What are velcro airsoft patches?
Velcro airsoft patches are patches, badges or insignia’s -name them what you want- that are worn on airsoft clothing. In airsoft, most patches are made of PVC, but in some cases -like re-enactment- embroidered fabric patches are still used, just like the ones used by the military. Back in the day, patches were sewn onto the uniform, but nowadays almost all airsoft patches are backed with velcro (hook and loop). And not only in airsoft, the military also almost exclusively uses velco patches. They’re quick to remove and easy to replace.
The use of military patches goes back a long time and it helps to communicate important information, such as rank, unit and expertise. It shows you who you’re dealing with in just a small glimpse. It is said the Brits were the first ones to use military patches during World War 1 and later on, the Americans started to add morale patches (more about those in a minute…). By the way -and this is a bit of fun trivia- the Americans wear a flag on their right arm, but as the part with stars should always be at the front, the flag is reversed so the stars are top right. The thought behind this is that you should still see it as a flag, not as a patch. So when you’re walking, it should wave front to back. Details…
Airsoft fun patches
We mentioned them just now, the so-called morale patches. In airsoft they’re called fun patches and it’s this type of velcro backed airsoft patch that you’ll see most used. Originally, they were developed privately by solders; patches with funny or somewhat provocative images or words. Often quite tongue-in-cheek, using humour to boost morale or strengthen brotherhood. Think, for example- of a sexy pin-up, catchy one-liner or just something plain stupid to laugh about. We’ve got loads of them, so take your pick!
Airsoft team patches
Often, airsoft teams have their own velcro airsoft patches. They can adopt a regular airsoft patch with a certain image or text or even have their own design made. In some situations, different teams can identify each other by their patches. But most often, these velcro backed team patches serve no other purpose than just feeling exclusive, being member of your own team. Same goes for airsoft patches with names or logo’s from your favourite brand or store. These are worn because you like them or if you are one of those lucky enough to get sponsored.
Military patches for airsoft
As military patches are often earned after a long training and/or after many hardships, they are treated with respect within airsoft. This means they’re not often used and when they are, only generic patches like those mentioning your blood type are used. With these, nobody should feel offended. It’s only in re-enactment, that military patches are used. Which is quite logical, as it’s done for optimal authenticity of the re-enactment.
This is how you clean velcro airsoft patches
As mentioned before, just a small amount of airsoft patches nowadays is made of embroidered fabric. Most airsoft patches are made of PVC. The advantage of PVC is that the colours barely fade, it’s extremely durable and it’s also very easy to clean. Often, all you need is some warm soapy water and a brush.
However, if you do happen to have a really dirty old airsoft patch that has never been cleaned, a greasy, sticky residue can occur that is quite resistant to soapy water. If that’s the case, a mild solvent can be used, such as white spirit or (really, it works a treat!) disinfecting hand gel. If short in solvents, you can also use some light machine oil on a cloth to rub your patch, which will then appear as new.
Dirt in the velcro part of the airsoft patch is best just blown away or, in stubborn cases, gently rinsed with water. But whatever you do, don’t use a hard brush, as the hooks of the velcro can get damaged. PVC, velcro backed airsoft patches can also be cleaned in a washing machine. For this, we recommend leaving them on the clothing, as the velcro hooks can otherwise catch on sensitive fabric.