How to Care for Sewing Scissors

Sewing scissors are one of the most important tools to have in your sewing kit. 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 care for those expensive scissors.

English: A pair of large, Fiskars-brand scissors.
 Photo credit: Wikipedia

Only Use Sewing Scissors on Fabric

The first step to keeping sewing scissors in good repair has to do with preventative maintenance. You probably remember your mom or grandma telling you not to use their sewing scissors on anything but fabric. It wasn’t just because they didn’t want you to misplace their scissors — it was because sewing scissors become dull more quickly when they are used on items other than fabric. For instance, cutting over pins can damage or dull the blade, and paper is the worst.

Sharpen Your Sewing Scissors and Shears Often

As scissors get dull, it becomes increasingly difficult to cut fabric, especially fabric that is thick or has a bit of stretch to it. You can use a kitchen knife sharpener to keep your scissors sharp at home or take them to a sewing machine repair shop for a periodic sharpening and cleaning. You don’t have to buy a new pair of sewing scissors just because they are starting to get dull.

Wipe the Blades After Each Use

Some fabrics are abrasive and can damage the metal on your scissors, especially some man-made fabrics. So, 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.

If your sewing scissors have anything sticky on them, use a little bit of water and a rag to wipe the scissors clean. Make sure to dry them completely, though, to prevent rust.

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 typical, household screwdriver. Just tighten the screw and apply a drop of oil to the screw (wipe any excess oil).

Use these steps to keep your sewing scissors in the best shape possible so you can use them for many years to come. Do you have any other tips for taking care of sewing scissors and shears?


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