How To Attach Patches To Headliner? (Explained)

Your car headliner is one of the best places where you should display your patches. Whether you want to enhance aesthetics or you are in the military and would like to show off your badges, the headliner is an ideal place to attach patches.

Despite being an excellent location, sticking patches to the headliner isn’t always easy. Depending on the type of patches you have and the fabric used on the headliner, you may need to try different approaches.

Be as it may, if you have a set of patches that you would like to stick to your headliner, you should be able to do so after reading the guide below.

how to attach patches to headliner

What are the Different Ways to Attach Patches to Headliners?

  • Using Velcro

When it comes to attaching patches to the headliner, nothing beats Velcro. In the fabric industry, Velcro is a hook-and-loop fastener.

They are primarily used in clothing, more specifically in pockets or trainers. One of the reasons Velcro is so popular is because of how effortlessly it holds two surfaces.

For Velcro to work, one side must be scratchy and the other softer. In this case, the badge should have a scratchy Velcro surface, and the fabric should have a soft side.

The patches should stick firmly to the headliner when you press both surfaces together using the hook-and-loop technology.

We recommend Velcro as the best option out of the many ways you can attach patches to the headliner.

The reasons are, that it is quite simple, sticks and holds on firmly to the fabric, it’s not affected by temperature changes, and removing the patch is relatively easy.

Also, unlike some methods you will see later on, it doesn’t damage the headliner fabric.

Folks who love having patches on their headliner have been using Velcro for years. Getting patches that feature Velcro at the back makes the process of attaching them even easier.

So, if you are about to shop for patches to stick on your headliner, go with those that have Velcro. It will be so easy for you to attach them, and they won’t fall off easily.

Even if the patch doesn’t come with a Velcro back, you can sew the Velcro onto it. This should allow it to stick easily to a headliner.

  • Velcro Sticky-Back Tape

Velcro is well aware that some fabrics don’t come with this fastening mechanism already installed. This is why they introduced a sticky back tape.

The Velcro sticky back tape uses the same mechanism only that you can stick it on surfaces, in this case, the patches, and the headliner.

The sticky back hook comes in strips, circles, and squares. The tapes, on the other hand, are available in a wide range of shapes and colors.

Even though this tape is made for indoor use, it should work just fine on the headliner since this area is not exposed to any elements.

If you have already bought patches with a plain back, you can use Velcro sticky back tape. This tape uses the same technology as above, only that you have to be creative with it.

Installing it shouldn’t be a problem since the process is quite straightforward. The only drawback of the tape is that after a while, it will lose its adhesive power. This is unlike the Velcro itself, which lasts for far, much longer.

  • Two-Sided Tape

Even though tape doesn’t last long when used to attach patches to headliners, we had to put it on this list because it is a practical method, and there are instances when it can work perfectly.

Not all headliners have a Velcro-friendly fabric. Some are less sticky, more so those that are smoother. In such situations, Velcro will not work.

And that’s where two-sided tape comes in handy. Two-sided tape does a great job of holding two surfaces together. The only problem is that when used to attach patches to the headliner when the temperatures get too hot, the adhesive can fall off easily.

You should only use two-sided tape as a quick method of attaching patches to the headliner. However, do not expect it to offer lasting results.

  • Peel and Stick or Glue

If your patches feature a peel-and-stick back, then you can comfortably attach them to your headliner without any problem. Peel and stick patches are one of the easiest options to use to attach to headliners.

However, glue doesn’t do very well on headliners. Inside headliners, there is insulation that helps regulate car temperatures. However, your car will still heat up as long as there are windows that can let rays inside.

A peel-and-stick patch or one that has a plain back attached by glue will fall off after a while.

Once you choose this option, always prepare to add more glue to the patches and reattach them now and then. Despite being a stress-free method of attaching patches to headliners, it’s not the most durable.

Can Iron-On Patches Be Used on Headliners?

Such types of patches are only common in clothing. Most patches intended to be displayed on cars use Velcro or glue.

And, even if you decide to be creative with iron-on patches, installing them would be hectic, inconvenient, and tiresome. In the process, you could even damage your headliner. Avoid iron-on patches in your car by all means.

What If Velcro Doesn’t Stick to the headliner?

Most car brands are changing the materials they use in their cars. For instance, nowadays, the material used as the headliner is smoother and softer.

Car manufacturers do this to keep up with the latest trends as well as improve interior aesthetics. Some car owners have reported that Velcro no longer sticks to the new material used on headliners.

If you find yourself in such a dilemma, you may be stuck wondering what the way forward is. Should you keep your patch collection at home, or should you change the material on the headliner?

We understand how much those patches may mean to you. At the same time, we wouldn’t advise you to drive to a detailing shop and change all the material on the headliner.

If you are dealing with a smooth headliner that will not stick no matter how much effort you use to push the Velcro hooks. Then you should get yourself the Velcro sticky tape. This will hold up for longer.

You could also use glue or tape. But these won’t be durable. Yes, they will fall off a lot during summer, but they should easily stick back on. Plus, if you use quality tape, you don’t have to worry about sticky residue on the headliner.

Does the ‘Wiggle Trick’ Work?

For those of you who have been having trouble with sticking their patches to headliners and have asked around for tips, you may have come across the wiggle trick.

This entails wiggling the patch on the headliner as you attach it. The trick here is to stretch the material of the headliner so that the hooks can stick to it.

The wiggle trick may or may not work depending on the material of the headliner. In some cars, it works perfectly well. In others, you may not have so much luck. It is, however, worth giving it a try.

What about Quilting T Pins?

This is also another popular DIY trick. Quilting pins can also help you stick a patch to a headliner. But this mainly works as a complementary option.

T pins allow the Velcro to stick easily. However, if you use these pins by themselves, the patches won’t last very long.

As the car hits bumps when driving on rough terrain, the pins can shake and fall off easily. When you use both Velcro and T pins, the patches won’t fall.

Can I Use Fabric Glue?

If all of the above options fail, you can always use fabric glue. Designed to hold the fabric together, this type of glue has strong adhesive properties, and it will ensure the patches stick semi-permanently to the headliner.

Patches, because they are decorative pieces, at one point, you may want to remove them. If you use glue, it won’t be very easy for you to do so.

It can damage the headliner fabric and lower the vehicle’s resale value. You are better off using double-sided tape.

What is the Best Fabric Material to Attach Patches To?

There are different types of fabric headliners, and not all stick easily to patches. The likes of foam, flat knit, suede foam backcloth, and napped cloth, you shouldn’t have any trouble attaching patches to them.

However, on vinyl and mossy oak, attaching patches to such materials can prove to be challenging. You may have to use double-sided tape or glue on these materials.

Is the Headliner the Only Place to Attach and Display Patches?

Because of where it’s located, the headliner is the best place for you to display patches on your car. You can, however, display them on the dashboard or even behind seats, specifically on the headrest.

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