Tools of the Trade

Tools of the Trade

Published by Amanda on 7th May 2019

Emily came home with the most wonderful news the other day - she met a local man with a scissor-sharpening machine, and he knew how to use it. It might not be immediately obvious, but this is A Clothing Maker's Dream Come True.

We own dozens of scissors. There is never more than one preferred pair at any given time. That pair is always the Currently Least Terrible pair. Some are too dull. Some have burrs from cutting inappropriate things (like pins, oops) or sticky spots. Some have joints that are too loose or too tight. Some are too pointy, too heavy, or just plain uncomfortable in the hand.

An experienced scissor sharpener can fix most of these things, if you are lucky enough to find one. And we did! And now we own a plethora of functional, sharp scissors. I feel a little overwhelmed by my options, now.

The Serious Scissors. Best for heavy wovens like denim, hemp, linen, and wool. A Gingher pair (made in Italy), Singer (made in Brazil, gifted to us by one of our favourite local purveyors of antiques), and a mystery pair (also made in Italy) that either came from Montreal in the 90s or my mother's sewing stash. All of these hurt my hand to use for more than one garment, so they are Emily-only use, usually for alterations.

My beloved Finnys, perfect for cutting knits. German-made, lightweight with a super comfy grip, I can cut for hours with these. We like them quite short (it makes them nimble, ideal for curvy cuts) and with blunted tips that won't catch on the delicate jerseys. We order them by the half-dozen, as the quality is a bit hit-and-miss, and that guarantees we'll get at least two pairs of Very Good ones. The joints are always the thing that goes on them, some sooner than later, but the comfort level makes it worthwhile.

Those were just the test batch. Our new scissor guy passed with flying colours, so we're putting together a second batch to send him. Only three more, you say? Don't worry, Emily just unearthed an entire box labelled, "Questionable Scissors". He's going to get bored of us very soon ;)