Discovering the Magic of Embroidery: How We Created the Stunning Waverley Paddle Steamer Patch

As a designer, I was thrilled to embark on a project that involved creating a stunning embroidered patch for the iconic Waverley paddle steamer. Embroidered patches are a timeless form of art that adds a unique touch to any garment or accessory. It was only possible to make such a sophisticated product with Patchion LTD. I will share the design process, embroidery threads, and materials choice with you.

Inspiration behind the Waverley Paddle Steamer patch

The Waverley paddle steamer is a historic vessel that has been sailing the waters of Scotland since 1947. It is the last seagoing paddle steamer in the world and has become an iconic symbol of Scottish maritime heritage. As a designer, I wanted to create a patch that would capture the essence of this historic vessel and its significance to Scotland.

To achieve this, I studied the history and design of the Waverley paddle steamer. I looked at old photographs, sketches, and blueprints to understand the ship’s structure and unique features. I also researched the different types of embroidery techniques that can be used to create intricate details and textures.

Designing the Patch – Inspiration, Sketches, and Final Design

Once I had gathered enough information, I began sketching different design concepts for the patch. I experimented with different shapes, sizes, and colours until I found a design that captured the essence of the Waverley paddle steamer. The final design featured the paddle steamer sailing on the water with its smokestacks and unique features visible.

After the final design was approved, I created a digital version of the patch using specialised software. This allowed me to make any necessary adjustments and ensure the design was perfect before we began embroidery.

The most challenging part of the job was to simplify the original image. I received the vector file of the ship and quickly noticed it has a lot of details which need removal or redesigning. For example, dealing with Lifebuoys, handrails, marine navigational equipment, and characters at the flags. 

Deciding on the border of the patch was a complicated task; finally, a hawser in white and gold goes around the patch; adding a nautical style to the product required concentration and good knowledge of the technique of computer embroidery.

Choosing the right embroidery threads and materials for the patch

Choosing embroidery threads and materials is critical when creating a stunning embroidered patch. For the PS Waverley patch, we decided on high-quality Madeira and Gunold threads and fabrics that would bring the design to life. We opted for a combination of cotton and polyester threads in different shades of blue, white, red and black to create the illusion of water and the paddle steamer itself.

We also used a high-quality twill fabric as the base for the patch. This ensured that the patch would be durable and long-lasting, even with regular use.

The embroidery process

The embroidery process is where the magic happens. We used state-of-the-art embroidery machines that could handle the intricate designs and details of the PS Waverley patch. The machines were programmed with the digital version of the design, and the embroidery began.

The process was meticulous, with each stitch carefully placed to bring out the details and textures of the design. We used different embroidery techniques, such as satin, backstitching, and running stitch, to create different textures and effects.

Quality control and finishing touches

Once the embroidery was complete, we conducted a thorough quality control check to ensure the patch was perfect. We checked for any loose threads, missing stitches, or other imperfections that could detract from the final product. Also last measurements of the dimension of the oval patch, which should be precisely 5″ x 3.75″ (13cm x 9.5cm)

After the quality check, we added the finishing touches, including cutting the excess fabric and threads and ironing the patch to ensure it lay flat and smooth.

Patchion LTD – our partner in creating the patch

Patchion LTD is a leading manufacturer of high-quality personalised embroidered patches, and we were a partner in creating the Waverley patch. We provide the best materials and equipment to ensure the patch is of the highest quality. We also offer valuable insights and advice on the embroidery process, which help our customers to create a stunning final product.


Creating the Waverley paddle steamer patch was a journey of inspiration, creativity, and hard work. It was a testament to the power of embroidery to bring a design to life and capture the essence of a historic vessel. With the right materials, equipment, and collaboration, anything is possible in embroidered patches.

If you are interested in creating your own embroidered patch, we encourage you to contact us at to discuss your project and how we can help you bring your vision to life.

The story behind the PS Waverley logo

The Waverley paddle steamer’s logo is a distinctive emblem that has become synonymous with the ship and Scottish maritime history. The logo features a stylised depiction of the ship’s iconic steam funnel and paddle wheels, set against a blue and white background.

The Scottish artist and illustrator Walter Thorburn designed the logo in the 1970s. Thorburn was a member of the PSPS and was passionate about preserving and promoting Scottish maritime heritage. He created the logo to celebrate Waverley’s unique history and to help raise awareness of the ship’s importance to Scottish culture.

