This week, I want to highlight some needlework tools that I’ve purchased in the last few months or so. Curiosity and a certain “need” usually compel me to purchase needlework tools. Normally, when I buy a new needlework tool, I have a problem I’ve come across that I’m hoping a certain tool will help solve. Sometimes (I admit it!!!), I buy a tool just out curiosity, to see if it really does make a difference.
This pair of goldwork scissors was purchased to satisfy the latter excuse: I was curious. Here are scissors that are specifically manufactured for goldwork. What would they be like? Would they make that much of a difference in cutting real metal threads? Are they a necessary tool for goldwork?
Today, I can’t really answer all those questions. Not yet! The scissors were purchased… I’ve held them, played with the blades a bit, examined them… but I haven’t cut any goldwork threads with them yet. Brilliant, eh? Here I am, writing about goldwork scissors, and I’ve never even used them!
But what I want to do is tell you about them and poll the audience. I’d like to know if anyone else has been curious about them – or if anyone else uses them and finds them an invaluable tool.
What makes goldwork scissors different from regular embroidery scissors? Is it the fact that they are … gold? Is it the fact that they have small blades? No, no. None of the above. Admittedly, I’ve got several pairs of embroidery scissors with much finer blades, as far as thickness is concerned. Don’t get me wrong – the blades on these are quite fine; I think they are slightly finer than standard off-the-shelf embroidery scissors. And heck, gold-colored scissors are quite common. So it isn’t those two points that make these small, Italian-made scissors specifically goldwork scissors.
This is what makes these scissors different from regular embroidery scissors. One blade is serrated. Very, very finely serrated. Almost invisibly serrated. So finely serrated that, if you run your finger on the cutting edge (something you probably should avoid doing with very sharp scissors….), you will barely feel the serration. And yet, they are serrated.
And that, by the way, was the most difficult photo I’ve ever taken. I’m surprised it came out.
You can see that the serration is not that deep. It’s just barely there. But the point of it (no pun intended, I swear it!) is that the fine serration on the one blade is supposed to “grip” the metal thread and keep it from slipping or moving while it’s being cut.
Like I said, I haven’t cut any purls or other metal threads with these yet. I will, though! And I will compare them to cutting with the regular fine-blade embroidery scissors I commonly use for goldwork. The dubious part of me thinks that there will be no noticeable difference. And the critical-dubious part of me takes it even a step further – I’m thinking that perhaps I will find I prefer my non-goldwork-specific scissors for the task.
But the open-minded part of me (I come in three parts) says that I will at least try them and see.
At the risk of being repetitive, I will say again that this was entirely a Curiosity Purchase. I had you in mind, too, when I bought them. I figured if they turned out to be something Absolutely Splendiferous, then of course I would have to insist that every goldworking-embroidery-fiend in the world rush out and get a pair. The problem is, they’re not that easy to find, and if you do find them, would you really invest in them if they aren’t all that essential to goldwork? Right! I asked myself the same thing!
Concerning availability, even though I’ve heard about them hither and thither, I had a hard time tracking a pair down. In the US, I found them at Wendy Schoen Design. In the UK, they carry them at the Golden Hinde. Incidentally, they are a lot less expensive at the Golden Hinde than they are at Wendy Schoen – even when you figure in shipping, they’re a good $5 or $6 less if ordered from the UK.
So, here’s the audience poll: do you use serrated-blade goldwork scissors when you cut your real metal threads? And if so… what do you think of them? I’d be interested to hear what others have to say about them!
And of course, I’ll let you know as soon as I snip a bit o’ gold with ‘em!