Scissors are one of your most-used tools when it comes to sewing. Invest in a good pair of sewing scissors or shears and then take care of them with regular cleaning and sharpening so they will cut fabric with ease for years to come. Here are some tips to help you keep your scissors ready to go.
How to care for sewing scissors: Top 10 Tips
1. Avoid moisture.
Moisture is not good for your scissors. Avoid setting your scissors on your ironing board, your ironing board cover will retain the moisture from the steam a lot longer than you may think. Make sure your fabric is completely dry before you begin cutting and never lay your scissors down around cups.
2. Cut fabric only!
This one of the first things my mom taught me! It’s tempting to reach for your closest pair of scissors when you need to cut something, but you should reserve your good fabric scissors for only cutting fabric. Have a separate pair of scissors for cutting wired ribbon, patterns, fusible interfacing, and other things that might damage your fabric scissors. It also helps to make sure EVERYONE in the family knows which scissors are for fabric.
3. Tighten the Pivot Screw and Apply Oil Periodically
To achieve the best cut, sewing scissors and shears need to be tight. Many sewing scissors have a pivot screw that can be tightened with a household screwdriver. Just tighten the screw and apply a drop of oil to the screw (wipe away any excess oil).
4. Keep it sharp.
Have your scissors sharpened regularly by a professional knife sharpener? Check with the local fabric store near you, many have someone that comes in on a regular basis.
5. Wipe them clean.
Some fabrics are abrasive and can damage the metal on your scissors, especially some man-made fabrics. The best way to prevent this from happening is to use a cloth to clean the scissors and wipe away any lint after each project.
6. Always avoid pins.
Hitting a pin can damage the alignment of your scissors and nick the blades. Therefore, when
pinning your fabric, make sure to pin clear of your cutting path. Another alternative is to use pattern weights.
7. Don’t drop them!
This can damage the alignment of your scissors, nick the blades, cause the blades to bend or
the tips to break.
8. Keep the case closed.
Store your scissors in a cool, dry place – preferably tucked away in their own sheath, pouch, or
case. Be sure to store them in a place where they won’t be knocked of onto the floor.
9. Make a worthy investment.
Scissors can be an investment, but a quality pair will cut better, last longer, and can be sharpened over and over again.
10. Cut at the right spot.
When cutting thin fabrics and small areas like notches or curves use just the tips of the scissors. Then when cutting thicker and heavy fabrics, rely on the part of the scissors where the two blades separate near the joint with the screw. Cutting with the wrong area of the scissors can cause them to become misaligned.
Follow the 10 tips above and your scissors and you will both be happy! Did I forget anything? Be sure to let me know in the comments. I'd also love to hear what are your favorite type of scissors.