Patch me if you can – Expensive Originals vs. Cheap Bootlegs

Before we dive into this article, I want to use the opportunity to thank Neckton Pictures for the awesome photo material! Make sure to head over to his Facebook page and leave a like!

German Version of this article:

Have you ever seen a patch on Ebay or other buying platforms and wondered if it was really a vintage original or not? Since I frequently had the same issue when I started buying and trading patches, I decided to draw up a guide that may be useful to you. Of course it’s not complete and if you feel that an integral part is missing, then feel free to shoot a message on the Shieldmaiden’s Voice Facebook page!

So let’s start with a couple of hints you can always look for.

Das Copyright

As a very basic clue that a patch is really what the seller is saying it is, you will most likely find a copyright. It is fairly easy to spot and at that it’s quite a useful clue. However, not all vintage patches have a copyright and as you can see in the photo below, sometimes bootleggers copy the copyright as well. Thus, a copyright should never be your only indication that a patch is indeed original.

Copyright is an easy-to-spot-hint, but never foolproof! (Pic by Neckton Pictures)

The Border

When you are offered patches, it is worthwhile to have a closer look at the border. The border of vintage originals is not as compacted and firm as in newer patches. The reason for that is simply advanced technology. Newer weaving machines are able to produce more durable patches nowadays. As you can see in the picture below, the border of the bootleg below is more dense than the border of the original above.

Original above and bootleg below (Pic by Neckton Pictures)

The Weaving itself

As mentioned above, weaving machines and their technology have vastly improved. This leads, in turn, to the fact that newer patches have a more compacted weaving structure. As you can see in the example below, the silver thread of the original’s band logo is shimmering through the black weaving. This effect can be observed with almost all vintage patches.

You can see the silver thread shimmering through on the original below (Pic by Neckton Pictures)

The Backing

The last hint is more or less self-explanatory. Newer patches look different on the back too. Newer patches are also almost always firmer to the touch. As you can see in the example, the backings of newer patches are more uniformous and rarely have any creases.

Due to the backing, many newer patches are firmer to the touch (Pic by Neckton Pictures)

All these are tipps that can help you identify original vintage patches. If you are unsure if a patch is original or a bootleg, it might be better not to buy it and save yourself from paying too much money.

To close this article, I have a little challenge for you: Which patches from this picture are original vintage patches and which are bootlegs? Have fun figuring it out 😉

Original or Bootleg? Can you figure it out? (Pic by Neckton Pictures)

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