foot machine is pretty standard for Heavy leather work. 

If you let them do the work - Make sure they DO NOT use Masking tape on the front of your patch. If they want to know where it goes- lay it on the jacket and ask them to trace it with alteration chalk or taylors soap marker.  Tape can damage the patch and your jacket finish. Double sided tape or a lite coat of contact cement can be used on the back side to hold the patch for sewing.
One note about Contact cement : Make sure it is well mixed - Dont get any on the front of the patch. Ive seen many patches riuned by glue on someones fingers touching the front of a patch.

 If you still draw a blank on finding a decent shop - Call the best Motorcycle shop in town and ask them who  they trust with high value patch and jacket work. Then do your home work and check them out .
                       Keep your tail feathers Dry !


Do your homework ,   
It's hard to cover every possible thing that can be done to patches by an Alteration shop: It seems that a shop has used Pins to hold someones Leather patch in place for sewing. I thought that everyone would "just Know"  that a stick pin pushed through the middle of a leather patch would leave permanent holes and wreck the patch. I was wrong. The only way it could work is pining it in the stitch line - Dont take a chance they know how to do this - Tell em' No Pins. 

Ive heard feedback that  people are  having trouble  getting the  double sided  tape to stick.   Carpet tape works great - You can get it at  home improvement stores. 

Contact Cement:  Yes this will work However  you cant get any on the front of the patch and you don't want excess Glue on your Flight Jacket.  Here's my recommendation:  If using the  1 qt  can type-  mix it well  so there is no liquid clear  solvent floating around on top ( You don't want the patch soaked with  Glue solvent )   Mix it well then apply  a  thin coat   to the back of the patch and another thin coat to  the  place on the jacket where you want the patch to mount ( You dont want glue anywhere on your jacket except under the patch-  Let both  dry tacky  - You get one try at this and you have to re-apply  glue if you mess up. Carefully Place the patch  on the tacky glue and gently  press it down flat -  Make sure  you don't  have any glue on your fingers when you  touch the patch.  

Singer 3115
Walking foot
Foot close up
Singer 3115 Drop feed
Most shops have these or a similar machine
Walking foot Machine
Best for Leather jacket work
Close up of the business end of a heavy machine.
Bad stitching
Mask not
This stitching is way too close
Caused by using a lite drop feed machine on a thick jacket.
Have the shop open the seam
to keep from sewing thru the lining. Not all shops will do this.
Dont let anyone do this to your patch or jacket.
Mask Not Thy Patch
No Tape
dbl sided
This is what can happen when the tape comes off the front of the patch.
Tape not thy patch !
Use double sided tape on the back to hold the tag to your jacket for sewing.
3 kinds

Three kinds of double sided tape shown properly attached to
the back of tags.