Why you should only cut fabric with your sewing scissors

How do scissors get dull?

The blades of scissors are made from hardened steel. Over time, the blades of scissors lose their sharpness due to the cutting edge being very fine and wearing down with use. Each time the blades of scissors cut something, it loses a very small amount of the fine edge that makes them sharp.

How long it takes scissors to get dull depends on a variety of factors - how often the scissors are being used, what materials they're cutting, and how well the are taken care of. It's important to only use scissors for the material they've been intended for. In the sewing room, it is useful to have a pair of sewing scissors for cutting fabrics and thread, and another pair of scissors for cutting out paper pattern pieces.

Does cutting paper dull sewing scissors?

Yes, using your fabric scissors on paper will dull them quicker than if they were just used for fabrics.  Clay (calcium carbonate) is used in the manufacture of paper and cardboard as a filler and coating as it provides opacity, brightness and improved ability to print on the paper. This calcium carbonate is very hard and abrasive, which dulls the fine edge of scissors. 

If sewing scissors are used to cut the occasional piece of paper, it won't immediately blunt them, but if they're used to cut paper a lot, the scissors will become blunt quicker. It is therefore recommended that sewing scissors are only used for cutting fabrics and thread.

Can I cut wired ribbon with my fabric scissors?

Some ribbon has very thin wires in the edge so that it retains it's shape when tied into a beautiful bow. As this wire is harder than fabric, sewing scissors should not be used to cut the wired ribbon, as it will dull the blade of the scissors - or worse - take a nick out of the scissors.

While blunt scissors can be re-sharpened by a professional, nicks are harder to remove, so are best avoided. 

If cutting wired ribbon, it is recommended that another pair of all-purpose scissors are used, and the sewing scissors are kept for cutting fabric only.

 A pair of large gold sewing shears

SOHMO premium quality Italian made 8” Tailoring Shears are made from nickel plated carbon steel, finished with luxurious 24k gold-plated handles.

The SOHMO 8” Tailoring Shears feature offset handles, with one micro-serrated blade and one knife-edge blade, giving greater control over fabrics.

These shears are lovely and heavy and made to last a lifetime. Apply a small amount of oil near the pivot screw to keep blades moving smoothly. Wipe with the enclosed microfibre cloth after use to remove dust and fabric particle accumulation between blades. From time to time, adjust pivot screw to ensure that tension of shears is comfortable.

Shears are packaged in a sturdy card box with foam insert to keep them safe. Box includes care instructions and a microfibre cloth for cleaning.

A pair of sewing scissors in a blue gift box