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Sewing Supplies and Tools: Pinking Shears

Sewing supplies and tools: Pinking shears

Pinking Shears create a zigzag edge with their saw-toothed blade.
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Pinking shears are scissors that when cutting they produce a zigzag edge. They are not to be used to cut out sewing patterns. They can be used for decorative purposes as shown below in the handmade Christmas ornament.

Pinking shears can be used for seam finishing the edges on non-fraying fabrics where another method of finishing might be too bulky. Keep in mind that the "pinking" seam finish is NOT a strong seam finish. It does not prevent the fabric from fraying, but limits the length of the fabric that can fray. If another seam finish can be used, it is recommended.

Pinking shears are sized from 7.5 inches to 9.0 inches.



Pinking shears like the ones shown on the left below are heavy, sturdy, and a little hard to hold for smaller hands. Today, you can find pinking shears that are a little lighter in weight, and have a rubber grip making it easier to cut with as shown on the right below.

Pinking shears.

Pinking shears with a rubber hand grip.


Pinking shears used as a method of seam finishing called, "pinking."

Here is a photo of pinking shears being used as a method of a seam-finish called "pinking." It is one of the oldest methods of seam finishing. It can be used on light weight cottons or light weight stretch. "Pinking" is not a strong seam-finish.


This handmade country star Christmas tree ornament was made by using pinking shears. Notice the decorative zig-zag finished edge.

Here is a photo of a handmade Christmas Star Tree Ornament that was cut out with pinking shears. Cutting the fabric with pinking shears gives the ornament a decorative edge with a rustic country look and there is no need for seam finishing. The raw edges have the zig-zag look from the pinking shears.


Handmade felt candy hearts cut with pinking shears.

Cutting felt with pinking shears gives a nice decorative look as shown in the photo to the left. Pinking shears were used to make these sweet Valentine Felt Candy Hearts project. Since pinking shears helps stop fabric from fraying, and felt does not fray, there is no chance the edges of  these little felt heart crafts will ever fray.


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A seam ripper is essential for all who sew.

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