Keeping Scissors Sharp: 10 Tips to Care for Your Sewing Scissors

Your fabric scissors are a prized possession of your sewing room, so be sure to treat them that way. Follow these tips to keep your scissors in tip-top shape, so they are sharp and ready for use at all times!

1. Avoid moisture.

Ironing and sewing go hand in hand, but irons usually have water in them so we can steam as we press, and moisture is not good for your scissors. Avoid setting your scissors on your ironing board, as your board will retain the moisture from the steam a lot longer than you may think.

2. Cut fabric only!

It’s tempting to reach for your closest pair of scissors when you need to cut something, but you should reserve your good fabric scissors for only cutting fabric, thread, and ribbons without wire.

3. Have a spare pair.

Have an alternate pair of scissors on hand for cutting wired ribbon, patterns, fusible interfacing, and other things that might damage your fabric scissors.

4. Keep it sharp.

Have your scissors sharpened regularly by a professional knife sharpener. This isn’t something I suggest doing at home, as if you damage the blades, there is little chance they can be repaired. Check with the local fabric store near you, or if you have Gingher scissors, try their mail-order sharpening service.

5. Wipe them clean.

As your scissors get full of lint, frequently wipe them down with a dry soft cloth, like muslin, to keep the blades free of lint and other fabric fuzz.

6. Always avoid pins.

When you pin your pattern to your fabric, be sure to keep your pins within the paper so you do not accidently cut over a pin while cutting the fabric. Using pins with a ball on the end will help you spot them along the way.

7. Don’t drop them!

Dropping your scissors can knock the blades out of alignment, even if dropped on carpet, but especially if dropped on wood or concrete floors. So do your best to keep them on the cutting table or in safe storage at all times.

8. Keep the case closed.

Most good scissors will come with a case or sleeve to keep your scissors safe and protected when not in use, so use the case at all times to keep the blades clean and free from dust.

9. Make a worthy investment.

All-metal scissors can be a costly investment, but a quality pair will cut better, last longer, and can be sharpened over and over again. Plastic is nearly impossible to repair if broken, so scissors with plastic handles will never last as long as those made of quality metal.

10. Cut at the right spot.

Cutting thin fabrics and small areas like notches, using the tips of the scissors is great, but when cutting thick and heavy fabrics, rely on the part of the scissors where the two blades separate near the joint with the screw. Cutting heavy fabric with the tips can possibly pull the blades out of alignment.