MiVT: Iron Thread

Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 2:12 PM EDT
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NEW HAVEN, Vt. (WCAX) - The rumbling of embroidery machines is a sweet sound for the Pedriani family, but not as sweet as the rumble of a motorcycle.

“I’ve just always been into motorcycles since I was a kid,” explained Jason Pedriani, who has since gotten his wife, Valerie, into them, too.

“Everyone puts special parts and pieces on them so that it’s like one of a kind,” she said.

Jason and Valerie have spent a lot of time at motorcycle events over the years. Back in 2003, Jason realized something was missing.

“Some of the ideas and concepts and designs at the events need to be more custom,” he said. “So, my idea was create a custom on-site mobile studio with an embroidery machine.”

That’s exactly what they did. Together, the duo opened Iron Thread, which was originally in a trailer and brought to events. They specialize in ‘40s and ‘50s vintage-style patches for bikers to wear on their clothes.

Jason has a background in screen-printing and embroidery. Excited to own a business, Valerie decided to take on the design aspect which was a new venture.

“And I just literally had to learn as we went. Just on the spot,” she said. “I taught myself really because there weren’t classes or anything else at that time.”

It didn’t take long for these two to outgrow their business on wheels. They bought more machines and expanded into their New Haven basement studio.

While the two say they expected to remain regional in the beginning, that hasn’t been the case.

“I had a guy call from Hawaii that was at a bar and he wanted to get a custom patch done. And a guy at the bar wrote down my name and number on a pack of matches,” Jason recounted.

Now, it’s not uncommon for these two to have their work used in movies or TV shows. Even celebrities have ordered their patches.

Each custom patch is one-of-a-kind and won’t be reproduced without the first owner’s express permission. Made with the best materials they can find, the Pedrianis say their work isn’t cheap, but it will last.

“They’re out in the sun, they’re wearing it on their motorcycle. Any climate, any temperature so they want to make sure that it’s durable and that it will last for pretty much forever for them,” Valerie said.

Together, these two are creating patches for bikers and hot rod enthusiasts that are “Harley” ordinary.

“It’s their own identity. Like we always say we service your identity. It’s setting them apart from somebody else,” Jason said.