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spyboy1

How to remove plastic backing from patches

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Here is my method for removing the hard plastic backing from patches. These are the patches that come from National Emblem and have the warning label on the back.

Step1A.jpg

Most patches have a thin layer of flexible backing to seal the threads so they won't unravel and to keep the backing material from fraying around the edges. These can be sewn as is and do not need to have the backing removed.

Step 1 - First, read the warning label on the back and laugh at the part where it says putting the patch on a jersey will ruin it's value. Then, take a sharp knife and cut an "x" in the plastic, being careful to not cut all the way through the plastic and into the patch itself.

Step2A.jpg

Step 2 - Fold the patch along the cuts to get the plastic to start to start to loosen from the patch.

Step2B.jpg

Step 3 - Boil the patch. Ten minutes should get the job done.

Step3B.jpg

Step 4 - Take a needle nose pliers and grab the point of one of the pieces of plastic and twist the plastic back on itself toward the outer edge of the patch. If you have boiled it long enough, you may even get a second piece off during this step.

Step4A.jpg

Step4B.jpg

Step 5 - Return the patch to the boiling water once it cools too much to get any more pieces off and, after another 5-10 minutes, repeat the removal steps by again grabbing the point of the plastic in the center of the patch and twisting if off towards the outer edge.

Step4D.jpg

Step 6 - Once all the plastic is off, scrape off as much of the warning sticker that remains and blot the patch dry with a paper towel. I make a habit of putting it under a stack of books or heavy cardboard box to flatten it while it dries. Once this is done, your newly flexible (but now devoid of "collectible value") patch is ready to be sewn on any jersey, which will only increase the jersey's collectible value.

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Well, now, this is an impressive presentation...complete with easy to follow directions and pictures. Thank you...

But I'll have to get my wife to do the boiling... I'm not allowed near the stove after the fried turkey incident....

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I follow almost exactly this procedure, except I use a hairdryer for the melting, and I'm not smart enough to have thought of using tools, instead of my bare hands, for the bits where you slowly peel the melty plastic off the back. I'll try it your way next time.

On the drying phase, though, I recommend getting a clean brick and wrapping it in paper towel, then setting that on top of whatever you want to dry. You know that bit in the Shamwow commercial where the loud dude uses trick photography to make it look like he's just soaked liquid up through carpet with the towel he's hawking? I've actually achieved that result with the paper-towel-wrapped-brick method. Sucks up liquid like Dracula at the blood bank.

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For me, the hair dryer method is too loud and too tedious to stand there holding the hair dryer. With the boiling method, I can go check my email while the 10 minutes ticks by. Just don't forget what you are doing and let the water boil away! :o

The smell of burnt plastic will alert you to your scorched pan and ruined patch. :(

Also, NO MICROWAVING! I did that once to a patch with metallic threads and it left burn marks on my patch within 10 seconds.

The towel and brick method sounds like a winner though. I just happened to have a heavy box full of sports programs on it's way to the basement the night I took the photos, so that's what came to mind to recommend.

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For me, the hair dryer method is too loud and too tedious to stand there holding the hair dryer. With the boiling method, I can go check my email while the 10 minutes ticks by. Just don't forget what you are doing and let the water boil away! :o

The smell of burnt plastic will alert you to your scorched pan and ruined patch. :(

Also, NO MICROWAVING! I did that once to a patch with metallic threads and it left burn marks on my patch within 10 seconds.

The towel and brick method sounds like a winner though. I just happened to have a heavy box full of sports programs on it's way to the basement the night I took the photos, so that's what came to mind to recommend.

I've found that an electric stove is much quicker and less messy than a hair dryer.

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I ripped one off my Met logo for the left sleeve with nothing but my own two hands...

It's damn hard and takes a while, but I never thought to boil, and I was afraid of ruining it with a blade of some sort...

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I ripped one off my Met logo for the left sleeve with nothing but my own two hands...

It's damn hard and takes a while, but I never thought to boil, and I was afraid of ruining it with a blade of some sort...

I was always afraid of damaging the edge of the patch trying to separate the backing starting at the outer edge.

As for cutting the backing, you can just score it a number of times. The backing is thick enough and stiff enough that I may not actually cut all the way through it myself, but when you fold it along the score, the plastic is stiff enough that it will crack and split open easily.

Also, while it causes no harm to your cookware, I recommend using your oldest, most beat up sauce pan and only doing this while your wife is not home. It's just a good way to keep the peace around the house rather than getting interrogated or crabbed at the entire time you are "wrecking" "her" cookware. B)

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I follow almost exactly this procedure, except I use a hairdryer for the melting, and I'm not smart enough to have thought of using tools, instead of my bare hands, for the bits where you slowly peel the melty plastic off the back. I'll try it your way next time.

On the drying phase, though, I recommend getting a clean brick and wrapping it in paper towel, then setting that on top of whatever you want to dry. You know that bit in the Shamwow commercial where the loud dude uses trick photography to make it look like he's just soaked liquid up through carpet with the towel he's hawking? I've actually achieved that result with the paper-towel-wrapped-brick method. Sucks up liquid like Dracula at the blood bank.

Wait... the Shamwow doesn't really work like that?

S#!t.

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I follow almost exactly this procedure, except I use a hairdryer for the melting, and I'm not smart enough to have thought of using tools, instead of my bare hands, for the bits where you slowly peel the melty plastic off the back. I'll try it your way next time.

On the drying phase, though, I recommend getting a clean brick and wrapping it in paper towel, then setting that on top of whatever you want to dry. You know that bit in the Shamwow commercial where the loud dude uses trick photography to make it look like he's just soaked liquid up through carpet with the towel he's hawking? I've actually achieved that result with the paper-towel-wrapped-brick method. Sucks up liquid like Dracula at the blood bank.

Wait... the Shamwow doesn't really work like that?

S#!t.

SHAMwow.

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I removed the patch backing easily in 5 minutes:

I scored the plastic backing with a razor blade

2) I folded the patch on the scores, and it cracked easily, and folded the backing up from the warning sticker.

3) I brought water to a boil in a Corning casserole, and let the patch soak for 5 minutes.

4) Holding the patch down with a butter knife, I grabbed a split corner from the center over the warning sticker, and removed the four plastic pieces easily.

5) Removed the patch from the water, and placed it on a paper towel, and easily scrapped the soggy sticker off the patch

6) placed additional paper towels on the patch and weighted it flat.

Piece of cake. 5 minutes plus drying time.

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On Friday, January 30, 2009 at 2:12 PM, hjwii said:

Well, now, this is an impressive presentation...complete with easy to follow directions and pictures. Thank you...

But I'll have to get my wife to do the boiling... I'm not allowed near the stove after the fried turkey incident....

Your'e kidding right--you didn't really try to fry a turkey on a STOVE, did you?

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