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How to Get an Embroidered Patch off

Embroidered patches are awesome… until you want to remove them. Here’s how to get an embroidered patch off easily without damaging your apparel.

Sticking custom embroidered patches onto your bags, hats, jackets, and other apparel is a great way to accessorize… until you decide you don’t want that patch on there anymore! Luckily, it’s not as hard as you think to safely remove an embroidered patch (without damaging your merch).

embroidered patch on a white shirt

So You Want to Remove an Embroidered Patch… 

We understand that all good things must come to an end. Maybe you want a new custom patch made. Maybe you want to put your custom patch on something else. It doesn’t matter, but what does matter is the patch’s backing!

 

How you remove an embroidered patch depends on the backing, whether it’s an iron-on patch or a sew-on patch. So, before we get started, check to make sure you’re aware of which patch backing is on the patch you want to remove.

How to Remove an Embroidered Patch w/ Iron-On Backing 

What You Need

  • Iron (yes… we know this sounds counterintuitive) 
  • A thin piece of cloth 
  • Wax paper 
  • An ironing board if you have one, but if not, a towel will suffice 
  • Tweezers 
  • A rag 
  • Scissors 
  • Liquid adhesive remover

 

Note: There are two different methods (see below), so you might not need all of the materials above, depending on what method you choose. Using an iron can be simpler, but it can also damage your fabric if you aren’t careful. 

Iron Method 

  1. Take out your ironing board or use your protective towel (be sure that it’s on a flat surface).
  2. Check your fabric to see the highest setting you can put your iron on without damaging your fabric 
  3. Turn on your iron.
  4. Place the wax paper or the thin piece of cloth over a small and hidden area on the fabric.
  5. Using the iron, press it against the paper or cloth for 15 seconds.
  6. Life the paper or cloth to see if there was any damage done to the fabric 
  7. If the iron did damage to the small area, STOP and try the adhesive remover method.
  8. If no damage was done, proceed with this method.
  9. Now you can cover the patch with wax paper or a thin cloth.
  10. Press the patch that is covered with the wax paper or cloth with the hot iron for 15 seconds.
  11. Lift the wax paper or cloth to see if the adhesive softened. (If it did not loosen, repeat Step #10.)
  12. Once the adhesive has loosened up and softened, lift the edge of the patch with tweezers.
  13. Lift and pull the patch with tweezers until it comes off.
  14. Your patch is gone, but what’s left is that sticky residue. Now, it’s time to use your adhesive remover.
  15. Dab the adhesive remover on the residue, using a rag to work it into residue for about a minute.
  16. Take your toothbrush and scrub the residue out.
  17. Once the residue is gone, use liquid laundry detergent to pretreat the area.
  18. Put the fabric into the washing machine as usual. 
  19. If the fabric comes out with residue, don’t put it into the dryer, but repeat until reside is gone 

Adhesive Remover Method 

  1. Take out your adhesive remover.
  2. Test the remover on a small and hidden part of the fabric to make sure it doesn’t cause any damage.
  3. If it causes any damage, do not use it.
  4. If the fabric is completely fine, you can proceed.
  5. Turn the fabric or material inside out, exposing the fabric that is behind the patch.
  6. Over a sink, spray or pour the remover over the patch behind the fabric.
  7. Use the rag to rub the liquid into the fabric for about a minute.
  8. Check to see if the patch will peel away from the fabric either completely or partially.
  9. If the patch is lifted away from the fabric, use your scissors to trim it off. 
  10. If the patch is not all the way lifted, use more remover and rub it in.
  11. Eventually, you should be able to completely lift the patch. All that’s left should be the residue, and you can follow the steps in the previous section above to remove any of this residue. 

How to Remove an Embroidered Patch w/ Sew-On Backing 

What You Need

  • Tweezers 
  • Seam Ripper 
  • Scissors (preferably sewing scissors) 
  • Iron 

Instructions

  1. Expose the stitches from the patch by bending the fabric down 
  2. Place the seam ripper (the part with the long tip) behind the stitching 
  3. Push the curving blade gently against the stitching 
  4. Take your time to avoid cutting into the fabric 
  5. Center the seam ripper onto the stitch, pushing the blade against the thread 
  6. Repeat step 5 on each stitch (make sure to go stitch by stitch to avoid putting holes into the fabric) 
  7. As you go through the process, you will be able to pull parts of the thread with the tweezers 
  8. Once all stitches have been cut, the patch will lift from the fabric 
  9. Use scissors and tweezers to remove excess threads that can get stuck onto the fabric 
  10. Washing the fabric should help with any appearance of any holes from the stitching that was removed  

 

Now that we’ve removed your patch, let’s get you a new one at The/Studio!

Design Your Own Custom Embroidered Patch Now

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