What Are The Best Scissors For Quilters?


While many quilters use rotary wheels to cut fabric these days, we all still need to have a good pair of scissors in our quilting supplies. There are lots of brands from which to choose and lots of styles that are geared toward specific crafting techniques.

Which Types Of Scissors Are Needed For Cutting Fabric?

Having three pairs of scissors (or more) will save your sanity.

One pair for fabric, one for paper and templates, one for the rest of the family, and one for threads or ripping. Mark them and let your family know which are for their general use.

Wipe your scissor blades with a sheet of fabric softener to make them glide through the fabric easier.

Cutting inside your marking lines will increase the accuracy of your pieces. This approximates the template size.

If you are cutting squares, take your scissors completely away from the fabric when you change directions. Cutting around the corner will change the size and accuracy of your piece and sewing.

If you are “fussy cutting” in the center of a piece of fabric, cut beyond the mark, take your scissors out of the fabric piece, then start cutting the next side.

Which Types Of Scissors Are Needed For Quilting?

Remember, you may need several pairs of scissors for your quilting. Small scissors with sharply pointed tips are great for machine applique trimming and snipping stray threads. If you intend to cut large areas of fabric, though, a larger pair of scissors will be more suited to that task.

What Is The History Of Scissors?

They are so readily available that it seems like they have always been around.  The truth is, scissors have not always been around. As far as researchers can determine, they probably date back about 3000 to 4000 years. They believe scissors were invented in Egypt in about 1500 BC. The first scissors made were spring-type. The blades were aligned so that they would cut, then the spring allowed them to be pulled apart. They sound more like a version of nail trimmers in that aspect.

Scissors were made by blacksmiths who heated a bar of iron to flatten it. They worked with the hot metal to flatten and shape blades as well.  After forming the  blades, the center of the bar was heated and manipulated to make it springy. Heating and cooling the spring a few times made these spring scissors more flexible.

The first cross blade scissors were invented much later. The Romans invented them in 100 AD. These featured the basic principles of our scissors today. The blades were crafted of iron or bronze. At a point between the handles and the tips, these blades had a pivot point where they connected, much like today’s scissors.

Use of the cross blade scissors spread from Rome into China, Japan and Korea.  Spring scissors were still popular in Europe through the 1500s.

The first mass manufacturer of spring type scissors was a company called William Whiteley and Sons Ltd.  They officially began manufacturing scissors in 1760.

A year later, cross blade scissors were mass manufactured. Robert Hinchliffe of London began manufacturing mass quantities of the cross blade pivot scissors in 1761.

Everything got a fancy makeover in the Victorian age and scissors were no exception. They were made with very decorative handles.

As mentioned previously, there are many fine scissors on the market today. One brand that comes to mind is Fiskars.

Back in the mid-1600s, an ironworks was founded in the Fiskars hamlet of Finland (then Sweden). Almost two hundred years later, a new owner of the company began making more cutlery items, including scissors.

This is when the Fiskars trademark was first used. In 1967, the world was introduced to the company’s famous orange handled scissors, and the company is still marketing scissors (and other items) for a wide range of purposes.

How To Choose scissors For Left-Handed Quilters?

Scissors seem like a pretty simple invention, but there is a lot of science involved in them. The cross blade scissors we use today involve scientific terms like fulcrum and lever. But the science goes deeper than that when you consider left and right-handed scissors.

Due to the pivot, cross blade scissors are asymmetric. There is a lot of scientific consideration into making scissors geared toward right handed symmetry and left handed symmetry.  Some scissors are made to be ambidextrous, or usable with either hand.

Regardless of whether you are left handed or right handed, find a pair of scissors you can work with comfortably. The best way to do this is to give several styles and brands a try.

By Penny Halgren of http://www.How-To-Quilt.com. 

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