Varsity letterman jacket patches go well beyond the typical initials of your high school or simply the sport you play. You can customize your letterman jacket with a variety of patches that include your interests both in sports, academic areas and beyond.
Typical Varsity Letterman Jacket Patches
Once you get a letterman jacket, there are a variety of patches that you can put on it. In general, your school will adhere to one particular style or mode of putting on patches. Most patches will be handed out to the students during an awards ceremony. There are several patches that are considered "typical" across the board and are likely to be found on most letterman jackets.
Typically, a chevron is handed out for each year that a player has committed to the sport. You can either hand out general chevrons every year or you can hand out sport specific chevrons. These chevrons have the bars representing years of commitment plus the sports' symbol - whether it be a baseball, hockey stick or pom pon. One disadvantage to having sport specific chevrons is that if you have an athlete who participates in a variety of activities for all four years of high school-the jacket can start to look cluttered. It should be noted that generally, the chevrons are not awarded for years on a varsity squad but simply years playing the sport in high school. Chevrons are generally worn on the sleeve.
Large Letters and Mascots
A large letter is generally worn on the front of your jacket. The letter is usually the first letter of your school. For example, students at "Gateway High School" would have a "G" on the front of the jacket. In some schools where letter jackets are offered for both academic, musical or athletic pursuits, the letters can vary in style. So a student in marching band may have an Olde English style letter, whereas an athlete may have a block letter. Mascots are also a part of the traditional letterman jacket and are generally customized and ordered by the school or booster club.
Is your school ranked first in the state? Did you win the conference title this year? Did you attend a special scrimmage or game post season? Most schools will hand out commemorative patches that indicate the season played and the title or event. These patches are generally worn on the sleeve.
Large Back Patches
These patches typically go across the back and indicate the mascot name, or an activity such as "cheerleader" or "marching band". Not every student gets a patch to go across the back, but instead it tends to be reserved for special groups within the overall athletic organization of the school.
Activity and Sports Patches
Most activities and sports have a universal symbol. For example, two masks often symbolizes drama. Sports can often be symbolized with the ball in play, or a small figure of a person performing an activity such as diving or swimming. Most athletes will get a sport or activity patch for each extracurricular activity in which they are involved.
Sewing Patches on the Easy Way
NOnce you've earned your patches, you have to put them on your jacket! Here is a quick way to get professional results with minimal effort.
You will need:
- Stitch Witchery, Liquid Stitches or a similar "no-sew" adhesive product
- Thread that coordinates with the patch
Follow these steps:
- Use the Liquid Stitch, Stitch Witchery or other adhesive product on the back of your patch, and then affix the patch to the desired place on the jacket.
- Follow the adhesive directions, and then wait for a full day before sewing. Working step-by-step will make your sewing easier and will help the patch stay on better.
- Choose a thread color that matches the rim color of the patch.
- Use a whip stitch to sew the patch on in place. Because it is already glued to the jacket, you do not need to stitch in super small intervals.
Where to Buy Varsity Letterman Jacket Patches
Most companies that sell jackets also sell the patches. However, here are a few comprehensive resources:
- Custom Chenille Patches is one of the most comprehensive places that specializes in both in stock and customized patches for letterman jackets.
- Mount Olympus Awards is a less expensive option and offers a stock set of patches that can be customized with specific details. They also sell sports pins and a good variety of letter inserts (embroidered patches that go on the main block letter of the jacket.)