Design elements of the Waverley logo

The PS Waverley logo is a simple yet striking design with several key elements. The most prominent element is the ship’s steam funnel, which is depicted as a bold, black line that dominates the logo’s centre. The funnel is flanked on either side by the ship’s paddle wheels, represented by stylised white circles with black spokes.

The logo is set against a blue and white background, creating a sense of movement and energy. The blue represents the water on which the Waverley sails, while the white evokes the ship’s steam and smoke. The overall effect is a dynamic and memorable logo that captures the essence of the Waverley paddle steamer.

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    Merrow Border

    Merrow border – overlock

    Nice look professional badge edging.


    • Larger durability
    • Better aesthetics
    • Better looks from the side and front of a patch
    • Best possible protection against shredding
    • Hemming the edge with a decorative lace


    • Relatively thicker and wide bordering (width 3mm)
    • Higher price of a patch
    • Available only for simple shapes (rectangle, triangle, circle and simple shields shapes)

    Hot Cut Border

    Simple hot cut or hot knife edge 

    The edge is made using the same embroidery technique, which is used to embroider the design. Then the emblem is cut as close as possible to this edge. It is also finished off thermally (hot cut). It is necessary to straighten out and protect the edge.


    • Colour of the frame always ideally matches the whole design, it is made of the same thread.
    • Better look for smaller patches
    • Best solution for complicated shapes.
    • Thin bordering available (even 1mm).
    • Lover cost than merrow border.


    • Could occur impression of not finished patch from the side

    In most cases we suggest to use merrow border. You could always ask our staff for advice. We would be happy to reply all your questions.

    The Advantages and Disadvantages of Embroidered Patch Backings

    If you’re thinking about purchasing an embroidered patch that is custom made to suit your needs, you must first know what the most ideal backing material for your design. You also need to know the quality of the garment and the length of time the patch backings will last.

    Depending on the process, here are the three types of patch backing.

    1. Iron-On Backing with Heat Sealing.
    2. Velcro Backing with Hooks and Loops.
    3. Adhesive Backing with Stick-On or special adhesive.

    Before you make a decision, I will write down the advantages and disadvantages associated with each of them.

    Iron-On Backing

    When you use iron-on backing on your patch, you will only receive a temporary security, because it won't last long. This backing is ideal for ceremonial and casual clothing, but never uses it for any kind of exercises or training. They are mostly used to securely place the patch during the sewing process, so iron-on backing is not the best choice if you want to use it for your active lifestyle purposes.

    Advantages and Disadvantages:

    • Ideal for ceremonial purposes.
    • Avoid heavily worn.
    • Avoid frequent cleaning.

    VIDEO: How to Iron on an Patch

    Velcro Backing

    Velcro backing has two styles of the backing material. Hook-sided for males and Two-sided for both males and females. Hook-sided is the best choice when you need to change new patches frequently or other small adjustments like in the case of military and police uniforms. But if a loop fastener isn't attached on the clothing, we can use two-sided Velcro backing in the process.

    As in Iron-on, Velcro backing also has advantages and disadvantages:

    • More durable. You can remove the patches before cleaning so they last longer.
    • Greater Flexibility. The patches can be easily removed and reattached anytime.
    • The only disadvantage is because Velcro patches are attached loosely.

    Adhesive Backing

    The most popular and familiar kind of backing used for embroidered patches is adhesive backing. It's very convenient and the backing process is very easy. Today, this is the most ideal choice for short-term events. Adhesive backing is the best choice for one-time event, but it has its own disadvantage if you want to use for a long time.

    The advantages and disadvantages of adhesive backing are below:

    • Easy to use on any garment.
    • Ideal patch backing for a short time span.
    • Stay away when the patchwork is required to remain permanent.

    patch-attachBeacon Patch Attach is a special kind of glue that can offer an extra way to add patches onto clothing and garments. The glue joins any kind of fabric you may think of and there will be no need to sew. It is washable, non-toxic and can be removed easily when subjected to heat. Most important is this glue will keep your patches permanent.

    But among all of the methods above, the most ideal of attaching patches is by sewing them onto a garment. When sewn, the patch remains attached on the cloth for a long period of time. Experts claim that it can even last for decades.

    Having made a decision on the kind of backing you need, it is now the time to look for an expert to do all the necessary steps in designing the patches. Our business is specializing in designing the custom patches for any occasions that our customers will love. Reach out to us and we shall be ready to assist you.