Embroidery is an excellent way to embellish your clothing or accessories, either decoratively or to personalize clothing with a company logo.
However, there are times when we want to remove embroidery for different reasons, for example, because we don’t like the design, the size, or the colors, because we don’t want to promote a brand with our clothes or because we want to reuse a garment with the embroidery of an institution we are no longer part of.
If any of these reasons is the cause of you wanting to remove embroidery from any of your clothing or accessories, you are in the right place.
In this article, we will explain how to remove hand and machine embroidery the easiest way!
Read on to learn how to remove embroidery!
Embroidery can be removed from clothing or accessories with various methods that involve cutting and removing the many threads that make up the stitched design, either by machine or by hand.
Although not an extremely difficult task, removing embroidery requires patience, attention, and time to avoid damaging the fabric.
However, you should know that when you remove the hundreds of stitches made to create the embroidery, the needle holes will be exposed.
There are some tricks to reduce their visibility and even time and washing will make them gradually disappear.
Materials needed to remove embroidery
- Seam ripper or scissors
- Lint roller (optional)
A seam ripper is a small tool used to remove seams or open buttonholes. If you don’t have it, you can buy it or replace it with small sewing scissors.
These tools are precise, but they are not designed to be a quick method, so I recommend this tutorial only if you will remove embroidery very rarely.
If you need to remove embroidery very frequently, I would recommend that you opt for other methods and tools, for example, using a stitch eraser which is a professional electric tool for removing embroidery stitches.
Step 1Turn the clothing or accessory from which you want to remove the embroidery inside out.
To remove embroideries you should always start working on the wrong side.
Step 2If your embroidery has interfacing or stabilizer on the back, try to remove as much of it as possible before you start cutting the threads.
Take care not to damage the fabric of your clothing or accessory.
Step 3Start cutting the stitches, do it carefully so as not to cut the fabric. Slide the seam ripper under a few stitches to cut them.
Keep in mind that if the fabric is thin it will be better to cut a few stitches at a time or use sewing scissors, on the other hand, if the fabric is thick you can cut a larger number of stitches at a time.
Step 4After cutting a part of the embroidery, put your garment or accessory on the right side and check that the threads have come loose and are starting to fray.
With the tweezers or with your hands, remove the loose stitches from the front and also those that have been cut on the wrong side.
Step 5Continue removing embroidery in parts to make the job easier.
Repeat the process by cutting the threads at the back, turning the garment right side out, and pulling to remove the stitches. Continue like this until all the embroidery is removed.
Step 6Get rid of the discarded threads by using the lint roller, or masking tape if you don’t have one, to clean up the frayed area and any lint left behind after removing the embroidery.
Here is a really easy way how to remove embroidery with a Stitch Eraser:
And if the embroidery is by hand, what to take into account when removing it?
Hand embroidery is a beautiful artistic expression that looks great on different clothes and accessories, but for different reasons you may want to remove some or part of it.
While the technique for remove embroidery will be the same, the good news is that in general hand embroidery uses much fewer stitches than machine embroidery and removal will be easier and take less time.
However, you should keep in mind that if the fabric you are working with is delicate, scissors are the best option for removing the embroidery, as they cut the thread. Instead, the seam ripper will put some pressure on the fabric as you pull to cut, and this could damage the fabric.
How to remove stitch marks after removing embroidery?
After removing the embroidery from clothing or an accessory, you may notice that it has left stitch marks, lots of small holes that aren’t pretty to look at.
Before removing the embroidery from any garment, take into account what fabric it is.
You should take special care with delicate fabrics such as silk, satin, etc. and you should also know that in materials such as leather there will always be holes.
To erase the stitch holes after removing the embroidery you can wash the fabric following the washing instructions, this should make the holes smaller.
If they are still visible, you can try ironing the fabric. For this, make sure that the fabric resists heat without being damaged.
But if the marks are still present even after ironing, just try using your fingernail or the edge of a spoon to rub the fibers into place.
Gently scrape both horizontally and vertically across the fabric to help get all the fibers back into place. Repeat on both sides of the fabric until the holes are no longer visible.
Can the embroidery be removed? Yes it can!
As we have learned, embroidery can be removed with patience and time in a few steps and with a few tools.
Just remember the importance of knowing what fabric you’re working with and following the washing and drying instructions so you don’t damage it.
I hope you find this tutorial useful for your projects.