I have no domestics skills, and I'm very poor at sewing! A number of badges I've attempted to sew on to my Gi have come off when grappling. Is there a good way to sew badges on so to minimize the chance of them coming off? Any particular way of stitching it that works better?

  • Very important here is to use a strong thread. Then use lots of small stitches.
    – Huw Evans
    Jan 9 '16 at 12:55
  • Well, I'm a mother and my son's gi went to grandma who looked lost and so here we are in the Internet wishing the good Lord gifted us with patchwork skills and wondering in vain what to do with the plastic on the back of the patch. Toss it or don't toss it?
    – user7272
    Jul 4 '16 at 0:18

Most patches on a gi are sewn on in the same way that they are for military uniforms so if there is a base near by, then there should be tailors or other such shops that should offer basic services such as sewing patches on uniforms, or on a gi.

In terms of keeping them from actually coming off, if you them sewn on by someone else, they will most likely use a sewing machine and you can specify that they use heavy weight thread which should stand up to some wear and tear. If you do it yourself, then you might also want to try sewing around the outside of the patch twice which should be a bit stronger.

Some fabric glues might be worth trying but the results might be hit or miss or not look right.

  • That article seemed a little light-weight. My mother would call those kind of stitches "homeward bounders", because they would likely only be good until you got home. Jan 31 '12 at 23:54
  • @SimonPeterChappell - True, but I've sewn patches on the same way and they held up, depends upon how much wear and tear you are going to be putting on the patch. For applications where someone might use it to get a grip, odds are nothing will hold up over the long term.
    – anonymous
    Feb 1 '12 at 2:20

What I used to do for me (Shotokan then Shukokai karate) and for my kids (Tae-Kwondo) was a round stitch twice round the perimeter of the badge and they never comes off.

Grappling is going to cause more problems though - some areas of your gi will just never be good to attach badges (eg for judo the shoulders and anything too near the centre of the chest)

Depending on what you are permitted to do, the front tails (not sure what the bottom of the front of a gi is called) are likely to be best.


Take it to a dry cleaners that does repairs/alterations of clothes etc. They have really good sewing machines that get through the thick fabric.

  • 1
    That is a practical suggestion. Jan 8 '16 at 17:59
  • This is the best solution which I've used for decades of martial arts and 8 years in the Army.
    – Zen_Hydra
    Jul 5 '16 at 15:55

Be more Zen. Wear the badge of no-badge. :-)

I think that after my first gi, I didn't bother ever sewing any badges on. Maybe it's my inner British general1 rising up, but I never saw the point of them. My belt and my reputation says everything you need to know.

1 Several high-ranking British officers were renowned for eschewing insignia on their regular uniforms. People knew who they were and that was all that mattered.

  • 2
    Depending upon the school a patch might be required to show your school affiliation but beyond that they tend to just be there for flash that I agree isn't really needed.
    – anonymous
    Feb 3 '12 at 16:33
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    @Rob Z - That's true. If the school requires a certain patch in a certain location, then they would be the best ones to advise on the appropriate manner of attaching it. Feb 3 '12 at 18:29
  • 2
    Depends, at our school they told us we were mature adults who should be able to figure such things out. :)
    – anonymous
    Feb 3 '12 at 18:37
  • 4
    @Rob Z - And that's why the good Lord gave us mothers. :-) Feb 3 '12 at 22:54

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