Around 80% of users throw away their old seam rippers when they get dull and replace them with new ones. But if you can put in a little bit of extra effort, you can easily get rid of the dullness and sharpen the seam ripper in no time. For this task, there are two basic ways. One, sharpening with steel wool and the other, with a bead reamer.
To sharpen with steel wool, cut a long strip and wrap it around a pencil. Now rub that part of the pencil against the blade of the seam ripper in an upward motion. This should just do the work. And the process is almost the same with the bead reamer as well. So, to know more about how to sharpen a seam ripper, keep digging further.
How Does a Seam Ripper Get Dull
When you use the seam ripper constantly, it gets dull after a certain period. And this certain period depends on how carefully you use your seam ripper while working. For example, the seam rippers come with a cover that protects the tool from unnecessary contact.
Also, you can keep the ripper clean after using, it for a better lifespan. To sharpen the seam ripper, two popular ways are quick and require almost zero effort. One is by using a bead reamer and the other one is with steel wool.
How Do I Sharpen a Seam Ripper
For many, the seam ripper is one of the most essential sewing tools that allows you to remove the stitches easily and quickly that you do not want anymore. Though using a seam ripper is pretty straightforward, there are lots of ways how you can use them.
However, the problem occurs when your seamer requires sharpening. Because it slows you down and might even ruin your work too. But replacing them with a new one might not be the most economical thing to do here. You can always put some extra effort and sharpening your dull seam ripper and reuse it without any problem.
But why does a seam ripper require sharpening and how can you sharpen a seam ripper?
To answer these questions, we have to look at different parts of the seam ripper. Usually, a seam ripper consists of a handle, a point, a J-curve, a red ball, a neck, a handle, and a cover. The point here is very sharp, though it is not the part that cuts your threads. To cut the thread the sharp edge of the J-curve is used.
1. Sharpen a Seam Ripper With Steel Wool
For this particular process, you will need some 000-grade steel wool and an ordinary pencil. Here is how to do it:
Step 1: Take your steel wool and cut a long strip.
Step 2: Now Wrap the steel wool around the pencil tightly and hold the seam ripper firmly in your hand.
Step 3: After that, hold the steel wool-wrapped pencil in your other hand.
Step 4: Now that you have held the pencil and the seam ripper in your both hands, start moving the pencil’s wool-wrapped part against the blade in the J-curve in an upward motion.
Step 5: Then keep rubbing the blade with the pencil for five minutes on both sides. And thus the seam ripper will come out nice and sharp.
2. Sharpen a Seam Ripper With a Bead Reamer
A bead reamer looks like a pointed round file. And this little object is used for sharpening small tools like bead edges and holes. However, beam reamers are very useful in sharpening seam rippers as well. Following are steps for sharpening seam rippers with a bead reamer:
Step 1: First hold the seam ripper on one hand and on the other hand, and take the bead reamer.
Step 2: just like the previous procedure, rub the bead reamer against the blade on the J-curve of the seamer in an upward motion.
Step 3: Keep rubbing the blade on both sides by the bead reamer until it gets sharp enough like before. After a while check if the seam ripper is sharpened or not. And if it requires more sharpening, keep continuing.
Some Useful Tips For Sharpening a Seam Ripper
Just like we said before, the protective cap that comes with the seam ripper is quite handy when it comes to protecting you and your sewing project from unwanted situations. Also, this cover protects the pointed section from falling and getting dull.
Moreover, some suggest that you should wipe the top of your seam ripper with alcohol to keep it safe from corrosion. Though you might not need to do it too frequently. But still, it is a nice practice that can save you from going out and buying a new one.
Here are some other tips regarding your seam ripper as well as the sharpening process that might come in handy in all of your sewing projects:
- Oiling the top of the seam ripper before sharpening might provide a good result. It will not require too much oil, just a few drops would be more than enough.
- Be sure that, you are sharpening the blade in the proper direction. Otherwise, it might make the seam ripper even duller than before. And at that point, you will have no other option but to throw it away.
- Emory boards for nails will be useful to sharpen the blade of the seam ripper if you can manage.
- Instead of pencil and steel wool, you can also try using sandpaper wrapped around chopsticks and have the same outcome. This particular option is preferable when you do not have steel wool available around you.
- Some random sharpening steel that is used to sharpen kitchen knives in the kitchen might also work on such occasions.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
What is the red dot for on a seam ripper?
You will see the red dot on almost every seam ripper and it helps you to get into a stitch that you want to cut off. So when you try to slide inside the stitch, the red dot makes the process quick and keeps the ripping process simple.
What can I use instead of a seam ripper?
Embroidery Scissors are always there when you need alternatives to the seam ripper. With their pointy tips and long slender, they can go through the stitches and cut off the thread effortlessly. But for some sorts of stitches, they might not be as efficient as the seam rippers. Also, the seam rippers are handier comparatively.
How do you unpick a stitch?
For unpicking a stitch that you want no more, most users prefer a seam ripper. And this is the primary tool that is used widely to tear any stitches and remove them without any traces.
How can you get rid of unwanted embroidery?
When it comes to removing unwanted embroidery, it is nothing critical if you have a seam ripper. Just slide the pointy end into the stitches and hold it in one hand and the next thing you will need is a pair of tweezers.
Sometimes, you do not have a good feeling about cutting the seams with your regular seam ripper. It becomes a little more difficult and might need some extra effort too. That is when you know that your seam ripper requires sharpening. But now that you know how to sharpen a seam ripper, sharpening should not be an issue for you anymore.