How to Remove Print from a Hoodie
Whether you have a comfy hoodie hanging in your closet you’d love way more without wording on it or you’re working on customizing bulk hoodies and made a mistake, removing print from a hooded sweatshirt is possible in most cases. The process can be tricky and takes up a bit of time, and the results are by no means guaranteed. But if the options are attempting to remove the print or throwing the shirt in the trash, what do you really have to lose?
Some types of lettering and designs are easier to remove than others. If, for example, you have hooded sweatshirts with zipper with someone else’s name embroidered on the front, removing the lettering is usually pretty easy. If you’re trying to remove a screen printed design, though, it will likely be more difficult. Keep reading to learn how to remove a few of the most common types of print from hoodies. And if you are customizing hoodies to sell online, you may also want to visit our blog to discover the answer to “How much does a hoodie weigh?”
Embroidery is, by far, the easiest type of customization to remove. All you need to do is cut the thread and pull it out. The most difficult part is being careful to avoid cutting the shirt itself. A seam ripper, which you can purchase at any craft store, works best, but a razor blade or craft knife will serve as an effective alternative. You’ll also need tweezers. A lint roller is helpful, too.
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Start by carefully sliding the edge of the blade under the thread on the backside of the sweatshirt. It should cut through the thread with ease. Working in one small area at a time, cut a few threads and then pull them out with tweezers. You’ll eventually start to see a layer of thin fabric called interfacing. Remove this as you work. When you’re finished, go over the area with a lint roller to remove any remaining threads and then wash as usual.
Vinyl designs are becoming increasingly common in the production of fashionable clothes. If you have a hoodie that has been customized using heat transfer vinyl (HTV), you can usually remove the design using heat from an iron, heat gun or hair dryer. The heat softens the vinyl and loosens the adhesive that makes it stick to the fabric, making it possible to peel it away.
Apply heat and then use a craft knife or razor blade to scrape at the edge of the design, taking care not to cut the shirt. Once an edge starts to lift up, grab it with tweezers and pull using gentle but firm pressure. The vinyl should begin to peel away from the hoodie. Don’t use your fingers to peel–especially if you are heating the vinyl using an iron or heat gun–as serious burns could occur.
Continue applying heat, scraping and peeling until the entire design has been removed. If there is any remaining adhesive residue, remove it using rubbing alcohol or petroleum jelly. Then, wash the hoodie according to the laundering instructions on the label.
Screen printed lettering and designs are the most difficult to remove. In most cases, however, you can get the job done using nail polish remover. Keep in mind, though, that nail polish remover could also damage the fabric or cause discoloration.
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Start by applying a small drop of nail polish remover to a hidden area of the hoodie to ensure it does not damage the fabric. When you are ready to work on removing the design, move outside to a well-ventilated area. We also recommend wearing a face mask and protective gloves. Insert a piece of cardboard inside the hoodie to protect the other side of the shirt from the harsh chemicals in nail polish remover.
Apply nail polish remover to the print and let soak for about 30 minutes. Then, using a soft brush or a rag, gently rub away the design. Work as quickly as possible to reduce the risk of damage. When you are finished, launder according to the washing instructions. If any trace of the design remains after washing, repeat the process. Because of the harsh nature of nail polish remover, we do not recommend repeating this process more than once.
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These methods of removing prints from hoodies are by no means guaranteed. They are, however, worth a try–especially when the other option is throwing the shirt away. No matter what type of print or design you are attempting to remove, remember to be careful to avoid personal injury and minimize the risk of damaging the hoodie.