Using A Seam Ripper What is the little ball for?

Have you ever wondered what that little ball is for on your seam ripper?

I’ve been sewing all my life and just found out a few years ago! Β I had been doing it wrong all this time.

I’ve even taken sewing lessons and no one ever explained it. I just thought it had no purpose…..but it does!

So I thoughtΒ you might want to know, too!


Put the ball under the seam you want to rip out.

Put-the-ball-under-seam. The-edge-rips-the-seam-sewlicioushomedecor-com

The ball lets you glide the seam ripper through the seam as the edge cuts the seam. This makes ripping out a seam very easy and very quick!


If you want to see it in action..Pam Damour gives a demonstration below.

For pretty brass seam rippers like hers…….CLICK HERE!

Watch the video

What is the ball for? Place the ball under the seam, the edge rips the seam.


seam ripper sewlicioushomedecor

Online Sewing Class

64 thoughts on “Using A Seam Ripper What is the little ball for?

  1. Sangita

    I too never knew exactly how to use the seam ripper ,now I know.Thanks to Pinterest.


    Wow! It’s great.I had seam ripper but till now I don’t known how to use .
    Thank you for sharing.

  3. Sylvia

    That’s a really nice seam ripper I’ve been sewing for 40 years and wasn’t using it the right way…Thank you

  4. Charmaine Wall

    Been sewing for 45 years and guess I didn’t really know how to use a seam ripper properly. Thank you!

  5. Debbie

    Thank you for sharing, just starting to learn how to sew, every little bit of information helps.

  6. Camsfancy

    Not only does it cut fast, the main purpose of the little red ball is not only to slide right thru but it does not stick into the material as it would if the ball is on the top….also be very careful using it on any thing thin or sheer and all knit material….happy sewing….I just found this site….

  7. Lottie

    I am 80 years old and have been sewing all my live and I did not know what the little red ball was for on the seam ripper. I have never heard anyone exspain it.

  8. Cheryl

    I’m so sorry that so many of you never knew that. My mother taught me that over 40 years ago. I just never thought of sharing it.

  9. Joy

    I have always used the sharp inside curve of the seam ripper tool like this to cut the “hole” after making a buttonhole with the automatic setting on my machine. Just remember to put a pin across the far end first so that stops you ripping right through the bar tack!

  10. Ladybell

    I want my money back! I bought one of those fancy seam ripper shavers (which I have never used successfully). Wow! Who knew – I just ripped a seam from a block in under 10 seconds (yes I did time it). I am so amazed at how easy it is and it doesn’t rip your fabric! Thank you so much!

  11. Brenda Summers

    I have been sewing for 60 years and never knew this! How did that happen??? 😩

  12. Maria G. Alaniz

    WOW!!! I need this information since I started sewing. Thank u !!

  13. Karen O

    Geez, I feel quite silly. I’ve been sewing for nearly 50 years and have ALWAYS used this tool wrong!

  14. Crystal Mitchell

    I have been sewing for 50 years and I did not know this. Thanks!

  15. noel foster

    Thank you so much for that tip. I have been sewing for about 60yrs and did not no that

  16. Hazel Spindler

    It also works great to rub over the holes ( especially with batiks) left after removing the thread…the fabric fills in great.

  17. Anna Hansen

    The way you show how to use the ripper – is there an other way to do it, then?
    I don’t want to sound rude, but I was disappointed as I expected something sensational.

    1. Marti@SewliciousHomeDecor Post author

      Thats the only way. I have found, including myself, that most people have been using it the wrong way. See the demonstration in the video for a “live” demo. πŸ™‚

      1. Christine

        I found this interesting because in all the sewing classes I have taken, the instruction has been NOT to rip up the seam but to slice through stitches on one side of the seam at 3 or 4 stitch intervals. Supposedly, they told us, this puts less stress on the fabric when you separate the sides. But I have to tell you, I like your way MUCH better–much faster.

  18. Leigh Rollins

    I have used it in the past properly until I got careless and cut the fabric! Now I pick the thread.

    1. JS MysMan

      I also do not use a seam ripper anymore because of cutting the fabric

    2. Susan Murray

      The video never mentions what the ball is for. It just states the ball goes down. Well, I learned on my own what the ball was for. The first time I cut my fabric I tried it with the ball down since it just seem to make since the ball being round and smooth it would not cut my fabric and it would glide easily over the fabric.

  19. Minda

    All my years sewing I had no idea I too was using the seam ripper incorrectly. Thank you for explaining. Maybe now I won’t hate ripping out seams so much.

  20. Anita

    Muchas pero muchas gracias tantos aΓ±os de uso y no sabia de esa bolita su uso! Dios te bendiga abrazos desde MΓ©xico!

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  22. Jessy Rushing

    Wow! I’m 65 years old and had no idea what that little ball was for. I can’t wait to make a mistake so I can use it like you showed in your video. thanks!

  23. Rozebud

    That brass seam ripper is from It carries a lifetime warranty.

  24. Cindy

    Where might I purchase a nice seam ripper like in your video? By the way, I did know about the little ball but I know most do not.


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