Open Up That Feed Sack

The stitching on a feed sack seems impossible, but with the right technique it will open as easily as a zipper.

| March/April 1981

Any livestock owner will agree that opening (or ripping apart, as is more often the case) a grain-filled feed sack in order to give your animals their rations can sometimes be a morning's chore in itself! However, I've discovered the secret to unlocking the bags. And my time-saving (and fodder-saving) trick is so easy that even an all-thumbs homesteader will find that it works every time!

If you closely examine the gunnysack, you'll notice that the stitches on one side of the receptacle are "flat," while the seam on the opposite edge of the cloth container has a knotty appearance. You'll want to face the fodder sack so that the flat stitches are on the right-hand side as you look at the edge of the bag. Once the feed sack is so situated, find the first flat stitch in the right-hand corner. (This string "unzips" the opening.) Cut this tie off at the corner and lift out the first few loops, using a knife or a fingernail.

Next, to open the bag, grasp the just-sliced lace in one hand and hold the opposite string on the knotty side of the sack in the other hand ... then gently pull on both strands. If you're doing this step correctly, the seam should easily unravel.

This simple trick will help you to feed your livestock in record time, and will leave you with an intact — and thus useful — feed bag as well!

3/7/2016 8:35:38 AM

I set the bag on the floor in front of me, with the zip-threat side up and the front (pretty picture) side away from me, and with the ugly printed-text side toward me. That puts the key loop on my LEFT. When I pull out the first loop on my left, it pulls easily and, moving my hand rightward and away from the bag, the rest of the string follows. No cutting required. It might be that some feed-bag seamstresses (it would sound insulting to call them sewers) put in a few extra knots on the left side so that the string has to be cut. But the bags I get don't need to have that string cut at all.

12/31/2009 3:48:29 PM

I bought a large bag of flour and tried to figure out how to open it without using scissors or a seam ripper. I never learned the trick from my mother! I found your instructions on line and opened it in a jiffy. Thanks. I printed your instructions and put the page in my bread recipe book!

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