What You Need To Know About Seam Rippers

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Seam rippers are incredibly useful tools for anyone who works with needles and thread in a professional capacity or as a hobby. If you’ve sewn before, chances are you’ve had to use a seam ripper to undo a stitch or two. 

Now, seam rippers are perfect to use in those moments when scissors just won’t cut it. You don’t want to ruin your fabric. You need a tool that’s made specifically for stitchwork. But what should you be looking for when purchasing a seam ripper? What exactly is a seam ripper? How do you use one? Let’s take a dive into what you need to know about seam rippers. 

What Is a Seam Ripper?

A seam ripper is a sewing tool that’s used to remove stitches, open buttonholes, cut threads, and open seams. Most seam rippers boast a forked blade, but there are others that have a curved blade with a pointed tip or rounded tip. 

In addition, some seam rippers have a plastic red ball on the blade tip. Its primary function is to protect your fingers from potential cuts and prevent the fabric from tearing when you rip out seams. 

However, not all seam rippers are equipped with one and it’s not an essential feature that you need to consider. Seam rippers also sport a slender handle so you have a good grip over your tool while you work. 

What to Look for When Choosing Your Seam Ripper

An Ergonomic Handle 

A great seam ripper should have an ergonomic handle that fits well in your hand. This is especially helpful if you’re working long hours that require you to utilize a seam ripper. Using an uncomfortable tool with an awkward grip can lead to repetitive strain injury (RSI) after an extended period of overuse. 

Additionally, think about purchasing a seam ripper with a handle that’s made of glass-filled nylon. It’s a durable yet lightweight material that’s perfect for your seam ripper handle. 

A Blade That’s Safe to the Touch and Effective

When considering what to look for in a seam ripper, keep your eyes peeled for a blade that’s safe to the touch. For example, think about investing in a seam ripper blade that’s composed of zirconium oxide. It’s an advanced ceramic that boasts a safer edge than steel. You won’t find yourself replacing the blade often because its hardness ensures that it can keep an edge longer than its metal counterparts.

But that doesn’t mean it’s less effective because it’s safe to touch. Seam rippers like these have blades made of zirconium oxide which can slice and cut through a wide array of materials with ease. Adding those elements of safety and longevity should be at the top of your list.

An Auto-Retractable Mechanism 

An auto-retractable mechanism is not a common feature among most seam rippers. Nevertheless, there are seam rippers that boast this feature, and it’s one you should take into consideration. This feature will ensure that the seam ripper blade slides back into the handle when it’s not in use. 

This is especially helpful if you leave your seam ripper out in the open where someone could potentially fall prey to injury. 

No-Tool Blade Change 

Who wants to add an extra, unnecessary component to changing blades? Instead of fumbling around with a tool to change the blade in your seam ripper, think about investing in one that doesn’t require said tool. A seamless blade change lessens downtime from your work and decreases the chance of lacerations. It’s a win-win situation. 

How to Use a Seam Ripper 

Start by slipping the blade tip underneath the stitches you wish to remove. Then, gently pull forward until the thread rests on the curved part of your blade. Keep pulling forward until the thread snaps. 

Repeat the same motion for each stitch. You can also remove them from the inside of your seam. After your cloth is seam-free, you can utilize a lint brush to wipe away the excess thread fragments.

Now, to open a buttonhole, you simply cut the fabric by starting on the inside end of the said buttonhole with your seam ripper. Follow that by raising the tip of the blade through the other side of the buttonhole. Then cut away! Just be sure to avoid over-cutting your buttonhole. Cutting on opposite sides ensures that this won’t happen. 

Seam rippers are an essential staple for any sewing kit. It’s a simple yet effective means of making adjustments, opening buttonholes, cutting threads, or opening seams—and avoiding ruining your clothes with jagged and messier cutting tools. Do your own research when searching for the best one. If you find the right seam ripper, you’ll have a dependable, durable tool that will last a lifetime. 

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