How to Remove Hem Tape

Hemming is when you double over the finished edge of a piece of fabric and stitch it down. It is done to garments such as trousers and skirts and to household items such as curtains to give them completed looks. Hemming also prevents fraying. An easy hemming method is to iron on hemming tape. Stitching is not necessary, and it is a quick fix. If you need to remove this hem, you need to iron the hem again. Adhesive glue will be left on the fabric, and you can try a few steps to remove it.

Preheat your iron to medium-low. Iron, using a circular motion, the area where the hem tape was placed. As the hem opens up, gently pull off the hem tape and open up the hem.

Place a paper towel over the leftover adhesive on the fabric and iron over it in a circular motion. Some of the adhesive should soak into the paper towel.

Rub the leftover adhesive glue with a pencil eraser after it has cooled. Place the fabric with adhesive into the freezer for about a hour or until the glue becomes brittle and hard.

Scrape the glue with a dull knife. Be sure to scrape the glue only to prevent damage to the fabric.

Test the fabric with a small amount of acetone on a cotton ball. If the fabric does not change colour, use acetone on a cotton ball to remove any remaining adhesive glue. It should take most of it off your fabric.


Try washing the fabric with hot water in the washing machine to remove the glue, after you iron the hem tape off. You can try store-bought adhesive remover if everything else fails.


Use care when using a hot iron. Keep children and pets away from it. Use acetone in a well-ventilated room.

Things You'll Need

  • Iron
  • Paper towels
  • Pencil eraser
  • Freezer
  • Dull knife
  • Acetone
  • Cotton balls
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About the Author

Charong Chow has been writing professionally since 1995. Her work has appeared in magazines such as "Zing" and "Ocean Drive." Chow graduated from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy. She also received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts.