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The Ultimate Guide to Embroidery Scissors

You’ll come across tons of adjectives while you shop for embroidery scissors: straight, curved, narrow, sharp,angled and more. What do all of these words mean? How can you possibly choose the right scissors when there’s so many options out there?

Below, we will define a few of the main types of embroidery scissors. And remember, most of these features can be combined for a highly specific purpose, so you may have to employ the use of multiple scissors to accomplish exactly what you need!

The most commonly used embroidery scissors are straight tip scissors. These scissors are small, thin, and fine-pointed to allow a degree of precision for close trimming of threads. In fact, this pair of scissors is a thread scissors, and using it only for threads will keep its fine tips aligned for long life.

Curved tip scissors are best when used for extremely fine precision work like getting under stitches or removing pesky underlay stitches that have popped out. These scissors should also be reserved for thread trimming only to keep the points aligned.

Applique scissors are designed to push down on one layer of fabric while cutting an upper layer. The blunt “duckbill” blade separates any fabric that you don’t want to accidentally cut with the sharp upper blade. While many hobby embroiderers will use these scissors for applique, the duckbill design is great for any machine embroiderers who want to cut away stabilizer backing while reducing the risk of cutting the embroidered fabric.

Unlike regular curved scissors, double curved scissors are designed ease of trimming while your work is still in the hoop. Both the handle and the tip of these scissors are curved. This design provides better visibility for you while you’re trimming a hard-to-reach place within the embroidery hoop.

Pinking shears have notched blades that create zig-zagging cuts in your fabric. Use these scissors for to reduce fraying of woven materials,or get creative and incorporate the zigzag edges as a unique feature of your design!

Sharp point scissors with the finest points are generally used to get under stitches and trim stitches very close to the fabric. In contrast, blunt point scissors are used to cut fabric or stabilizer rather than stitching.

Scissors with an offset handle have a shorter thumb handle in comparison to the pointer finger handle so you that you don’t have to move your thumb as much while snipping. This helps reduce your risk of carpal tunnel and can be very helpful for people with arthritis.

Thread snips aren’t exactly scissors, but they are important for embroidery so we’re still including them on our list. Thread snips do exactly what you think they’d do: they are hand tools designed to cut away thread on front or back of embroidery to clean up your design. Since they’re specifically designed just for snipping thread, you’ll want to use these instead of scissors for this purpose for a seamless look.

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