How To Remove Embroidery with a Stitch Eraser Shaver

Well, well, well, you're here. This means you fucked up, so this is how you remove embroidery using a stitch eraser shaver. We're in the embroidery shop and we are all set up. We did some boo-booing. We need to remove the embroidery on a custom jacket. We don't know why you need to remove, but essentially, you need to remove it.

Tools and tips to remove embroidery

  1. You need your stitch eraser, shaver.
  2. You'll need your little snips and then obviously, that piece that you need to fix.

The one thing that I tell everyone when removing the embroidery, is you have to understand the science behind embroidery in order to understand how to remove it.

The science behind embroidery

First things first is you got to understand how it's done. There's a top thread, bottom thread. The top thread is what you see on the front and then at the back here, you'll see that the bobbin, which the bottom thread, essentially ties everything in together here on the bottom. What's super important to do is to take that shaver and cut that line. We use white bobbins, but you might be using black bobbins. Just to shave that and make sure that it's all removed. Then, I also like to do is put my finger that's holding everything, pushing on the back so that when you're applying the pressure here, you're actually onto a hard surface. Let's start and show how this works.

Step 1

I find that starting with one section, removing, and then moving is the best way, because if you try to shave the whole thing, it gets dirty and the thread's all over the place and you can't see very well. We see here that we've cut everything here.

Step 2

Then, we flip it over and then I like to just start off by scratching and you see that since the bobbin is gone, well, this fabric's leaving. This is the patience job, essentially. You can't go fast on this stuff. You got to take your time. If the thread's not coming out, don't pull on it. This is a nice work wear jacket, so the fabric is actually pretty, pretty hard, so it won't damage it as much, but it could be something softer, more sporty and the outcome wouldn't be the same, especially if you're tugging on there.

We can see here right now, it's still, still stuck holding somewhere. Depending on how you like to do it, but I try to look at it, flip it over. Try not to keep cutting when the cut away backing is off. You can pull it little bit, make sure, see how it's looking. Flip it over again, and then go back to the front. See that almost everything is gone and pull.

Step 3

I'm going to take the scissors, cut that as close as possible. Make sure that little piece is gone. Flip it over and we see that there's that little piece that's still sticking out on the other side. Patience, again, is key, using your nails. Got to get it to come out and you see here, there's not much left. There you go. Everything is gone. Then you move on to the next letter.

Difference between a jump stitch and run stitch?

Get out that little tool and keep in mind, this is coming out super nice because it is a jump stitch. It's not a run stitch. However, you'd have a big patch with a run stitch. Don't even try. It's not going to work and if it does, there's so much needle puncturing in the garment, that it's not going to be able to be covered up again.

Keep Going carefully

Here, same thing. Next letter, scratch on there. Scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch as much as you can until you can't remove it anymore. Essentially, what you're doing here is you repeat the process the whole way until all the letters are done. Take your time, be patient because it is not so fun to do, but you got to be pretty meticulous to make sure that it's all nice and you don't damage the garment.

Conclusion on the process

As you can see, this is how you get this done. It takes some patience some time, but again, with the right tools and the right patience, it can be done. Doesn't work on everything. Doesn't work on all stitch types. Please do keep that in mind. Never forget, you need your little snips and your stitch removal eraser. If you need any of these tools, please do feel free to reach out to my good friend, El Nora from TWI Industries out in Toronto. He'll be more than happy to help you get up on all these embroidery tools. 

If you start with embroidery or just need more tricks from our experts, see our post on "How to Rotate An Embroidery Design?" for those who want additional details on rotating an embroidery design. Consider utilising Solvy as well if you want to improve the quality of your needlework.

If ever you want to geek out on some of this stuff and you want talk to me about some of this stuff, please do feel free to reach out. I love to geek on this stuff, whether you're at shop, operator or not, doesn't matter. I just love embroidery. Please do feel free to reach out in ottawa for custom clothing needs!