3 ways to remove an embroidery

3 ways to remove an embroidery
3 ways to remove an embroidery

Embroidery allows you to personalize and add style to a garment. If the embroidery is not successful or you have changed your mind, you will need to remove it however. Fortunately, this is rather easy! By then ironing the fabric, you can even manage to remove the holes left by the stitches.


Method 1 of 3: Use a power tool

Remove Embroidery Step 1

Step 1. Purchase a special power tool

You can get these tools online or in haberdashery. The utensil looks a bit like an electric beard trimmer. It will be perfect for removing machine embroidery, such as a logo on a jacket, t-shirt or cap.

It is not recommended to use this tool to remove embroidery done by hand with a needle, thread and embroidery hoop

Remove Embroidery Step 2

Step 2. Turn the garment or fabric over to reveal its reverse side

The device may scratch the fabric and cause lint to appear. If you are working on the front of the embroidery, the lint will be visible. However, by working on the reverse side of the garment, you will not damage it.

  • On some embroideries, the stabilizer will still be attached. Start by tearing it up to remove it.
  • The embroidery will be finer on the back of the fabric and the tool will cut the stitches more easily.
Remove Embroidery Step 3

Step 3. Pass the tool over 2 or 3 cm of the embroidery

Place the machine against the edge of the embroidery, making sure the blades go into the threads. Gently push the tool forward an inch or two, like a shovel.

If you remove a logo, you can move the device to the full width of the letter

Remove Embroidery Step 4

Step 4. Lift the device and move it to the next segment

Push it in again for 2 or 3 cm, then lift it up. Work this way along the entire edge of the embroidery from side to side. When you are done, start a second line of 2-3 cm. Continue in this way until you have removed all the embroidery.

The number of times you will need to repeat the movement will depend on the size of the embroidery. For a small reason, you might be able to do it all at once

Remove Embroidery Step 5

Step 5. Turn the garment right side up and remove the stitches by hand

The stitches will be very fine and very tight and you might not see which threads are cut and loose. You will need to locate the area you cut, then use a darning needle or openwork to lift the threads and pull them out.

  • Slide the needle or the uncovered under the stitches, then pull the tool up. Remove the threads with your fingers.
  • To scrape and remove small dots, run your fingernails over them.
Remove Embroidery Step 6

Step 6. Repeat the process as needed

Not all threads will be eliminated on the first pass. Turn the item over again and run the appliance over the remaining stitches. Go back to the right spot and remove the threads with your fingers.

Remove Embroidery Step 7

Step 7. Use a lint roller to remove wire debris

If you don't have such a roll, you can use a piece of masking tape. Pass the roll over the front or back of the room.

This process might be enough to reveal a few stuck wires. In this case, use the uncovered to take them out

Method 2 of 3: Use an overhead

Remove Embroidery Step 8

Step 1. Turn the fabric over to see the back of the embroidery

If it is a garment, turn it inside out. It is important that you work on the back of the embroidery. Working on the front may cause snags in the fabric, which will be visible.

  • For hand-embroidered items, it is best to put the piece back in the embroidery hoop.
  • If the stabilizer is still attached to the embroidery, tear it off before continuing.
Remove Embroidery Step 9

Step 2. Cut the stitches with the uncovered

First, determine how many points you will need to withdraw. Then slide the uncovered under these points and pull the tool upwards, at an angle. The blade in the hooked part of the tool will cut the wires.

  • You can use a pair of embroidery scissors or nail scissors. Cut the threads with the tip of the scissors, being careful not to nick the fabric.
  • If the embroidery is extensive, work in sections of only a few inches.
  • If you are working on multi-layered embroidery, remove the satin stitches first.
Remove Embroidery Step 10

Step 3. Flip the coin over to the front

If it is a garment, turn it the right way around. Depending on the type of stitches the embroidery is made of, you might even notice that the cut threads start to unravel.

Remove Embroidery Step 11

Step 4. Pull the threads on the front of the fabric

Slip a darning needle under the stitches, then pull the threads. Use tweezers to grab the threads and pull them out.

  • If a stitch does not give out easily, turn the item over and check if the thread is cut.
  • Again, if you are removing embroidery made in multiple layers, remove only the satin stitches.
Remove Embroidery Step 12

Step 5. Continue until you have removed the entire embroidery

Go back to the back of the room and cut more stitches. Turn the fabric over again and pull the cut threads.

If you are working on multi-layered embroidery, continue with front stitches and decorative stitches. Finish by removing the main points

Method 3 of 3: Blur the point marks

Remove Embroidery Step 13

Step 1. Iron the front of the fabric to a suitable setting

Your iron will adjust either by temperature or by type of fabric. Select the setting that matches your fabric. For example:

  • use the warm setting for cotton or linen and a cooler setting for silk or synthetic material;
  • If you are working a cotton piece and your iron is adjusted by type of fabric, select the "cotton" setting.
Remove Embroidery Step 14

Step 2. Run your fingernail horizontally over the holes left by the dots

With a fingernail, lightly scrape the holes left by the stitches you removed. Repeat the movement 2 or 3 times only.

  • To start, place the piece on a hard surface, such as a table.
  • You could also scrape the area with the end of a spoon.
  • If you are working on silk, scrape gently so as not to tear the material.
Remove Embroidery Step 15

Step 3. Run your fingernail vertically over the stitch marks

By scraping the holes horizontally, you have tightened the vertical threads. By scraping them vertically (from top to bottom), you will tighten the horizontal threads.

Don't worry if the holes don't go away right away

Remove Embroidery Step 16

Step 4. Iron the fabric, then repeat the process if necessary

Iron the fabric, setting the iron to the appropriate temperature. Run your fingernail over the holes again, horizontally, then vertically. If the holes are still visible, repeat the process one or two more times.

If the holes don't disappear entirely, don't panic. You will repeat the operation on the back of the fabric, which should be enough to close the holes completely

Remove Embroidery Step 17

Step 5. Turn the piece over, iron it, and scrape the holes

Iron the fabric, then scrape the holes 2-3 times with your fingernail. Start by running your nail horizontally, then vertically.

As before, you may have to repeat the process several times


  • When possible, remove the embroidery by working on the back of the fabric.
  • If you are repeating a small portion of a hand embroidery, leave a short length of thread behind so you can tie it to the new thread.

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