Tools of the Trade

I’m often asked about the best tools for cutting fabric and thread for different projects so I thought I would share some of the tools that I use in my work. So I don’t repeat myself I’ve broken them down into a category rather than individual items as I have over 50 pairs of scissors!

Good to Know… When using any cutting equipment it’s good to get something that feels comfortable in your hands, especially if you’re doing a lot of cutting for a big project. I struggle with grip after I broke my right wrist a few years ago so I need my tools to be lightweight and easy to hold.

Curved Embroidery Scissors

I treated myself to some curved embroidery scissors a few years ago after working with cheap and cheerful nail scissors from the pound shop. I was struggling to cut away the threads on my digitally embroidered pieces, this is big part of the process too.

I saw another embroiderer using some curved scissors and I thought I’d give them a try. They are great for getting right on the surface of the fabric and cutting away loose threads as the blades are sharp right to the end. These are my go to scissors for any hand or machine embroidery project.

Top Tip: Be careful when handling these scissors, the pointed blades can stab you if you leave them in the bottom of a box or bag.

Large Fabric Scissors

I’ve had my large fabric scissors for many years, I bought them in a shop that hasn’t been in business since the 1990s, they were a considered purchase for me at the time at £25.00! They have a comfortable handle with soft grip inside which means that I can hold them easily and my hand doesn’t hurt, I struggle with metal handled scissors as they are less forgiving.

I use them to roughly cut fabrics and interfacing for my projects and when a neat edge is required I use my quilting ruler and heat erasable pen to mark a cut line.

Top Tip: Don’t use your fabric scissors to cut threads as this can damage the blades in the place where you cut frequently.

Fred Aldous have a great selection of fabric and embroidery scissors at reasonable prices.

45mm Rotary Cutter

I picked up a rotary cutter about 8 years ago from Dunelm, it’s just a generic unbranded model with replaceable blades that I buy from Barnyarns. To release the blade you pull in the grey clip, to retract you push the grey button.

It’s lightweight and comfortable to use and you can change the blade when it gets too blunt to cut your fabric. I use mine in conjunction with my quilting rulers and cutting mat to get straight lines for patchwork and trimming work ready to frame and mount.

Top Tip: Remember to to retract the blade when you have finished cutting as you can often catch it with your hand and get a nasty cut, especially with a fresh blade.

***Please note that this is just my personal observation on the products I use regularly, everyone has their favourites and I recommend trying lots of different types to find the best one for you.***