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How to Use a Seam Ripper

Learn how to use a stitch ripper by watching the video or reading the instructions.

How to Use a Seam Ripper

Learn How to Use a Seam Ripper properly using two different methods. We will also answer the question, "What is a seam ripper used for in sewing?" While using this essential tool may seem like a no-brainer, this video tutorial and step-out instructions show you how to correctly unpick a stitch safely.

Following the sewing tips and tricks in this video will allow you to take apart a seam safely, keeping your fabric safe and sound. Learning how to use a stitch ripper incorrectly can lead to disastrous results. The sewing hack provided in this step-by-step will help you avoid these errors.

 

Project TypeLearn a Technique

Time to CompleteUnder an hour

Sewn byHand

Beginner

How to Use a Seam Ripper


What is a Seam Ripper Used for in Sewing?

First, what is a seam ripper and what does it do? A seam ripper, also known as a stitch unpicker, seam cutter, and stitch ripper among other names, is a small tool that is only a few inches long. It includes a metal hook connected to a handle to hold.

The top of the hook is pointed and longer. The top is made to catch stitches. The bottom of the hook is shorter and is tipped with a small ball, usually red. The ball is there to protect the fabric when in use. In between the two metal sides of the hook is a sharp blade that will do the cutting.

A seam ripper is used in sewing to undo stitches. It is used on thread or embroidery floss, both sewn by a machine or by hand. When a mistake in stitching is made, the seam ripper can be used to unpick the stitch without tons of work or heavily damaging the fabric (which can be the case when using scissors, knives, or other blades).

CLICK HERE to see the parts of a seam ripper. You can also see it at the bottom of the page.

NOTE: This tool is safer than other blades but still has sharp edges. Never point the seam ripper toward yourself or your hands.
 

Seam Ripping Method #1:

  1. In between the two pieces of fabric that the seam is holding together, set the seam ripper at the end of your stitching, the thread aligned with the blade.

  2. Hold the fabric from behind and push on the seam with the seam ripper.

  3. Continue pushing the seam ripper through the stitches until you have reached the end.

  4. Pull out the stitches until your two pieces of fabric are separate and the thread has been removed.

    Tip: Using a lint roller or tape over the pieces of thread can help to remove them faster.

Seam Ripping Method #2:

"Here's my preferred method of unpicking. It doesn't matter if you have been sewing for two days or twenty years, you will always have to unpick something. You are never free from mistakes." — Angel Peterson, Fleece Fun

  1. Use the seam ripper to undo the lock stitch.

  2. Go down the seam on one side of your fabric and use the long part of the hook to rip stitches every inch or so until you have reached the end.

  3. Turn the fabric around to the other side of the seam and do the same there.

  4. Pull apart the fabric where the seam is holding it and start using the seam ripper to pull up the stitches.

  5. Remove the thread pieces. These will be longer than the thread pieces in Method #1 above, making this the cleaner method to choose.

Parts of a Seam Ripper

Take a look at the image below to see the parts of a standard seam ripper.

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Awesome tips for seam rippers!

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