How To Remove Embroidery – Easy Step-by-Step

If you are looking for the best ways of how to remove embroidery, then you have come to the right place.

Embroidery makes for a great way to spruce up your designs and add a bit of color and style to your garments.

However, there are times when what we plan to design looks radically different from the final design we have on our garment.

How to Remove Embroidery

Tip: In case you need a new embroidery machine, you can compare embroidery sewing machines here.

If you have messed up the design somehow or are unsatisfied with the final product for whatever reason, you might be wondering can embroidery be removed?

You’ll be happy to know that yes, it’s possible and it’s also pretty easy.

We have compiled this guide for you on how to remove machine embroidery. Simply follow all the steps and you’ll get those pesky stitches out in no time.


The Tools You’ll Need to Remove Embroidery

There are a few tools you’ll need to get started. These tools are pretty easy to get and should be available at your closest supermarket or you can simply order them online.


1. Seam Ripper

A seam ripper, like the name suggests, rips out stitches out of your garment. The tool basically looks like a knife. Only instead of the blade, you have a forked metal-head.

best seam ripper

Now, the tip of the metal head is very sharp, so be careful not to hurt yourself. This sharpness is required though, as it allows you to get under the stitch and rip it out in one, clean go.


2. Tweezers

You probably have a pair of tweezers lying around somewhere in the house.

Although it is possible to use your fingers to pull out all those little pieces of thread and hair, it might get a little difficult. Having a pair of tweezers makes the whole job of plucking out torn threads so much easier.

best tweezers for embroidery


3. Magnifying Glass

Stitches are very tiny and you might have a hard time looking at them through your naked eye. You can try bringing it really close to your eyes but then it will get blurry.

best magnifying glass for sewing

Having a magnifying glass lets you better analyze the threads which need to be torn out.

If you pluck out the wrong threads, your whole shirt might get ruined. Also having a magnifying glass ensures you don’t put too much strain on your eyes. Hence we would definitely suggest getting yourself a magnifying glass.

4. Lint Brush

A lint brush or a lint roller is made up of a handle that is attached to a roll of adhesive paper.

best lint brush for sewing

Stray threads and small hairs tend to get everywhere while working with embroidery and it can be extremely painstaking to pick them up individually by hand.

One roll of the lint brush and the adhesive on it will stick and pick up all these small threads and particles. If you don’t have a lint brush, consider getting a roll of duct tape.


How to Remove Embroidery

Here are easy-to-follow step-by-step of how to remove embroidery safely:


Step One:

The first thing you need to do is to turn the shirt inside out. The back of the embroidery is where all the stitches are, and this is where you will be removing the threads.


Step Two:

The part of the embroidery where you will be removing the stitches from should be placed flat on top of your palm. This will give you stability and you can also bring the shirt close to your eyes for closer inspection.


Step Three:

Now you have to search for a white bobbin thread. It’s a pretty small stitch, so you can use your magnifying glass to look for it.

Best Embroidery Machine for home business


Step Four:

Once you’ve found it, take your seam ripper and slide the sharp forked head under the stitches.

Make sure you cover at least 30 to 40 stitches with the seam ripper. Push the seam ripper outward gently, severing the threads that bind the embroidery to your garment.


Step Five:

At this point, once you’ve cut the threads, you’ll notice a stabilizer thread in between the embroidery stitches and your shirt.

No matter what, under no circumstances, should you touch that stabilizer thread. That stabilizer thread is there for a reason, that is to protect your garment from inadvertent damages.

Step Six:

Turn the shirt right-side out. Now, use your tweezers to pull the threads out of the embroidered design.

The point to remember here is that if you experience any resistance whatsoever, stop immediately.

Turn the shirt inside-out again and tear those threads properly using your seam ripper.

Then resume using your tweezers and pull out the remaining threads. Stop when the whole embroidery has come out.

Best Machine Embroidery Threads

Tip: Check out the various types of machine threads here.


Step Seven:

Use your lint brush to pick up any loose strands of fibers or threads. This puts the finishing touch on removing the embroidery from your fabric.

That’s it! Your shirt is now free of embroidery. If there a lot of holes where the embroidery used to be, don’t worry. A new layer of machine embroidery will completely cover this up.

Although this guide talks about how to remove embroidery stitches that have been made by a machine, the process is pretty much the same for hand-embroidered fabrics as well.

In fact, it’s a lot easier and you’ll be able to do a much better job in a fraction of the time.


Bottom Line

The process illustrated above doesn’t require a lot of tools and works very well if you have the patience to see the whole process through. This is an intricate process that requires steady hands and first and foremost, a lot of time.

Remember not to rush yourself as this will definitely cause mistakes. If you’re looking for an easier way, you can invest in an electric stitch remover – this will make the whole process a lot more efficient and save you a lot of time.

Well, that’s it from us! We hope this guide answers all your questions about how to remove embroidery and if you have any more doubts, feel free to drop us a comment below!