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Patch Types

A Arrowhead shaped patch. Not a flap.
B Bullion. Metallic patch. May be flap shaped.
C Chenille. "Rug" patch. Not a flap.
F Flap, not fully embroidered. Twill (base fabric) is visible. F, S and W issues are, with very the unusual exception of a few B's or C's, the only patches that are pocket flaps.
H Historical issue. Usually produced by a suceeding lodge to the one on the patch. This will always be followed by another letter to indicate the patch type, ie. F, S, R, etc.
J Jacket Patch. Usually large and often odd-shaped, meant for wear on jackets.
L Leather patch. The design is printed or otherwise marked on leather.
N Neckerchief. Design is either silkscreened or directly embroidered onto the cloth.
P Pie-shaped patch. Usually meant for wear on neckerchiefs.
Q Lodge Rejects. These are patches that were authorized by the lodge, not fakes, but for some reason were rejected and returned to the manufacturer. Ocassionally these make their to the collectorate. This will always be followed by another letter to indicate the patch type, ie. F, S, R, etc.
R Round. Patch is basically circular in shape; not a flap.
S Flap, fully embroidered. Twill is not visible in the design. F, S and W issues are, with very the unusual exception of a few B's or C's, the only patches that are pocket flaps.
W Woven. Rather than being embroidered, the patch is woven. These are usually, but not always, flap-shaped.
X Odd shape. Not a flap. Shape may be described. Shape, if regular, is usually notated in the description of the patch.
Y Miscellaneous catch-all category. Included in this category are all prototypes and samples. Also included are patches and neckerchiefs whose authenticity as lodge issues is not yet ascertained, and will be so notated. This will always be followed by another letter to indicate the patch type, ie. F, S, R, etc.
Z Private issue, fake or forgery. Not authorized by the lodge. This will always be followed by another letter to indicate the patch type, ie. F, S, R, etc.


Patch Shapes

Odd-shaped (X) patches frequently have their shape described in the description. These are some of the abbreviations commonly used.

DIA Diamond. An four-sided figure standing on one of its point. Often they are a square rotated 45 degrees.
HEX Hexagon; a six-sided figure.
OCT Octagon; an eight-sided figure.
PENT Pentagon; a five-sided figure.
RECT Rectangle; a four-sided figure.
TRI Triangle


Patch Borders

There are three main categories of border types.

C Cut Edge, also C/E. The edge of the base material is visible outside the border of the patch. The border was sewn on the patch before the patch was cut to shape from the fabric. There is often fraying around the edge of the patch. This style predominated among earlier patches, but is now making a resurgence with "laser cut-edge" patches where the edge is sealed with plastic (like the backing) after the patch is cut to shape.
R Rolled Edge, also R/E. This has been the predominate type of border since the 1960's. The patch was cut to shape before the border was embroidered.
FRE Flat Rolled Edge, also FR/E. This is a variation on the rolled edge border. The border is usually visually "flatter" in appearance. The back binding stitch, or lock stitch, can be seen from the front.


Miscellaneous Abbreviations

This is a list of other commonly used patch abbreviations.

CB Cloth backed. The webbing, guaze, or cloth on the back of the patch is not covered by another other plastic, or stiffener. Cloth backed patches, especially if densly embroidered, or not heavily starched by the manufacturer, will tend to become limp with age.
CD Computer Design. This refers to the method of embroidery in the patch. CD patches are characterized by the flatness of their appearance. More intricate and detailed designs are possible than with other methods, but the patches generally appear two dimensional. The emboidery is generally very tight.
FDL Also fdl. Fleur-de-lis.
FF First Flap, the first patch issued by a lodge intended for wear on the uniform pocket.
HOR Horizontal.
JAM BSA National Jamboree. The two digit number that follows indicates the year of the Jamboree.
NOAC National Order of the Arrow Conference. The two digit number that follows indicates the year of the Conference.
PB Plastic Back. A layer of plastic covers the back of the patch to stiffen it.
SS Scout Sign. This is similar to the fleur-de-lis but is differentiated in that the stitching is usually all in one direction.
VER Vertical.