Buying and using the best Pinking Shears for creative edging and preventing fraying

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Quality, ease of use, long-lasting sharpness, and an ability to cut pretty edges – these are what I looked for in my cutting tool and I got all of these in my pinking shears.

Pinking shears for cutting edges

The pinking shears are not the most essential of all sewing tools, but it can add to the charm of cutting and sewing. Pinking shears are specialized scissors designed with a serrated blade that creates a zigzag pattern when cutting fabric. The sawtooth-shaped blades (also called serrated edge) look quite lethal but create a pretty decorative edge.

Edge of Pinking Shears vs. Standard Scissors

Faux leather cut on one side with normal scissors and the other side with pinking shears

Why should you buy pinking shears?

When you have been sewing for some time,  you will come to realize the importance of some inconsequential things( as you thought first). For, e.g. the inner edges. At first, I would let the inner fabric cut edges as it is. They would look ok when I first sew it and wear it. But after a wash, I will have a mess on the inside. The fabric edges will fray all over, and the inside of the garment will look quite awful.

Then, you will begin to think about cost-effective and less consuming ways of finishing the fabric edges. That is when you will want to buy the pinking shears. Yeah, this is what I did.

zig zag edge cut with the pinking shears

This zig zag cut edge created by the pinking shears reduces fraying to a large degree and makes your fabric more durable.

When fabric edges are cut with pinking shears, zigzag pattern of pinking shears creates a series of small cuts along the fabric edge. The ‘teeth’ of the zigzag pattern disrupt the straight threads of the fabric weave, and some how ensures that adjacent threads together stay together . This helps prevent individual threads from easily pulling away from the fabric edge, making it less likely to unravel or fray over time. This is especially useful for fabrics that tend to fray easily, such as cotton, linen, and wool.

These shears are commonly used in sewing and crafting projects to add a unique touch to hems, seams, and edges of clothing, accessories, and home decor items.

Do pinking shears work on all fabrics?

No, not on all fabrics. Pinking shears work best on medium-weight tightly-woven fabrics. You can use it on faux leather, leather.

It’s not so great on stretchy fabrics, including knits. Anyways, knit fabrics do not fray, so you do not need to use them.

It doesnot work so much on very thin fabrics or ones with loose weave. The thread will come off, even if you use this cut.

pinking scissor used on a thin fabric with loose weave

You will also find it difficult to cut very thick and heavy-weight fabrics with it.

What to look for when buying pinking shears? What extra qualities should you look for?

Other than being sharp, it should be of lighter weight – after cutting for a long, my heavy pinking shears cause strain. It should also have a longer cutting surface.

And buy ones that does not pinch your hands – even after using for some time they should not press on your hands when cutting. For this, the handle has to be a bit large. (Not too large, that causes another set of problems)

And they should cut smoothly and easily – the first criteria. It is frustrating when shears which are meant to cut, do not do so effortlessly.

Which brands rule the pinking shears market? Which are the best?

Those would be Fiskar, Ginger, and KAI in the US. Fiskars pinking shears are supposed to be best for cutting the edge of light and normal-weight fabrics. Ginger brands are considered more suited for heavy-weight fabrics.

How to keep the pinking shears sharp; How to store it to maintain their sharpness

A bunt pinking shears can cause fabric snagging or yarn getting stuck in teeth of the pinking shears. Make sure your pinking shears are sharp and well-maintained. This may also be because your fabric is unsuitable for pinking shears. Avoid using too thin or too thick heavy fabrics.

To keep your pinking shears sharp, follow these tips:

Avoid cutting through hard materials: Pinking shears are designed for fabric, so avoid cutting through paper, cardboard, or other materials that can dull the blades.

Clean and oil the shears: Remove any fabric debris after each use and apply a small amount of machine oil to the pivot point to keep the blades moving smoothly.

When it comes to storing your pinking shears, remember these rules:

Keep them in a protective case (I have made one with felt fabric). This will keep the blades safe.

Store them in a dry place.  Moisture can cause rust – do you see the orange color of the cutting edge? That is caused by moisture.

rusted pinking shears

This one was not kept anywhere near water but the humidity in the atmosphere at my place caused the not-so used shear blades to rust.

So make sure to keep your pinking shears in a dry environment, and you will never have to panic. But I found that the rust went away when I rubbed oil on them.

If you find that the blades are not sharp enough, sharpen the blades. Use a sharpening stone or sandpaper, or take them to a professional sharpening service. A lot of metal working shops offer repair and sharpening services for scissors.

Cutting with Pinking shears to get the best results

When you cut, remember to apply consistent pressure throughout.  Inconsistent or varying pressure can result in uneven cuts. Use them with a gentle and steady hand.

Lastly, make sure to clean and maintain your pinking shears regularly to keep them in optimal condition.If you have trouble  opening and closing them, you can put a drop of oil on the screw that connects the blades. Usually it becomes loose this way.

Creating unique fabric embellishments with pinking shears

cut felt in the shape of a flower with the pinking shears

You can make fabric flowers using felt and other fabrics using the pinked edges.

To make this flower, cut out a circle with the shears.

cut a felt in the shape of a circle

Cut it in the shape of a swirl.

Cut in the shape of a twirl with the shears with zig zag edges

Now swirl it in the shape of a flower.

Twirl the felt in the shape of  flower

Easy, right ?

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

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