How to Remove Embroidery From Shirt – Complete Tutorial

Taking off embroidery from a shirt might seem hard, but you can do it without hurting the fabric if you do it right. 

If you want to change the design or reuse the shirt, you need to follow the correct steps for a good result.

Here’s a simple guide on how to remove embroidery from shirts by using different techniques and make sure nothing goes wrong.

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Most users are worried about how to remove embroidery from shirts, which can be a bit tough, but it’s possible if you’re careful. There are some things to watch out for.

The tricky part is that the threads holding the embroidery might be stubborn and not come off easily. So, you need to be patient. If you’re not careful, you could accidentally tear the fabric or make a hole in the shirt.

How to remove embroidery from shirt

This post is for you if you want more instructions on how to fixing holes with embroidery in your clothing.

Another risk is that the fabric might change its shape or size when you’re using tools like scissors to remove the threads.

Also, the color of the fabric might fade or become different due to the heat and moisture you might use while taking off the embroidery.

If you’re not experienced, you might not remove all the embroidery completely, leaving bits behind. And if you’re trying this on a delicate or valuable shirt, there’s a chance it could get ruined.

So, it’s best to go slowly, be gentle, and maybe even get help from someone who knows what they’re doing.

Test a small hidden spot first to see how the fabric reacts, and remember, if you’re unsure, it’s safer to let a professional handle it.

Here is a detailed explanation of how to remove embroidery in several ways without causing any harm.

How To Remove Embroidery From Shirt Using Seam Rippers:

Remove Embroidery From Shirt Using Seam Rippers

Here’s how you can remove embroidery from a shirt using a seam ripper in simple steps:

  1. Find the part of the shirt with the embroidery you want to remove. You’ll need a seam ripper, which is like a small tool with a sharp point.

Here is a list of embroidery tools you can use to make embroidery more effective.

  1. Look closely at the embroidery stitches. You’ll see threads holding the embroidery to the fabric.
  2. Gently slide the sharp point of the seam ripper under a stitch that you want to remove. Be careful not to poke the fabric.
  3. Once the point is under the stitch, gently lift it. Use the sharp part of the seam ripper to cut the stitch. It’s like opening the stitch.
  4. After cutting the stitch, you can use your fingers to pull out the thread pieces. They should come out easily.

Explore this link to learn more about choosing the best thread for embroidery.

Keep doing this for all the stitches of the embroidery you want to remove. Take your time so you don’t accidentally cut the fabric.

  1. When you’re done, check if there are any leftover threads. You can pull them out gently. Remember, go slow, and be patient. It might take a bit of time, but you’ll be able to remove the embroidery without damaging the fabric.

How To Remove Embroidery From Shirt Using Scissors:

Remove Embroidery From Shirt Using Scissors

Removing embroidery from a shirt using embroidery scissors can be a delicate process. Here’s a general guideline:

  1. Examine the embroidery to determine the type of stitching and the fabric it’s attached to. This will help you understand the complexity of removal.
  2. Ensure you have a pair of sharp embroidery scissors or small, pointed scissors to work with.
  3. Gently slide the tip of the scissors underneath a stitch, avoiding the fabric as much as possible. Carefully cut a few stitches to loosen the embroidery.
  4. Once you’ve loosened some stitches, gently tug on the thread using the scissors or your fingers. Be cautious not to damage the fabric. If the embroidery is tightly secured, you might need to cut more stitches to free the thread.
  5. Cut individual threads rather than trying to remove large sections all at once. This minimizes the risk of damaging the fabric.
  6. Continue this process, stitch by stitch, until you’ve removed all the embroidery. Take breaks to prevent strain on your eyes and fingers.

Check out this blog guide to learn how to choose the best embroidery scissors for cutting and trimming. 

How To Remove Embroidery From Shirt Using Heat And Peel Technique:

Remove Embroidery From Shirt Using Heat And Peel Technique

Removing embroidery from a shirt using an iron can be a bit tricky, but here’s a general approach you could try:

  1. Place a piece of cloth, like a cotton towel, over the embroidered area. Set your iron to a low to medium heat setting without steam. 
  2. Gently press the iron onto the cloth-covered embroidery for a few seconds. This helps to loosen the adhesive or stabilizer used for the embroidery.

Check this blog for a detailed guide on the best embroidery stabilizers.

