Common packages of potatoes in Sweden are sown shut with the knot shown in the picture below. As a child my father once showed me how to untie it by grabbing one or two ends of it and it would untie itself by just pulling. Now every time I have tried this during the last years, it just ties itself harder.

Is there a way to untie this knot in the magic fashion of just pulling it the right way?

Potatoe package knot

  • 7
    It appears there is indeed a right and a wrong way to open this stitch.
    – Air
    Apr 4 '16 at 17:31
  • 1
    Here's a version of the same question on Seasoned Advice: cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/13250/opening-potato-bags, helpfully pointed out by @Air. (P.S. we'd rather not have answers posted in the comment section!)
    – David Z
    Apr 4 '16 at 17:37
  • The video posted by Air seems to do the trick, but I am not the one suited to write that solution up. The top (not accepted) answer on cooking kind of shows the difficulty in explaining this in words.
    – trmdttr
    Apr 4 '16 at 19:03
  • @Air Even though that's not your video, you should post it as an answer! It's très cool!
    – BrettFromLA
    Apr 4 '16 at 23:12

On the other end of the closure from that in your photo, you can pluck the thread of the last stitch on one side (the "flat" looking side, as I recall) between two points of penetration through the bag and tape. This will start the stitching unraveling, and all you need to do is keep pulling and the entire closure will come undone.


Perhaps instead of even just untying the knot in the first place, you could instead use a knife to cut off the knot from the bag itself.

  • 1
    This is not really answering the question, which is how to unstitch the bag, not how to open it.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Apr 6 '16 at 17:12
  • 3
    Most importantly, it won't work anyway. You can see from the video that the stitching is a continous series of loops. If you cut the end of the string, you will be in the same position as you were before. It's turtles all the way down : )
    – Lefty
    Apr 6 '16 at 17:30
  • 1
    Cutting the whole line of stitches off the bag takes quite a bit of effort, by grabbing the right point within the stitching you can open the bag for much less effort.
    – Willeke
    May 9 '18 at 7:50
  • @Lefty upvote for turtles :-) Aug 23 '19 at 11:22

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