OK, for some people, trying to figure out what a theatre made patch from Iraq and Afghanistan right now is a bit of a challenge. Well, I'm here to help. Hopefully, this thread can help you be on the lookout on the patches that are today's values. OK, first the theatre made patches have been made in 3 basic colors; Woodland Subdued, Desert Subdued, and ACU with and without velcro. Also, in some rare occasions color patches were made. The woodland is the hardest color to find, as it was only made for a short period of time before the patch makers discontinued the color (ran out of thread). The Deserts have been the most common for me to find, and they come as unit patches, rank, tapes, and qualifications such as the CIB, CAB, and EIB.
Normally, when you have a patch made, you give the patch makers an example to copy. This copying ussually takes place by hand, therefore producing the theatre made patch. I have seen the patches made in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, and Qatar, and they all have thier unique identifying traits.
Let's start with the Afghani made patch. I have not seen very many Afghanistan made patches, and the few I have seen has been in ACU. I don't know if they do not make patches there a lot or what. This picture shows an ISAF patch in ACU on black velcro and an 82nd ABN patch that I do not know where it was made, and I have not seen another like it.
As I said, I think that these are Afghani made.
Moving on, we come to the Kuwaiti and Iraqi made patches. This is where it gets a little tricky. One style of the embriodery pattern is used in both countries, as you see below.
The prices on patches in Kuwait and Iraq go from about $3 all the way to somewhere around $20. They are sold in both on base and on the streets of cities such as Baghdad. The following are pictures of a patch shop in Camp Buehring Kuwait.
(Notice the packs hanging off the ceiling)
As you can see, there are a bunch of pre-made patches, but you can custom order patches, boonies, and packs. That is the most common embriodery pattern on unit patches.
OK, now we go into Qatar. Qatari patches are very expensive, $10 for a very simple patch with letters. Qatari patches also have a very distinctive backing, it's very stiff and sticky. The following is a Qatari made generic patch.
As you can tell, these patches are alike at first glance, but if you really look you can notice differences. Well, that's all for now, I'll be posting more photos and in depth information soon. Thanks.