Your sewing scissors are easily one of the most important tools in your sewing room. How have you been taking care of them? With all the work they do for us, they deserve a little extra care and attention periodically.
When maintained properly, they can last for years to come. Regularly sharpening, cleaning of the blades, tightening the pivot screw and oiling it are just some of the ways to properly care for your new sewing scissors. Here are some helpful tips we follow at The Mother Huddle to take the best care of our sewing scissors and keep them in tip top shape.
Only Cut Fabric With Your Sewing Scissors
Whatever you do, do not cut paper with your sewing scissors. Only cut fabric every single time. Every sewing hobbyist needs separate scissors for fabric and separate scissors for paper. We recommend labeling each pair with a fine tipped permanent marker and then let everyone in your home know which pair of scissors are safe to use on paper only. Paper dull all types of scissors quickly and using your sewing scissors for their intended uses actually keeps your scissor blades sharper for a longer time before needing to be sharpened again.
Don’t Cut Into Your Pins
While cutting pinned fabric, watch carefully for pins! Cutting your pins can really damage your sewing scissors. They can dull your scissors, nick the blades, and misalign your scissors completely. Just make sure you place your pins clear out of your cutting path or an alternative is to use pattern weights instead.
Wipe Them Clean After Every Use
It sounds silly, but wiping your sewing scissors after every use is so important. Some fabrics are abrasive and will damage your scissors if lint and fuzz is left behind on the blades. Especially synthetic fabrics (polyester and nylon) and compared to natural fabrics (like cotton and wool) due to their abrasiveness. We recommend using a soft cloth made out of microfiber that’ll remove debris as gently as possible.
Avoid All Contact With Moisture
Even the smallest amount of moisture is harmful to your sewing scissors and will cause them to rust overtime. Here are some rules we follow at The Mother Huddle to keep our sewing scissors moisture and rust free.
- Only cut dry fabric: Make sure the fabric you want to cut is completely dry first. Even slightly damp will harm your sewing scissors.
- Do not set your sewing scissors on or near your ironing board or iron: Your ironing board cover does retain some moisture from your iron’s steam even from using it for only a short period of time. Keeping your sewing scissors away keeps them dry.
- Do not set your sewing scissors next to open drinks: Accidents happen. Kids, pets and even yourself can and will knock over your coffee at some point. Avoid accidental spillage by keeping your sewing scissors away from the splash zone.
- Cover your sewing scissors when not in use: If you’re not using your sewing scissors, get into the habit of covering them. Most sewing scissors come with a coverslip, sheath, case, or holder. If yours does not or you accidentally threw it away, you can always make your own to keep them dry and safe.
- Store in a dry and low humid area of your home: Do not store your sewing scissors in or near a humid room like a bathroom, kitchen or basement. These rooms are much higher in humidity than other areas of your home and the constant moisture in the air will cause them to rust.
Tighten The Pivot Screw & Oil When Loose
Just like other tools in your home, your sewing scissors need regular maintenance to work at their optimal performance. You’ll get the most precise cuts when their pivot screw is tightened and oiled well. You can use any old household screwdriver to tighten them and then apply a small drop of oil to the screw to lubricate. After you’re done, wipe away any excess oil with a microfiber cloth.
Have Them Professionally Sharpened
Luckily you don’t have to sharpen your sewing scissors by yourself. In fact, we recommend that you have them professionally sharpened each time. If you don’t know how to sharpen them yourself, you could severely damage them trying to. It only costs about as much as a cup of coffee and they can be taken to most craft stores and local professional knife sharpening services to be serviced. You might not even have to leave the house to have them sharpened! Many professional knife sharpening companies operate by mail too.
Keeping your sewing scissors sharp actually makes your sewing projects easier. Dull sewing scissors make less precise cuts and force you to use more pressure in your hands and wrist while using them. This is particularly noticeable and harmful to sewing hobbyists who suffer from arthritis and carpal tunnel.
Keep Your Sewing Scissors Covered
Keeping your sewing scissors covered protects them and everyone in your home. Sewing scissor holders and covers keeps them free of dust, moisture and debris while protecting you and your family from getting hurt. If you can’t find the cover or case your sewing scissors came with, you can always make your own! There are many cute sewing scissor patterns out there that are easy to sew and quick to make.
Store Your Sewing Scissors In A Safe Place
Stop sifting through your jam packed catch-all drawers for your sewing scissors and start storing them in a safe place. All that banging around searching for them can damage your sewing scissors even when covered. You could scratch them or nick the blades. Even worse, you could break the tips of your blades and even knock them out of alignment; all of which will ruin your beautiful fabric when you go to cut it! We recommend keeping your sewing scissors in a nice sewing or craft box that is placed in a safe dry room away from family members who don’t sew.
Invest In A Good Pair
While shopping for sewing scissors, we recommend spending a little extra to invest in a good pair of all metal sewing scissors. Yes, it will cost more than other pairs but all metal sewing scissors cut better and last longer. They can be resharpened for years, while cheaper pairs made of lesser materials can only be thrown away when they get dull.