To cut or not to cut? That isn’t really the question.
The question is: WHAT are you going to cut with?
Last month, I was teaching a class that used fusible appliqué. One of my students was in a small panic because she hadn’t brought her paper scissors and only had her fabric scissors. How was she suppose to cut the fusible appliqué paper??? Oh my. She borrowed my fabric scissors. I’ve always used my fabric scissors to cut my paper appliqué product. If any sticky residue was left behind I just cleaned it off with rubbing alcohol and never worried about it. But my student got me wondering. Was it an urban myth? Does cutting paper with your fabric scissors cause them to dull faster??
So I did a little bit of research and this is basically what I learned. Yes. They do. Surprised? But why? Well, paper has a clay like porous glue that will dull scissors. But wait! Fabric has sizing and dyes and fibers that will dull scissors too. Basically, whatever you are cutting is going to eventually dull your scissors. If you are using two pair, one for fabric and one for paper, they will dull half as fast. Go figure.
Now using that same logic, if you have LOTS and LOTS of scissors, they dull even less as fast. Don’t you love my math??
I love scissors and I have lots of them. I have leopard handle Gingher scissors that I inherited from my mother-in-law. She passed away 14 years ago, and I think of her every time I use them. I have dark metal scissors that were my grandmother’s. She purchased them during World War ll. They didn’t nickel plate them during the war. Mother used to hate taking those ugly scissors to Home Ec class. All the other girls had shiny scissors. I lived in Canada for 13 years and I can tell you this American girl loved having her American handled scissors. I have a couple of Italian scissors that I really like the feel of. One pair is for appliqué and the other is a rounded tipped one that I clipped to the end of my lanyard to use at the long arm. I use my spring loaded Fiskars ALL the time. I find it really saves my hands. And a pile of ‘other’ scissors. I figure if I have scissors everywhere, my family might need one, they won’t be picking up my nice scissors in order to cut tags off a new sweater. The pile in the photo is just what I collected from my sewing room.
It has been YEARS (15-ish?) since I have had my nicer scissors sharpened. My cutting edge reflections, reminded me I was over due. I gathered up my nice shears and searched for a reputable sharpener. Oh my. Not very many out there. My local sharpener here in Clayton was closing his business due to a failed eye surgery. We were both ready to cry. Who could I trust with my treasures???? He recommended Vito’s in Walnut Creek.
Vito’s is located close the Kaiser Walnut Creek hospital and was fairly easy to find. I brought 5 pair of Gingher shears, two smalI Italian scissors, and one pair of hair cutting clippers. I collected them one week later. I was was so PLEASED!! Vito’s did a fabulous job and was very reasonably priced. Every pair cut smooth, they opened and closed easily and were super sharp again! He charged $10 each for the Ginger shears, $7 for the hair cutting clippers and only $5 each for the Italian embroidery and thread cutters.
Do you have New Year resolutions for 2018? Whether it is finishing projects, learning new skills, or diminishing your sizable stash, you are going to need a good pair of sharp scissors!
I am ready for the New Year! Snip, snip.
Lisa’s Note: I’ve had my scissors sharpened by Absolute Sharp. He has had a booth at the Alden Lane Nursery “Quilting in the Garden” show every year as well as at the Livermore Farmers Market. He is located in Pleasanton. (925) 281-4285.
Remember! Little scissors for little cuts. Big scissors for big cuts.