Following up on an earlier discussion, the results of an experiment: A few weeks ago I picked up five otherwise pristine jantzen tailor shirts, french cuffed, in my size. Except, monogrammed on the cuffs. I then tried to remove them with a stitch puller. Also, I bought a shirt new at LL Bean, an orange gingham on last clearance, less than $10 -- and while all the others in the section had pocket monograms, this one didn't (me, sucka, didn't check cuffs. There was one down there, ugh).
Thought this would work out, reading the 8-10 threads on this topic at SF and chitchatting with some of youse back channel. There was no definitive answer as to whether this can be done satisfactorily. Some were interested in an update after I was done.
Key diff in the Jantzen and LL Bean shirts for discussion purposes: The Jantzen Tailor shirts were monogrammed and then the cuff assembled; LL Bean shirt mongrammed after (through both sides of cuff).
I tried removing both types of monograms. Fail. I destroyed the cuff on LL Bean shirt (or it was destroyed in the process of monogramming); it was damaged and ripped. Great shirt, though! Tailor converted it to a nice bright short-sleever, am happy.
On the Jantzens, soon I realized the commercial embroidery was too dense for my little hand tool (and there was fusible on the inside of the cuff cementing it all together, so even when I pulled a stitch, removing the thread was problematic).
My tailor took the cuffs apart and did his best. Couldn't flip the cuffs because they are asymmetrical on the inside, and the fusible that held the monogram left a mark. Shadows remain of the letters, less noticeable on the patterned cuffs or where the letters were thin script (as opposed to block letters). These pix are after a wash and clothes brush treatment. Nataku remarked earlier that marks like these sometimes can improve after more washings, I think?
Overall experience: Fail. I will wear the Jantzen shirts for a while, I'm guessing few people will actually stare at my cuffs and notice, but still, it's not good. Safe to say I won't be effing around with monograms again. I don't recommend it. I spent a grand total of about $13 per shirt, which is about nothing compared to original retail...but still, for the privilege of this imperfection -- my money could have been better spent elsewhere. Ultimately, I will probably not be able to tolerate these imperfections and give up wearing them.
The "convert to short sleeve" trick is actually cool. I had never thought of that myself until reading about other SF poster cuff monogram removal fails. Duh. Probably will rethrift the french cuffed shirts instead of short-sleeving them, though.
Is it possible to unstitch the monogram?