How to Sew on ABU Patches

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The patches and badges on a military uniform help identify the rank, occupation and unit (among other things) of a member of the armed forces. The patches on the Air Force's Airman Battle Uniform (ABU) are no different and must be placed at a very specific location and with a very specific orientation; failure to properly orient and secure an ABU patch can result in disciplinary measures. Luckily, you can sew an ABU patch onto your uniform in a few simple steps.

1 Determine the proper location and orientation and for your patch

Determine the proper location and orientation for your patch. Refer to the website in the Resources section, as it has a section on the "Proper Placement of Insignia" for Air Force members.

2 Iron

Iron the patch and the area on the ABU where the patch will be affixed completely flat. A flat patch and uniform makes the sewing process a much simpler one.

3 Place the patch

Place the patch at its proper location on the uniform. Pin the patch in place with a sewing pin.

4 Unravel several feet

Unravel several feet of thread from the spool and cut it loose. Insert the thread through the eye of the sewing needle. Air Force regulation requires that the thread use to secure a patch to a uniform be the same color as the uniform itself. Bring the two ends of the thread together and tie them in a knot.

5 Pick a starting location

Pick a starting location on the patch and insert the needle through the top of the patch and down through the first layer of the uniform. Then bring the needle back up through the uniform and through the backside of the patch. This is your first stitch.

6 Stitch around the perimeter of the patch

Stitch around the perimeter of the patch. When you have finished stitching around the patch, insert the needle through the patch and the uniform so that the needle is inside of the uniform. Bring the needle back up through the uniform and patch to create a small loop with the thread but do not pull the thread tight. Instead, bring the needle back down through the patch and uniform with the loop still loose and insert the needle through the loop to form a new loop. Pull the first loop tight around the new loop, insert the needle through the new loop and pull the new loop tight to tie off the thread. Cut the excess thread.

Alexander Poirier began writing professionally in 2005. He worked as the editor-in-chief of the literary magazine "Calliope," garnering the magazine two APEX Awards for excellence in publication. Poirer graduated from the University of the Pacific with a Bachelor of Arts in English.