Proper Patch Layout for a Leather Biker Vestby Donna Thacker
If you ride a motorcycle, you must have a leather vest to wear. The vest will not only protect you from road debris, rocks and bugs, it will be like an immediate introduction to those you meet, by the patches on it. The patches will tell others what organizations you are affiliated with, people you know and where you have been. Proper patch layout, for the most part, is a matter of taste.
Club and Organization Patches
If you are a member of a motorcycle club or organization, you will have a large patch with the club or organization name and logo on it. This patch should be centered on the back of the leather vest. Lay the patch on the vest and center it just below the shoulder blades. If your club or organization issues small patches on a yearly basis that announce how long you have been a member, these need to be arranged close to your affiliation patch. These are usually small rectangle patches that simply have the year on them. Make sure you have plenty of room to continue adding these if you plan to be a long-time member.
Name or Title Patches
If you want your name or nickname made into a patch to wear on your leather vest, it should be placed on the left side front of the leather vest, right over the heart. This will be the first place other bikers will look to see what your name is. If you hold an office in your club or organization, the proper place to put that patch is right under your name.
A lot of clubs and organizations offer memorial patches for deceased members. There is no proper layout for these patches. It is a matter of personal preference as to where you place these. Some bikers will start a row along the bottom of their vest and add to the row when another patch is necessary. Other bikers choose to scatter the patches around on their vest.
Event or Travel Patches
A leather vest can become a colorful road map to places you have been or events you have attended. All motorcycle events have vendors that sell patches of any kind you want. Most events sell their own event patch so that bikers can advertise the event for them by wearing the patch on their vest. These patches have no proper placement either. You can have them sewn on in any fashion you like, or in any space left on your vest. Some biker events have vendors that not only sell the patches, they also sew them on for you right there.
Donna Thacker has been a writer/photographer for over 15 years. She held the position of associate editor/writer/photographer at Biker Ally Magazine. She currently is a photojournalist for The Biking Life, and has been featured on the front page of The Greenville Advocate, The Hillsboro Journal and The Sorento News. Thacker also designed and published several booklets of historical interest for local organizations.