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Can You Remove Embroidery?


Embroidery adds beautiful embellishments to clothes; it can be hard to imagine a scenario where you would want it removed. But sometimes you may have to if the embroidery has been stitched into the wrong place on the fabric. Some embroidery can hinder sewing, such as on a seam. Or the embroidery may not have been done accurately, or you wish to update an embroidered logo to a new design.

Whatever the reason, fortunately, embroidery can be removed, it just takes a little time and patience. Here’s the lowdown on removing embroidery.

How to Remove Embroidery

There are two recommended methods for removing embroidery from a garment:

  • Use a Stitch Eraser

The best tool to remove embroidery is the stitch eraser, a handy tool that looks a bit like a hair clipper (which can also be used in a pinch). If you run an embroidery business, a stitch eraser is an excellent investment to remove mistakes quickly.

The stitch eraser has sharp blades that clips the thread in the stitches to remove embroidery, working in much the same way an electric razor does. You can find them online or from any fabric shop, and they are ideal for dealing with embroidery stitched on with embroidery machines, but not so much for hand-embroidery.

While the stitch eraser works to remove the embroidery without damaging the garment, it could scrape the fabric and cause it to become fuzzy, so it’s recommended that you use it on the back of the garment so that this fuzziness will not be visible.

If the garment has a stabiliser over the embroidery, tear this away first. Push the stitch eraser across the stitching so the blades dig into the threads and move it forward. Work your way around the embroidery until it is all removed. Once done, turn the garment back over and use tweezers or a seam ripper to remove any stray threads.

  • Use a Seam Ripper

For smaller bits of embroidery, using a seam ripper can be sufficient. Turn your embroidery over and work from the back, cutting the stitches with the seam ripper. Lift the seam ripper upwards at an angle to rip the threads, working a few centimetres at a time. Return to the front of the embroidery and pull the stitches out; you can use a darning needle to lift the thread away, or a pair of tweezers. If there is any resistance, turn the embroidery back over as you may not have cut a stitch all the way through.


What are the Results of Removing Embroidery?

Sometimes removing embroidery is not always worth it, and the garment is best remade if it is not up to scratch. Fabric can become damaged or could become deformed during the process. For example, stretch fabric is not recommended for embroidery removal, especially if you do not plan to re-embroider, as there will be visible holes.

If removed carefully, there is no reason why you cannot reuse the fabric. But if it doesn’t look brand-new, it can be a great idea to re-embroider over the top of it.


At Stocks, we specialise in supplying industrial and commercial embroidery machines from top brands ZSK and Brother. Our ZSK single head embroidery machines, for example, offer you the power and flexibility you need in your production. They have all the features you would expect from a modern embroidery machine, like the ZSK Sprint series that includes the thinnest tubular arm available in the industry, allowing you to process smaller aspects of orders with ease, such as shirt pockets and shoes.

With our team of embroidery experts at your side, we can help you find the perfect embroidery machine for your business, whether for small volumes or large-scale production. All our machines boast colour screens and PC connections, giving you the technology you need to get production up and running. We have helped over 500 small businesses get started thanks to your ‘start your own business’ package, and we could help you too.


At Stocks, we pride ourselves on helping people to get their embroidery businesses off the ground. We offer free delivery of our machines, as well as installation and training so you will know precisely how to get the very best from your machine from the get-go. Contact us today to find out more about our machines and services.