Clip, Snip, Slice–Seam Rippers in the Spotlight

Tool-J:  Seam Ripper from WikiCommons
An exemplar seam ripper–it bears an uncanny resemblance to my mother’s snapped-off, 1970s-era model because hers is exactly that short. I would’ve bought a new one, but she seems to like hers stubby. Oh well.

Today the subject is Seam Rippers—in my head I hear Shirley Bassey singing seeeeam rippah ala the Goldfinger soundtrack as I type this post . . . perhaps I spent too much time at work today database mining?

After a none-too-rigorous Google research effort, I’ve discovered very little about the roots of our errant-stitch eradicators, and much more on their many weird manifestations. Origins? They’ve been around forever. As long as we’ve used sharp, pointy tools and stringy stuff, we’ve needed to snip stitched mistakes.

Artsy view of my favorite seam ripper--a slim, sharp blade and a comfortable handle.
Artsy view of my favorite seam ripper–a slim, sharp blade and a comfortable handle.

Do you know you can find seam rippers with attached LED lighting or magnifying glasses to mitigate declining vision? Seems like a good idea, but the word on the street is that the disability needs to outweigh the inconvenience of awkward or bulky attachments. Other models promise stitch-snipping ease with medical-grade blades. While I see the potential for spilt blood from my use, the more dexterous swear by the efficacy of these epic cutters.

My absolute fave for a giggle is a battery-operated, seam-ripping clipper. Hey, I think it’s a fabulous idea, and boy does it mow down the stitches in a YouTube video. I just can’t help remembering how my husband used dog clippers to give our eldest child a buzz cut when he was eleven. Not one of my honey’s better cost-saving schemes because we had to dash to the barbershop afterward. (Where did he put those dog clippers? I’m sure I can repurpose them for quilting.)

As for online seam-ripper lore, did you know that many sewers weren’t allowed to use seam rippers in Home Economics classes back in the day? I don’t remember that prohibition, but I think my Baby Boomer cohort had more forgiving teachers. I also came across a blogger with a whimsical take on seam rippers who let her tools author a very funny and insightful post.

My trio of seam rippers--only one has a top . . . where do the lids disappear?
My trio of seam rippers–only one has a top . . . where do the lids disappear?

If you’re looking for your best seam-ripping option, look no further than Amazon.com to see the best-selling models. (I own 2 of the top 3–wow!) Now, if your prefer the latest variation on a seam-ripper theme, take in Seam-Fix™, which promises to erase stubborn thread detritus after you clip your stitches. Marby Bennett at Wooden Gate Quilts in Danville, CA says the Seam-Fix™ models are running out of her store as fast as she stocks them. Lucky for our SHWS readers, she’s given us one to add to those Ginghers for our anniversary giveaway. What a nice way to sweeten the pot!

Darra, Laura, and I want you to know how much we enjoyed reading all the comments for the Ginghers/Seam-Fix™ giveaway. We laughed, we cried, and we are so very blessed with your continued interest and support of See How We Sew.  Thank you! And the winner is Rosemary!

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