Tickled Pink with My Fiskars Pinking Shears
Written: Mar 24, 2003 (Updated Jun 19, 2004)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Stainless Steel blades, lightweight, crisp zigzag cut, easy open/close action, durable
Cons:none ... an excellent product
The Bottom Line: Fiskars Pinking Shears are lightweight, durable and affordable at around $20. The lower blade extends beyond the upper blade to better hold the fabric when cutting. A nice feature!
At some point, most serious sewers need to use pinking shears. I own three sets of them! Hmmm ... does that make me a compulsive sewer, or a compulsive scissor collector?
In case you arent familiar with pinking shears, the scissor blades are notched and mesh together to cut fabric in a crisp zigzag pattern. Pinking shears can create a decorative edge or help stop fabric from fraying. Some people use their pinking shears on paper, fabric and other materials. My pinking shears are dedicated to fabric use so that the teeth (blades) dont dull as quickly.
Fiskars Pinking Shears
* Blades constructed of Stainless Steel
* Handles molded from plastic
* Extended lower blade to better hold fabric
The Fiskars corporation dates from 1649 when it was first established as an ironworks and has been crafting scissors since 1880. In case you are curious, pinking shears in the style we are familiar with were invented in 1893 by Louise Austin in Whatcom, Washington.
Ive been using Fiskars Pinking Shears for years and really like them. From end to end, they measure 9 3/4" long. The blades' pinking edge (the notches) measure 3" long. I find the Fiskars Pinking Shears work best when cutting one to four layers of fabric. (I'm basing this on 100% cotton mid-weight fabric.) The cut is crisp, the zigzag well defined. One thing that keeps me using Fiskars Pinking Shears is that they are lightweight, comfortably fit my fingers, and do an excellent job of cutting. In all the years Ive used them, the blades have not dulled and the action is as smooth as when I first purchased them. The Stainless Steel blades have not discolored and look like new. Id tell you how long Ive owned them, only its been so long that I cant remember!
How to Use Pinking Shears
Cutting with pinking shears requires a slightly different technique than using regular scissors. The fingers should comfortably fit in the handles. The blades do the work with the hand only moving the scissor handles so that the blades open and close. Hold the pinking shears straight when cutting fabric. If the pinking shears are held at an angle, they will not cleanly cut the fabric. Instead, they will chew the fabric and can even rip it. Hold the scissors straight and steady and bring the blades together. Begin cutting from the second rear tooth or else the cloth could catch. Do not move the scissors forward when cutting. After the cut is made, release the scissors, move them along the fabric, lining the last notched cut with the teeth in the pinking shears blade. Cut the fabric and continue in this fashion. A neat zigzag cut results. To achieve best results, always completely close the scissors blades together in a full cut.
Here are a few tips for cutting fabric using pinking shears:
* Make sure the fabric is tightly woven. A fabric with a loose weave will result in a poor pinking cut.
* I find a crisper cut is achieved when cutting two to four layers of fabric. Unless the fabric is a bit stiff, pinking one layer may result in a wobbly cut.
* If a fabric is too delicate for pinking, even when trying to cut through multiple layers, place a sturdier fabric behind the delicate fabric and then pink through both fabrics. Experiment on sample pieces of the fabrics first to see if this method works for the fabric you are using.
* Cutting more than four layers of fabric (depending upon the fabric) can cause a jagged cut and the shears can even chew the fabric. Pinking too many layers of fabric is also more difficult. I speak from experience when I say it can hurt the hands. Ive actually put dents in my fingers from applying pressure to the scissor handles while trying to make a pinking job go quicker by cutting too many layers of fabric at once.
* Do not use pinking shears to cut out fabric pattern pieces. Use regular straight-edge scissors. If pinking shears are used to cut out pattern pieces, it is more difficult to match the edges of fabric for accurate sewing. Im not saying the pattern wont go together correctly, but there is more room for error.
* When pinking the edges of clothing seams, sew the seam first and then pink the seam edges.
* Some fabrics are delicate. Ive had experience when ironing pinked seams where the zigzagged seam, after being ironed, leaves a zigzag impression on the front of the fabric. To avoid this dilemma, place a piece of fabric or an ironing cloth between the front of the fabric and the pinked seam. Then iron.
Caring for Pinking Shears
I highly recommend only using pinking shears for cutting fabric. If a decorative edge is needed for paper, there are special paper-cutting scissors available with decorative blade edges (zigzag, scallop, etc.). Paper will dull pinking shears blades. And pinking shears cannot be sharpened like regular scissor blades. It may be possible to regrind the blade edge, but this is difficult since pinking shears only work when the notched edges mesh together.
Never open and close pinking shears without fabric between the blades.
Try not to drop pinking shears. Banging the pinking shears can cause the blades to misalign and not cut properly.
When finished using pinking shears, wipe the blades clean to keep them free of lint. Its also good to occasionally oil the scissors to maintain smooth cutting action.
Store pinking shears in a temperate, dry place with the blades closed.
An Optional Way to Pink
The invention of rotary cutters has changed the way we cut fabric. A rotary cutter is essentially a round razor attached to a handle. Hold the handle of the rotary cutter and roll the circular blade along the fabric for a clean, even cut. These round razor blades also come with waved razor edges so that when the fabric is cut, instead of a straight slice, the fabric is cut in a wavy line. Rotary cutter razor blades are also available with a pinking edge. Depending upon your project, a rotary cutter with a special blade might work better than using traditional pinking shears. Personally, I find I have more control over the cut when using a pair of pinking shears rather than a rotary blade. If you need to pink fabric quickly, then a rotary blade is definitely faster.
I enjoy using Fiskars Pinking Shears. There are many brands of pinking shears available, and some of them are excellent, though they can be expensive. If you are looking for a durable, lightweight pair of pinking shears that are affordable at around $20, you cant go wrong with Fiskars Pinking Shears.
I hope you have found this review useful.
Enjoy your day,
Please read my other reviews:
Fiskar's 8" SoftGrip Scissors
Quilters Dream Sewing Table
Horn of America Sewing Chair
Janome Jem Sewing Machine
Black & Decker Pro Finish Iron
Bernina Accessory Box
Keepsake Quilting Store
Joann.com Fabric & Craft Store
Lifetime Utility Table
Mighty Bright Light
Sewing & Quilt Expo
Copyright 2003 Dawn L. Stewart
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