Have you ever had to turn a tube of fabric right side out? Maybe you were making straps for a dress, a drawstring or maybe it was arms for a stuffed animal. The first time I had to do this, I used a combination of my fingers and a knitting needle, and it took forever. Luckily I have learned several easier ways to accomplish this task, and I’m sharing 3 with you today.
I’ve got a video below showing 3 ways to turn a tube, using 3 different tools. You can also watch on YouTube here if you prefer.
3 Ways to Turn a Tube Right Side Out
- Safety Pin
- Quick Turn Tool (affiliate link)
- Loop Turner (affiliate link)
The first method is by using a safety pin. To do this, weave the tip of the safety pin through the end of the fabric, making sure only to catch one layer of fabric.
Then turn the safety pin back to the inside of the tube and push it a little at a time until it comes out the other end, pulling the tube right side out in the process. Pros to this method: it’s readily accessible as most of us have a safety pin around, and if not, they’re inexpensive. Cons: not the easiest method, especially if safety pin comes unfastened while turning the tube.
The second method is to use a Quick Turn Tube Turner. To do this, put the largest tube that will easily fit inside your fabric tube.
If the end of the fabric tube is open, fold it over the plastic tube end. Then use the dowel to poke the finished or folded end through the tube, turning the fabric right side out in the process. Pros to this method: this one is my favorite, it is generally the fastest and easiest to do. Cons: doesn’t work well with really tiny straps if you can’t fit a tube inside.
Lastly, you can use a loop turner to turn your fabric right side out. A loop turner has a catch at one end, as shown below. You poke the wire through your tube, then catch a bit of the fabric on the pointed end of the catch.
Pull the other end of the loop turner, closing the catch and pulling the fabric to the inside of the tube and then right side out. Pros: This is the easiest method I’ve found for really tiny tubes, like super thin straps. Cons: getting the fabric on the catch can be finicky, and you have to be careful not to open the catch mid turn.
Neat, I didn’t know they made these tools.
Hi Melly—good options, all three of them. What I’ve learned to do is to sew a long piece of wool, heavier thread or dental floss to one of the short ends, extending all down the length and then I pull it. Simply snip off the end that I sewed shut (with the attached floss) and viola! an instantly turned tube without the fuss.
I do the same thing. I’ll go to thrift stores and perus the sewing area, grabbing inexpensive ribbon and use that in place of dental floss. The ribbon is easier for me to grab and can be reused until it’s too short to do so.
Thank you for showing how to clip the needle.