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A loop turner is one of the tools designed for turning a fabric tube right-side out after it’s been sewn. These tools are made of metal and average about 12 inches (30.5 cm ) long. At one end, they have a large circle through which you can hook your finger to pull them along, and at the other end is a latch hook that can be placed in the open or closed position. A loop turner can be used to turn fabric for purse handles, all kinds of shoulder straps including spaghetti straps, button loops, frog closures, and belts.
The material is sewn with right sides together to make the fabric tube. Following this, the seam allowance is trimmed to 1/8 - ¼ inch (~.3–.6 cm). The next step is to slide the hook end of the loop turner through the tube with the latch open, hook it onto the far end of the fabric, and pull it back through the fabric. When it’s out, unhook it and straighten out the fabric.
The loop turner can also be useful in other situations. If you have a casing that is wider than the loop, you can use it in place of a bodkin to pull a tie or elastic through. Attach the end of the turner to the material you wish to work through the casing and use the turner to lead it through, working carefully to make sure the latch doesn’t open.
Conversely, you can also, in certain cases, use a bodkin in place of a loop turner. With the fabric tube still inside out, place the ballpoint tip of the bodkin against the seam at one end. Alternately push the bodkin into the center of the closed end back towards the open end, and work the inside-out fabric up over the tip of the bodkin and towards its handle.
If neither a loop turner nor a bodkin is available when you need to turn a fabric tube right-side out, try using a safety pin or a needle. With the safety pin, you simply pierce the end of the tube, close the safety pin, and work it through the tube as you would the bodkin. With a needle, thread it, make a good-sized knot in the end, and take a stitch or two in the end of the tube. With the needle thus firmly attached to the end of the tube, you can use the needle to draw it right-side out. The needle technique is also useful if the tube you need to turn is simply too narrow for a loop turner to fit.
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