How to Rip Out Needlepoint

This is a mini tutorial on how to rip out needlepoint.
It happens. You are merrily stitching away and you realize you have made a mistake. As with all good stitchers, at some point ripping out needlepoint is inevitable! Fixing needlepoint mistakes is not difficult, however, so read on.

As we are all about keeping it simple and telling you only what you really need to know, here's an important tip. If you have only done a few stitches wrong - say, 5 or 6 or less - then the easiest way to rip out needlepoint in this instance is to simply reverse the stitching. To do this you put the needle back into the hole(s) it came from to "unwind" the stitches. I actually find the best way to do this is to take the needle off the yarn and then use the tip of it to unhook and pull the stitches through. Then I thread the needle up again and continue merrily on my way.....

Disclaimer: The needlepoint "police" will tell you that you should not re-use yarn that you have unwound or ripped out. We never listen to the needlepoint "police". Inspect the yarn before you stitch with it again, and if it looks OK then you can probably re-use it. Sometimes, however, it can get split when you are ripping it out, or otherwise start to look a bit messy. In this case, tie it off and start again with a fresh piece. Some of the special fibers like silks and velvets do not take well to being re-used, but sturdy tapestry yarn is usually fine.

How To Rip Out Needlepoint

It will be easier to rip out needlepoint if you have a couple of tools. Grab some tweezers; some cuticle, or sharp-tipped scissors; some sticky tape.
  1. Cut the stitches on the front side of the canvas using the scissors, taking care not to cut the needlepoint canvas.
  2. When you have cut a few stitches, turn the canvas over and pull the snipped yarn pieces out using the tweezers.
  3. Repeat until you have snipped all the stitches you want to remove.
  4. Use the sticky tape to remove any fibers that are left in the canvas. Just take a small piece and "dab" it over the back and/or front of the canvas to pick up any remaining pieces.

What happens if you cut your needlepoint canvas while ripping out stitches? No problem. We have step by step instructions for a quick and easy way to repair cut needlepoint canvas.