Quilting Blog

Keeping Scissors Sharp: 10 Tips to Care for Your Sewing Scissors

Your fabric scissors are a prized possession of your sewing room, so be sure to treat them that way. Follow these tips to keep your scissors in tip-top shape, so they are sharp and ready for use at all times!

scissor care

1. Avoid moisture.

Ironing and sewing go hand in hand, but irons usually have water in them so we can steam as we press, and moisture is not good for your scissors. Avoid setting your scissors on your ironing board, as your board will retain the moisture from the steam a lot longer than you may think.

2. Cut fabric only!

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, thread, and ribbons without wire.

3. Have a spare pair.

Have an alternate pair of scissors on hand for cutting wired ribbon, patterns, fusible interfacing, and other things that might damage your fabric scissors.

4. Keep it sharp.

Have your scissors sharpened regularly by a professional knife sharpener. This isn’t something I suggest doing at home, as if you damage the blades, there is little chance they can be repaired. Check with the local fabric store near you, or if you have Gingher scissors, try their mail-order sharpening service.

5. Wipe them clean.

As your scissors get full of lint, frequently wipe them down with a dry soft cloth, like muslin, to keep the blades free of lint and other fabric fuzz.

6. Always avoid pins.

When you pin your pattern to your fabric, be sure to keep your pins within the paper so you do not accidently cut over a pin while cutting the fabric. Using pins with a ball on the end will help you spot them along the way.

7. Don’t drop them!

Dropping your scissors can knock the blades out of alignment, even if dropped on carpet, but especially if dropped on wood or concrete floors. So do your best to keep them on the cutting table or in safe storage at all times.

8. Keep the case closed.

Most good scissors will come with a case or sleeve to keep your scissors safe and protected when not in use, so use the case at all times to keep the blades clean and free from dust.

9. Make a worthy investment.

All-metal scissors can be a costly investment, but a quality pair will cut better, last longer, and can be sharpened over and over again. Plastic is nearly impossible to repair if broken, so scissors with plastic handles will never last as long as those made of quality metal.

10. Cut at the right spot.

Cutting thin fabrics and small areas like notches, using the tips of the scissors is great, but when cutting thick and heavy fabrics, rely on the part of the scissors where the two blades separate near the joint with the screw. Cutting heavy fabric with the tips can possibly pull the blades out of alignment.

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7 Comments

Janet Daly

Thank you Crafts for all the sewing and ironing tip and tricks. Keep them coming they are a very big help.

Reply
Missy

The first thing my dad bought my mom after they were married, (1947), was a pair of solid steel scissors. Up to the day my mom passed away, 2 years ago, she was still using them. I was going to have them sharpened and use them, but decided to display them in my secretary’s desk. Definitely something to be said for good steel scissors.

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Judith

A quick fix for blunt spots on scissors is to make a cutting motion on the neck of a glass jar or bottle. This has helped me many times.

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Terry Sheldon

Some of the first classes I took on Craftsy were taught by Carol Doak. One of the many points she made was, you do not need specific scissors, rotary cutters or other cutting devices to be used for fabric only. She said after years of study, she has found that because paper is made in new, better ways, that you can cut paper and fabric with the same scissors or other tools and never worry about dulling the blades. As The Queen of Paper Piecing, I think she would know! I have been following this advice ever since with absolutely no difference in how fast the blades dull. Comments?

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Barbara Bell

I too would like to thank you for all the tips you give ,they are really helpful. Cleaning the iron is great there should be 1 that will clean my iron .thanks once again.

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Prue Fit

What seemed to be just a simple tip expanded into so many sharpening ideas! Your readers are a pretty “sharp” bunch themselves. I’ll be getting out the tinfoil for my husband’s mustache scissors…

This also reminds me to take a few moments and sharpen all my knives…

Reply
Tracie

I tried to subscribe to your mailing list and it wouldn’t recognize my email address. Can you please help me with this issue.. thank you..

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