Basic Sewing Supplies–Pinking Shears

Traditional pink shears and pinked fabric

Traditional pink shears and pinked fabric

Okay, so pinking shears aren’t an absolutely necessary tool when sewing, but they can certainly make life easier. For those of you unfamiliar with this tool, pinking shears have serrated edges and they leave your trimmed fabric with a decorative edge. This edge is more than just a nice looking touch. Pinking the edge of fabric prevents the fabric from raveling; pinking is a classic edge finish and many long-time sewers prefer it to any other finishing technique. Linens, cottons, and many other traditional fabrics can be neatly finished with pinking.

Pinking shears range in length from 7” to 10 ½”. In recent years, scalloping the edge of paper with special scissors has become popular; don’t confuse these decorative scissors with pinking shears designed to cut fabric. The decorative edge craft scissors are designed to cut paper, cardboard, and thin craft foam; they won’t work well with fabric. Choose dressmaker’s pinking shears if you are going to cut fabric with them. A sturdy pair of pinking shears may seem rather expensive, but they are a good investment. Pinking shears come in the traditional heavy weight models and in lighter weight models. If possible try out pinking shear models in the store before buying one; they should cut a nice, obviously pinked, even edge without chewing the fabric.