How to Remove the Stitching From a Polo Shirt

by Jenna Quentin

An otherwise great polo shirt can be ruined by a logo or other embroidery. Whether the embroidery is flawed or in the wrong place, or the color or design is unpleasing, several tools and techniques make it possible to remove it. It will take time and patience, however.

Items you will need

  • Embroidery hoop
  • Seam ripper
  • Small curved scissors
  • Magnifying glass
  • Unused disposable razor
  • Electric beard trimmer or stitch remover
  • Tape
  • Tweezers

Cutting and Removing

Step 1

To remove stitches manually, start from the back of the embroidery. For large areas, put an embroidery hoop around the area. The fabric should be smooth and flat, but not pulled tight. For small areas, lay the fabric on hard surface or drape it over your non-cutting hand. Use a seam ripper or sharp curved scissors to lift and cut each thread. Do not rush as you risk cutting or piercing the fabric. Cut the threads one layer at a time. Use a magnifying glass to see small stitches and details.

Step 2

For faster results, use a sharp new disposable razor or electric shaver to gently cut threads. Place the hoop around the embroidered area. Turn the fabric over and and begin cutting the threads from the back. Hold the blade perpendicular to the fabric. Go slowly to minimize damage to the fabric. Cut one layer of thread at a time.

Step 3

Brush away the threads with your finger nail. Use a roll of tape, preferably duct tape or another kind that won't leave residue, to lift them off the area. Turn the shirt right side out and remove the top threads with your fingers or tweezers. Do not tug or pull on threads. Continue cutting and shaving threads from the back of the fabric until all the unwanted stitches are removed.


  • Consider restitching a design over the area to cover any damage to the material. Put an applique, rhinestones or other accessories over any holes.


  • Removing stitches may cause holes in the fabric, even when they are removed carefully. Do not try to do this project when you are rushed. Decide if the value of the shirt is worth the time you will put into it.

Photo Credits

  • Digital Vision/Photodisc/Getty Images

About the Author

Since 2007, Jenna Quentin has been writing in magazines including "Brio," "Clubhouse," "Relate" and "Susie".She is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. Quentin is a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature and holds diplomas from Bordeaux University, France.