I found this tool in my sewing kit, and I wanted to know what it is.

small pointed tool

It is a couple of inches (centimetres) long. It has two metal prongs on one end and one of them has a plastic ball protecting the tip. Do you have any ideas?

  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because while the tool is obviously used in arts & crafts, photo identification is really not a good fit for the site as it has low utility for others.
    – Joanne C
    Jan 27, 2017 at 11:38
  • 1
    @JohnCavan there is nothing wrong with these questions. At least not yet. I'm sure the consensus is that we should allow them for now until they get out of hand. We will almost always need pictures for these but it is tagged sewing and has a good description of what the item is. Not sure if you have seen one of the metas about this topic yet? If you want to weigh on this I would suggest starting there.
    – Matt
    Jan 29, 2017 at 1:19
  • @Matt - I'm curious as to how anyone thinks this question, as currently formed, is going to be of use to others... If the point of these sites is to create a compendium of knowledge, "what is this thing" isn't really going to be easily used as an index to it.
    – Joanne C
    Jan 29, 2017 at 3:06

1 Answer 1


It's a seam ripper. You use it to pick up and cut stitches in a seam that you want to "unsew".

To use it properly, poke the longer end under the stitch, then push it through so the U part cuts it. Repeat every few stitches, then use either your fingers or the tool to pull out the threads.

To use it the quick & dirty way, pull apart the layers of fabric until you can see the stitching on the inside, position the U part of the tool at the bottom of them, and push up between the layers of fabric to cut the stitches. You'll need to hold the fabric taut while you do this, and there's a danger of cutting the fabric instead of the stitches (hence the "proper" but tedious instructions).

  • As a kid, I remember seeing Mum work on a blouse with one of these, and somehow associated this tool with the term "bodice ripper". Decades later that lead to much-hilarity at my expense.
    – Criggie
    Dec 19, 2022 at 0:23

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