How to Remove Wire From a Bra

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Remove the underwire from a bra to save an unwise purchase.
Remove the underwire from a bra to save an unwise purchase. (Image: JackF/iStock/Getty Images)

Underwire bras offer better support and shaping than bras without wires, but these benefits are often outweighed by discomfort, especially if the fit isn't perfect. Instead of banishing that pokey bra to the back of your underwear drawer, fix the problem by removing its supportive wire. The process is easy, invisible and achievable by anyone with even the most basic of sewing skills.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp embroidery scissors
  • Size 7 or 8 hand sewing needle
  • Thread

Poke the sharp point of one of the blades of your embroidery scissors into the channel of fabric under the cup that contains the formed wire. Cut a small hole -- approximately 1/8 inch or smaller -- through the single layer of fabric that lies against the skin when you wear the bra. Make the hole at one of the ends of the wire, either at the center of the bra or at the underarm.

Wiggle the wire so that the end closest to the hole emerges from it. Gently pull the wire out of the fabric channel and remove it completely.

Repeat the process to remove the wire from the other bra cup.

Thread a sharp needle with a double thickness of thread in a color that matches the fabric of the bra. Double- or triple-knot the end of the thread.

Insert the needle into the hole in the wire channel of one bra cup and poke it through the fabric just to the outside of the hole. Pull the thread so that the knot is concealed on the inside of the channel. If the hole you cut has frayed at the edges at all, position the needle beyond any loose fabric threads.

Poke the needle down through the fabric just to the opposite side of the hole, catching only the single, upper layer of fabric. Angle the needle so that it comes up through the fabric on the first side of the hole, just next to the point where you initially pulled the needle through. Pull the needle until the thread is taut and the stitch is tight. This is called a whip stitch.

Repeat whip stitching to make tiny stitches along the length of the hole until the hole is sewn up. It should only take a few stitches in total.

Make a final stitch, but do not pull the thread completely through. Pass the needle two or three times through the loop of the final stitch, and then pull it taut. This creates a small knot that keeps the stitches secure.

Cut the thread close to the final knot using embroidery scissors.

Repeat the process to sew up the hole on the other bra cup.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't worry too much about neat stitches or perfectly matched threads -- nobody but you is likely to see the sewn-up holes.
  • Instead of sewing, you can seal the hole with a drop of fabric glue. You can also apply liquid no-fray solution to the cut edges of the fabric. It will not seal the hole but will prevent it from getting any bigger.
  • Remember this method when you're shopping for bras. If you dislike wire bras in general, but spot one being sold at a bargain price, know that you can still take advantage of the deal and just remove the wire when you get home.
  • Apply caution when pushing the sharp needle through the fabric to avoid poking yourself.

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