Embroidered patches are one of the most popular souvenir items collected by tourists. Vacationers looking for small, inexpensive and easy-to-carry items to remember their travels are avid collectors of embroidered patch artwork denoting their trips.
These travel patches can be displayed in picture frames, sewn directly on to jackets (especially ski parkas) or blankets in groupings or simply collected and stored in boxes or bags.
If the patches currently available on the eBay auction website are a reliable indicator, one of the most popular patch categories is U.S. National Parks. While there is no official protocol for embroidered artwork, nearly every national park, national monument, historic site and national recreation area is depicted in colorful threadwork designs sewn on an embroidered patch.
Tourist patches have been around for decades and are usually very specific to the location. At Niagara Falls, several different patches can be found in the gift shop on Goat Island. At the base of the Santa Monica pier outside of Los Angeles, California, completely different patches are found. The reason is obvious, tourists like to buy souvenirs that remind them of their trip to a particular place and the embroidered patch is a very inexpensive souvenir to buy.
Another popular travel patch category is U.S. cities, with embroidered designs usually depicting an urban landmark like the St. Louis Gateway Arch, San Francisco cable cars or the Seattle Space Needle. Individual U.S. state patches are often produced for collectors, and many of the state patches are die-cut designs in the distinctive shape of the state.
Vacation destinations pictured in embroidered patch design are frequently tied to such recreational activities as scuba diving in Belize, hiking the Appalachian trail or skiing in the mountains of Colorado.
There does not seem to be one company that dominates the tourism patch business and many different manufacturers have made patches for the tourism industry. The Chicago Embroidery Company has made patches for museums like Museum of Natural History in New York and zoos like the Cleveland Zoo, but their largest category seems to be ski resorts.
The Chicago Embroidery Company made patches for such destinations as Vail and Aspen in Colorado, and Alta and Snowbird in Utah and other mountain resorts. The reason why, in this author’s opinion, is the owner of the company at the time enjoyed skiing in the western United States and probably quoted on patches when traveling on his vacations.
International patches are another vibrant collectors market, with designs featuring writing in English as well as the native tongue of the land. Patches depicting the individual country’s flag are also available and are avidly pursued by collectors.
Often times patch collectors choose certain categories of patches to collect. For the dedicated collector, travel and tourism patches are a popular category with many different and ever changing patches.
You can learn more about embroidered patches from the Chicago Embroidery Company at www.c-emblem.com