A seam ripper is a small and very handy tool for removing stitches. Do you remember those small boys sitting on the floor in a tailor’s shop in India either stitching buttons and hooks or removing stitches with a safety pin? A seam ripper is a better tool than safety pins.
It is available in pretty much every craft shop these days. While buying, make sure that you buy one that comes with a protective cap.
It is a small tool which has a forked or ‘U’ shaped tip. One tip is sharp like the needle and the other usually has a small plastic ball at the end. At the bottom of the U is a small flat knife. This is the part that cuts the thread. Without the plastic ball, the fabric can get cut and damaged accidentally if you apply more pressure than is necessary to cut stitches.
How to remove unwanted stitches?
The thin needle is used to lift the stitch that needs to be cut.
Then the seam ripper is gently pushed in so that the blade at the bottom of the U, cuts the thread.
Be very gentle because the blade is quite sharp.
The stitch has been cut.
Pick up the next stitch with the sharp tip.
In most cases, once you cut a stitch, the next few stitches will be loose and you will be able to gently pull them out using the sharp tip.
Ripping off stitches is frustrating and can at times ruin the fabric.
When safety pin is used, the pin is inserted into the needle and the stitch is pulled. But in this seam ripper, the blade does all the work and this is truly a handy tool especially for those who are learning to sew.
The seam ripper is very sharp and can hurt you. Store it away safely and out of reach of children.
If used inappropriately, the sharp blade can cut the fabric. So care should be taken that the sharp tip is under the stitch and not poking into the fabric. Doing this in a well-lit room is a good idea.
For saree wearing Indian ladies who experience weight increase during pregnancy, get blouses stitched with additional seam and ask the tailor to make 3 parallel stitches. Once you gain more weight, let out the innermost row of stitches using this seam ripper. This is especially useful if you are using the matching fancy blouse material attached with the saree.