How to Choose a Rank Braid for Your Department

Your department’s uniform features numerous tiny details, including the uniform braids. These are an important part of the uniform as they help convey the rank of each member of your team. They also further the overall appearance of a professional, well-groomed team, whether you are firefighters, EMS, police, or another organization. But how do you choose the rank braids for your team’s uniform? You will want to keep the following factors in mind.

Uniform Regalia Rank Braid | Stokes International


Start by considering the colours you want on the rank braids. This will likely be influenced by the colours of other parts of your uniform, including any other badges or rank bands. The most common colours are gold or silver paired with navy blue, but there are also other variations. Some solid-coloured uniform sleeve braids are more versatile as they have fewer colours to coordinate.

Most teams will opt for a single colour scheme for their rank uniforms and give team members of different ranks ones with differing numbers of bands. However, that is not the only option. You could also opt for similar styles in different colours to distinguish roles or specializations on the team.

Range of Variations (Number of Braids)

As you contemplate uniform braids, you should consider how many variations your chosen style offers. Specifically, pay attention to how many braids or stripes you can get for a given style. You want to make sure that there are enough options to distinguish between the varying roles on your team.

Many of the styles offer up to five bars, which is the standard. This means that your options are not limited if you need to have varying numbers of bars.


You should also pay attention to the width of your chosen uniform braids. Every department has a slightly different preference in this respect, and there is no wrong answer. Because of the varying preferences, you should have no problem finding braids in your desired width.

Paying attention to width is particularly important if you choose solid-coloured braids that you can use to create multiple rows or brands on uniforms. In these cases, you can find widths that include ¼ inch, 3/8 inch, ½ inch, and 1 and 1/2 inches, depending on your chosen colour.


Don’t forget to pay attention to the length of the rank braid. Most departments will place the braids on the sleeves, so they need to wrap around the sleeve. However, you can also use them in other locations on the uniform. This means that your required length of braided material will be unique to your department. Make sure you know the amount you need for each uniform before ordering, so you order enough.

For convenience and to accommodate the need for a variety of lengths, most uniform sleeve braids are available by the meter. This means you just need to figure out how much you need per uniform, how many uniforms you need to add the braids to, and whether you want to have extra on hand for future use.

Supplier Reputation and Quality

Of course, you should also pay attention to the supplier you get your uniform braids from, particularly their overall reputation and quality. You should always opt for a supplier with more experience and a strong reputation, as this implies that their braids are durable.

Stokes International is a great choice for rank braids and has more than 70 years of experience providing uniforms and related items to firefighters, police, EMS, military, and other organizations. As a bonus, you can order other pieces of your department’s uniforms at the same time.