How to Fix Iron on Letters That Are Peeling: 7 Easy Steps

How to fix iron on letters that are peeling.

In the age of knights and parchment, you wouldn’t have had to worry about your iron-on letters peeling off your doublet. But here you are, in the modern world, with a jersey that’s shedding its skin. Fear not, you can mend those letters with a touch of DIY magic.

By following a few easy steps, you’ll learn how to fix iron on letters that are peeling. You’ll need nothing more than some fabric glue, parchment paper, and an iron. Chances are you’ve got all of this in your castle already.

So, roll up your sleeves and get ready to restore your garment to its former splendor with minimal fuss.

Key Takeaways for Fixing Iron on Letters That Are Peeling

  • Start with a properly heated iron. Ensure it’s set to a high, steam-free temperature for the best adhesion.
  • Place your garment on an ironing board to provide a stable surface for the repair process.
  • Cover the affected letters with plain white paper to protect the design while you iron.
  • Use a thin cotton cloth as a barrier, and press down firmly with the iron. Focus on the edges that are peeling.
  • Check the adhesion while the area is still hot, carefully lifting the cloth to inspect the letters.

Why are the Numbers and Letters Peeling off?

Understanding why the numbers and letters are peeling off your jersey is crucial before you attempt a fix. It often boils down to errors in the iron-on application process. Incorrect heat settings, hasty ironing techniques, and the lack of a protective layer, such as parchment paper, can all contribute to the peeling.

You might’ve set the iron too hot or too cold, skipped preheating, or applied uneven pressure. If you’re facing minor peeling, using a small amount of fabric glue can reattach the loose edges. Apply it methodically with a cotton swab and ensure it dries fully.

For persistent issues, a zigzag stitch can reinforce the edges. Always remember to hang dry your jersey post-repair to prevent further heat damage.

Preparations Before Beginning

Preparations for how to fix iron on letters that are peeling.

To successfully repair your iron-on letters, you’ll need to gather a few essential supplies before firing up your iron. These items will help you achieve a precise and professional repair on your cotton T-shirt or any other garment with peeling embellishments.

Here’s what you should have on hand:

  • Iron
  • Ironing Board
  • Fabric Glue: A high-quality fabric glue suitable for textiles.
  • Cotton Swab or Brush: To apply the glue accurately without making a mess.
  • Plain White Paper: To protect your garment during the repair process.
  • Parchment Paper: For a non-stick surface, press the letters back in place.

How to Fix Iron on Letters That Are Peeling: A Step-by-Step Guide

First, assess the extent of the damage to determine if the letters can be reattached or need replacement.

You’ll need to prepare your garment by placing it on a flat surface and inserting cardboard inside to provide stability and prevent the fabric from sticking.

1. Assess the damage

You’ll need to carefully examine the extent of the peeling or cracking on each letter. Then you can determine the best repair approach. Here’s a detailed, methodical guide to assessing the damage:

  • Locate Peeling or Cracking: Look closely at your garment to find where the repair-embellishments-that-come-off-garment issue is present.
  • Extent of Damage: Identify how severe the peeling or cracking is. You may need to decide whether a quick fix will suffice or a more comprehensive repair is necessary.
  • Check for Wrinkles: Ensure that the fabric around the letters isn’t wrinkled, which could affect the adhesion quality.
  • Preparation for Repair: Gather your repair tools—iron, parchment paper, and fabric glue—as you normally would for garment care.

2. Prepare your garment for repair

Before tackling the repair, lay your garment flat on the ironing board to smooth out any wrinkles and ensure a clean workspace. This preparation is crucial for a successful fix.

Adjust the iron to a medium heat setting, making sure it’s fully warmed up without using steam.

Check the width of the peeling letters to estimate the size of the white paper you’ll need to cover them.

Carefully place the paper over the affected area, ensuring it completely shields the letters.

A methodical approach will set the stage for a seamless repair.

