Whenever I do a BBQ at home I enjoy opening the bag of charcoal correctly - in that when you pull the correct thread the whole bag unstitches.

My problem is that I can never work out which one I need to pull on and I end up just tightening the knot instead(!) Does anyone have any tips on how to identify/prepare the thread before pulling?

  • I don't think I understand you correctly. Do you want to open a charcoal sack like this one using the thread?
    – Alex
    Commented Jun 3, 2015 at 7:14
  • 2
    Yes exactly like that :) you get them on hessian sacks too (eg potatos) so was trying to generalise
    – Bendy
    Commented Jun 3, 2015 at 7:26

2 Answers 2


I have found an easy solution. You seem to do it the wrong way. You need to pull the string out of the loop first.

The bag

  • single-line stitch on front
  • loop-stitch on back

Removing the seam

  1. Pull the string out of the loop

    pulling string out of loop

  2. Pull the string gently - the seam will undo itself

As you have pointed out yourself in the question, if you don't pull the string out of the loop first, the string will knot.

Source instructions and image:

  • Thanks Alex......I look forward to the next BBQ to try taking the string out of the loop first of all! :-)
    – Bendy
    Commented Jun 3, 2015 at 8:10
  • 2
    Unfortunately there are also some bags, i.e. rice bags, which have double stitches on both sides. The same principle can be applied, but it is a little harder to figure out which string to get out of which loop to begin with.
    – holroy
    Commented Jun 3, 2015 at 14:23

I have had to open many feed back in my time, my mom taught me to cut the threads flush with the edge of the bag and then pick at the ends for one that will start to un-stitch, (ours were generally the dual thread stitch but it works the same with the single thread) if that edge will not start the process then do the other side, the time wasted trying to find the free end in the knotted free ends is usually better spent on enjoying nature or some such.

If you have to do lots you will usually find that all the bags in one batch are sewn the same and you can rely of the side of the bag with the label or the edge closer to the sewn in tags indicating which is the start.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.