Anybody who has been reading Gi Reviews for a while now knows that we love the bling. Bull Terrier, Break Point, a yellow Vulkan, Tatami's Terere Gi, Ronin's Samurai Gi.. SIGN US UP!
But, a lot of you don't prefer so much bling. Or maybe you want to transfer some patches from your old gi to a new gi.
Since we have a total lack of expertise regarding de-blinging a gi, we decided to contact an expert.
Without further adieu, I present, Can Sönmez.
How To De-Bling A Gi
Anyone who has read my gi reviews or seen me comment on a gi thread knows how much I hate bling. Unfortunately, gi companies love to slather their gis in patches and embroidery: it would seem that trend isn't due to stop any time soon (though there are a few companies, like Killer Bee, who are willing to offer a product which doesn't look like a sewing machine threw up on it).
The Stitch Eraser
Fortunately, there is a solution. The most efficient way to de-bling your gi is to use something like Peggy's Stitch Eraser, reminiscent of an electric razor. Failing that, you could go for a seam ripper, which like the Stitch Eraser is specifically designed to rip out threads. Embroidery scissors may be useful too.
[thrive_link color='orange' link='http://gireviews.net/amazn-peggys-stitch-eraser-3′ target='_blank' size='small' align='full']Do your magic with Peggy's Stitch Eraser 3 — available at Amazon![/thrive_link]
Back to Basics: Seam Ripper
Alternatively, a cheap option is to just use some nail scissors, or if you want something even smaller, cuticle scissors (though they are more likely to snap due to their size), which helpfully also tend to be straight. Whichever option you take, it would probably be wise to have some tweezers to pull out threads, and depending on your preference, a thimble to protect your fingers.
Always work from the back, as if you mess up, it's much less noticeable. The basic process I use is to dig underneath a stitch with the blade of some cuticle scissors, pushing it through until the pressure cuts several threads in half. I'll keep on working my way along, until I'm able to pull out a large chunk with the tweezers.
[thrive_link color='orange' link='http://gireviews.net/amazn-ditz-seam-ripper' target='_blank' size='small' align='full']Or go basic and use this effective seam ripper instead![/thrive_link]
If you're removing patches, you might get lucky and only have to remove a single line of stitches: for example, on a Tatami Zero G. With embroidery (and some patches), there will be multiple layers of stitching, which takes much longer. To get rid of a single embroidered letter on my Predator took over an hour, so clearing all the text meant about a week's work.
The process is the same for both, though with something very heavily stitched, it can be helpful to run an electric razor over it a few times first. With patches, you can also go from the front and cut a few strands, until you can pull up an edge. That then enables you to methodically chop your way through the rest of the threads, which are now clear to see. Most likely you’ll be able to yank the patch to speed up the process, but then you're at greater risk of damaging your gi. With patience, you can return even the most garish gi to its beautifully plain original state. 😉
Can Sönmez is a purple belt blogging at slideyfoot.com
Also: HUGE thanks to Can for such an awesome guide to de-blinging your gi!
Any recommendations or articles on looking for a seamstress to put on patches? or points of emphasis to make to the seamstress about sewing on patches?
Solid stitching and possibly double stitching some of the patches
A trick that I used to remove the embroidery on both the top and pants of my Ouano gi was this. Now I got this method from my mom who is a seamstress. Tape around the embroidery on the back with duct tape to prevent damage. Now take a single blade disposable razor and lightly shave the back of the embroidery to cut the thread. As the threads are cut you can use duct tape to pull them from the front or just pick them by hand. This can take some time but I was able to remove the embroidery in about 20 min this way. Hope this helps for removing embroidery.
Yeah, it was really difficult!