3. Use cardboard for stability

After preparing your garment on the ironing board, slide a piece of cardboard inside between the garment layers. This helps create a stable surface for reattaching the peeling letters. This step is crucial for a successful fix.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Choose a piece of cardboard that’s large enough to fit under the entire area of the lettering but not so large that it stretches the fabric.
  • Ensure the cardboard is flat and smooth to avoid creating any new wrinkles or impressions on the fabric.
  • Position the cardboard directly under the peeling letters to provide targeted support during the repair process.
  • Press down gently on the cardboard to ensure it’s securely in place and won’t shift as you work on fixing the letters.

4. Add a white paper shield

The fourth step for how to fix iron on letters that are peeling is adding a white paper shield.

When fixing iron-on letters, you’ll need to use a white paper shield to protect the area from direct heat during the ironing process. Carefully lay the plain white paper over the peeling transfer, ensuring it fully covers the affected area. This barrier provides visibility while safeguarding the vinyl from excessive heat.

5. Iron the letters without steam

Iron the letters without steam

You can now carefully press the iron onto the protective white paper over the peeling letters. Follow these detailed steps:

Position the Iron: Place the iron gently on top of the white paper for about 15 seconds. Avoid moving it around to prevent further peeling.

Apply Pressure: Press down lightly but firmly, ensuring the heat seals the adhesive without damaging the fabric.

Check Progress: Lift the edge of the paper to examine the adhesion. If the edges aren’t sealed, repeat the process.

6. Check for adherence

After applying heat to your iron-on letters, gently press on the edges to check if they’ve reattached firmly to the fabric.

7. Apply fabric glue (if necessary)

If your iron-on letters start peeling, applying fabric glue can be an effective solution to reattach them securely.

Begin by placing a small dot of fabric glue under the edge of the peeling letter, using a cotton swab or small brush for precision.

Carefully press the letter down to bond it with the fabric. Wipe off any excess glue to maintain a clean look.

Protect the area by covering it with a thick towel. Press it with a warm iron, which will set the glue.

Remember to let the fabric glue dry for a full 24 hours to ensure the repair is durable.

Prior to applying glue, clean the garment to guarantee optimal adhesion.

Common Issues with Fixing Iron on Letters That Are Peeling

Why are your iron-on letters starting to peel, and how can you prevent it from happening again? Understanding the common issues can help you identify mistakes to avoid in the future. Here are some detailed tips on what might be going wrong:

  • Direct Iron Contact: Accidentally touching the iron to the vinyl can cause immediate damage. Always use a protective layer between them.
  • Peeling Timing: Removing the plastic cover too quickly or too slowly can affect adhesion. Wait for the right moment when the vinyl is just set.
  • Misalignment: If the letters weren’t aligned properly, they mightn’t bond evenly across the fabric, leading to peeling edges.
  • Temperature and Pressure: Incorrect iron settings and uneven pressure can prevent the letters from fully attaching. Ensure you’re following the specific heat and pressure instructions for your material.


Now, you’ve mastered the fix for peeling iron-on letters. By carefully applying fabric glue and pressing firmly, you’ve secured your cherished design back onto your shirt.

Remember to handle your garment gently during future washes to maintain the bond.

With this newfound skill, you can confidently rescue any peeling graphics, ensuring your personalized apparel looks sharp and stays intact.

Wear your revived shirt with pride, knowing it’s as good as new, thanks to your handiwork.


How do you fix the peeling iron on transfer?

To repair a peeling iron-on transfer, reheat the area with a dry iron, press firmly, and use a thin cloth for protection. Ensure it cools before moving to prevent further detachment.

How do you fix peeling letters on a shirt?

To mend peeling letters on your shirt, reheat the iron, cover the area with parchment, and press firmly. If needed, use fabric glue for better adhesion, then let it dry before wearing.

Can you repress heat-transfer vinyl?

Yes, you can repress heat-transfer vinyl. Set your iron to medium heat, cover the area with a cloth, and press firmly for 30 seconds. Ensure it’s cool before peeling off the protective layer.

How do you make iron on letters stick better?

To ensure iron-on letters adhere better, preheat your garment, place the transfer, cover it with parchment paper, and press it with a hot iron for 15-20 seconds without steam. Check and re-press if necessary.

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