Embroidery is supposed to be a nice thing to look at. However, there are just some embroideries that do not look appealing (to your personal taste, at least). Embroidery, sturdy as it is, is not something that is permanent. Whatever the reasons you may have to remove and redo your embroidery, hopefully, you’ll get the threads all out by following these simple procedures step-by-step.
- Turn your fabric inside out.
- Cut the stitches loose.
- Remove the remaining stitches and threads.
- Completing your work
The first thing you always have to do when removing embroidery is to turn the fabric inside out. You must remember to do this step as you can avoid damaging the right side of the fabric just in case you accidentally slip with the embroidery eraser or seam ripper. It would help if you did this for all types of products, be it a shirt, a cap or a skirt.
You can cut the stitches of your embroidery in two ways: by using a seam ripper or an embroidery eraser.
Using a seam ripper
The seam ripper is one of the most common and simplest tools you will find at home. It is most effective when the edges are still sharp. The seam ripper is the best tool to use when you are removing hand embroidery. It is an excellent tool to use for embroideries that are not very thick.
The downside of using a seam ripper is that it can take a long time to remove the embroidery because you can only cut the stitches in small parts.
To use the seam ripper, slide the sharp forked head through five or six stitches. Then, gently push the seam ripper away from you in a forward motion, cutting your embroidery’s stitches.
Using an embroidery eraser
The embroidery eraser is a more powerful tool than the seam ripper for cutting stitches. It is an electric device so that it can rip more stitches at a time. It is also called a stitch eraser. The embroidery eraser looks like a mini beard trimmer. It works similar to the seam ripper, where the blades go under the stitches and cut the threads loose.
Another good thing about having a stitch eraser is that it works efficiently with large pieces of embroidery and machine-embroidered works. It is an excellent tool to own for people who have an embroidery business.
After ripping stitches at the back of your fabric, you can now flip your fabric to its right side. Using a pair of tweezers, you can now easily pull out the loose threads at the front. You can also use a magnifying glass to see the tiny threads still stuck to the fabric.
When all the embroidered threads are cut and removed, use a lint brush to take away the leftover threads, lint, or dust on the front and back of your fabric.
Wash your fabric according to your fabric’s washing instructions. Hopefully, washing can help the fabric material to its original form.
Then, iron the area where you removed the embroidery. Choose the heat setting of your iron based on the fabric type. Use a warm setting for silk and synthetic material. For cotton and linen, use the hot setting.
If you still see holes where the embroidery threads came from, you can rub them with your fingernail back and forth across around two to three times. It would be best if you also scraped the holes from top to bottom to tighten up the horizontal threads. You can also use the tip of a spoon to rub on the fabric. Iron the area where the stitches were removed.
Repeat the same process on the other side of the fabric. Repeat the scraping and ironing until the stretched threads are straightened out.
How do you fix embroidery mistakes?
Making a mistake is not new to anyone who embroiders. It is an inevitable situation for hobbyists or making a living out of embroidery.
You have to consider the various factors are at play when you need to fix mistakes on your embroidery. Keep in mind that a solution for one may not be suitable for another. Below are some practical and uncomplicated fixes for embroidery mistakes you might encounter.
- Ripping off the stitches
- Cover the embroidery with a patch
- Make a reverse applique.
- Add decorations to cover the mistake.
- Paint on the embroidery mistake
- Add some stitches by hand.
- Add some text or other details.
- Use the fabric for other purposes.
The first and most obvious thing you will think of when you make a mistake on your embroidery is to rip off the stitches. It is also the easiest but will consume some time. You also can easily find the tools you need to rip off your embroidery, like the seam ripper and tweezers. If you want to remove the stitches faster, you can use an electronic tool, the stitch eraser.
Ripping off the stitches does not guarantee that the fabric will still look as it was before it was embroidered. Stitching on some fabrics like leather and vinyl are sure to leave holes, so ripping off stitches is not the ideal option to fix the embroidery mistake.
A great way to fix an embroidery mistake is to cover it with a patch. You can either cover the embroidery mistake or when it looks like the holes made by the ripped stitches are irreversible.
But this remedy is also limited. A patch will not look good on thin fabrics. Also, if you need to cover a big area, it would not be easy to find a large patch.
If you think you really cannot save the area where the embroidery came from, another thing you can do is to cut it out. You cut out the mistake and replace it with an applique fabric underneath. It fixes your embroidery problem and makes your garment look more interesting also.
If you make a small mistake on your embroidery, you can cover it up with a button, a ribbon, or a small rhinestone. A small accessory can fix or cover up the mistake. It still depends if small accessories will be able to cover it.
Painting on the embroidery mistake can also help fix it. Maybe you need to hide just a small spot. Make sure that your fabric is the type that can be painted, or else there is no turning back when you use paint or a permanent marker.
It is also possible that your embroidery did not come out as expected. It may be smaller than what you intended. You can add stitches by hand to fill in a few stitches rather than mount your item again to embroider on the machine.
If you notice that your embroidery is not balanced, your first thought would probably be to rip it off. You can still save it by trying to add some texts or designs to offset the imbalance.
If you think you have done your best to remove the problem stitches, but the fabric did not look as it should, you can use it for other things that are more useful to you. You can alter it for smaller items like children’s clothing, pillowcases, or headbands.
Can an embroidered monogram be removed?
If you have monogrammed a garment by mistake, you can still remove it without ruining the fabric. You can still use the garment and embroider it with another letter or other designs that you want.
Removing monogrammed letters on fabric is an easy task. It only needs a little of your patience and time to successfully remove the threads of the design that you don’t want anymore. You can easily find the tools you need at home to remove a wrong monogram.
- Gather the things you need: seam ripper, tweezers, duct tape or packing tape, magnifying glass, and your monogrammed garment.
- Turn the garment inside out as a start. It will prevent you from damaging the fabric, especially the front side of your garment. Remember that different types of fabrics will look different after the embroidery is removed.
Tightly woven fabrics may retain holes stretched by the previous stitched threads. It would be best to work on napped fabrics to avoid cutting the looped threads underneath the monogram by accident.
- Using the seam ripper, cut down a small portion of the monogrammed threads at the center on the inside part of the garment. Make sure that you are only cutting the threads of the monogram and not the fabric below it.
Turn the garment to its right side. Using your tweezers, carefully remove the stitches you have cut. Continue cutting the stitches from the inside part of the garment and pulling out the front side. You can use a magnifying glass if you have difficulty looking at small stitches.
- After cutting and removing the monogram, you may still see some small pieces of threads on either side of the fabric. Use your duct or packing tape to pull off the tiny threads gently. Note that you cannot do this step on napped fabrics and similar materials as they may get damaged. Just use your tweezers to remove the remaining threads instead.
- The last step is to wash your garment after removing the monogram. Washing may help remove the holes formed from fabric stretched on the previous area of the monogram. Hopefully, the fabric will return to its original appearance after washing and drying. Make sure to follow the washing instructions of the specific fabric you are using to prevent it from getting damaged.
If you cannot wash your monogrammed item, just rub the area with a damp cloth to smoothen out the stretched threads.
After removing the stitches, you may also discover that the previously monogrammed area is darker than the rest of the garment. Wash the garment and see if it solves the problem. If the portion remains darker, you might want to place a new monogram or dye the fabric to make the color equal throughout the garment.