  1. After applying heat, carefully peel away the embroidered design using tweezers or your fingers.

Be cautious not to damage the fabric of the shirt. If the embroidery doesn’t come off easily, repeat the heating process and try again.

  1. Once you’ve removed the embroidery, you might have adhesive residue or stabilizer left on the fabric.
  2. You can try using a fabric adhesive remover, rubbing alcohol, or a mixture of water and mild soap to gently rub away the residue.
  3. Always test on a small, hidden area first to ensure it doesn’t damage the fabric.

How To Remove Embroidery From Shirt By Alternative Methods:

Here are some of the other methods used to remove embroidery from clothes:

  • Fraying Technique

Fraying Technique

The fraying technique is sometimes used to take off machine embroidery from a shirt. But, it’s not the best way and can harm the fabric.

It means using a special tool to gently cut the threads, making the embroidered parts loose and messy.


It could work a bit, but it’s not a good idea as it might make the fabric look bad with threads sticking out and holes. It’s better to use the right methods or get help from a pro to remove embroidery.

  • Adhesive Remover

Adhesive Remover

Removing embroidery from a shirt using adhesive remover is quite simple.

  • First, lay the shirt on a flat surface with the embroidery facing up.
  • Gently apply a small amount of adhesive remover to the embroidered area.
  • Let it sit for a minute or two, allowing the adhesive to loosen.
  • Then, take a dull edge, like a butter knife or a credit card, and start to carefully lift the edges of the embroidery.
  • Slowly work around the design, using the adhesive remover to soften any stubborn bits. Be patient and gentle to avoid damaging the fabric.
  • Once the embroidery is removed, clean the area with a damp cloth to remove any remaining adhesive residue.

Explore the top 10 spray glues for fabric by comparing their pros and downsides.


Adhesive removers may contain harsh chemicals that could damage the fabric or leave residue behind.

It’s essential to test the adhesive remover on a small, hidden area of the fabric first to ensure it doesn’t cause discoloration or harm.

Additionally, removing embroidery can weaken the fabric and may leave visible holes or marks where the embroidery used to be, altering the appearance of the shirt.

Always proceed with caution and consider seeking professional help if you’re uncertain about the process.

  • Steamers

To take off embroidery with a steamer:

  • First, put a clean cloth on top of the embroidered part to keep it safe.
  • Hold the steamer a bit away from the cloth and aim the steam at the embroidery.
  • Gently push the cloth on the embroidery while using the steamer. This can help make the threads and sticky stuff loosen up.


But there are problems with this way. The heat and wetness from the steamer could make the cloth shrink, change shape, or lose its color. 

If the cloth is delicate, it might get harmed, and the sticky stuff holding the embroidery might not go away, leaving some behind.

Tips For How To Remove The Embroidery From Shirt:

These include:

  • If the shirt is delicate like silk or lace, it’s better to ask a professional for help. For sturdier fabrics like denim or cotton, you can try removing the embroidery yourself.
  • If your embroidery is on a dark shirt, you can use a special pen with bleach made for dark fabrics.
  • Carefully snip a few threads at a time, and then gently pull them out. Rushing can damage the fabric.
  • Place a clean cloth under the embroidery area to prevent accidentally snipping through the shirt’s backside.
  • If using tools like a steamer, keep it at a safe distance from the fabric to prevent any color changes or damage.
  • After the embroidery is gone, you might have leftover adhesive. Gently rub it off with your fingers or a mild adhesive remover.


Taking out embroidery from a shirt requires you to be patient, careful, and have the right tools. If you follow the steps in this guide, you can remove the embroidery without harming the fabric. Just remember to work slowly, be cautious, and check the fabric after each step to get the best outcome. This guide is helpful whether you’re changing how the shirt looks or fixing a mistake. It will help you make the shirt look neat and well done.

Dark-colored fabrics might show faded spots after removal. Light-colored fabrics are usually safer. Test a hidden area first and avoid excessive heat or chemicals.

It’s better to use small, sharp scissors or a seam ripper. Regular scissors might accidentally cut the fabric.

Some fabrics might show faint outlines even after removal. It’s normal. Going slow and using proper tools can reduce the chances of marks.

Test a small hidden spot first. Try snipping a thread gently to see how the fabric reacts. If it’s okay, you can proceed with caution.

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