Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Another Needlework Tool: One I LOVE and Wouldn’t Be Without


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Well, after yesterday’s post about Thimbles, it’s hard to follow up on anything that could generate as much input! I really, really enjoyed reading everyone’s comments. If you haven’t read them yet, do take some time to – you’ll hear all about thimbles in the lives of needleworkers, why they’re liked, why they aren’t, substitutes for thimbles, special memories and stories of thimbles, and so forth! Fun stuff to read! Thank you!

One more little tool post for the week – back to the subject of scissors – and then I’ll leave off tools for a bit.

Maybe… I can’t believe it, but I did buy another little tool just yesterday, when I had to zip into the city after classes, and managed a quick stop at the LNS for some DMC.

Hm. Imagine: You’re walking down the street, collar up against the wind, darkness coming on, and you pause to ask passers-by: “Can you point me to the closest LNS? I need some DMC.” Methinks you’d be suspect to Shady Things.

Anyway – that new tool aside, here’s the thing: I love my good scissors. My absolute favorite scissors. They’re sharp, they’re thin-bladed, they’re reliable. They’re just great. But there’s another pair of scissors I wouldn’t be without, and after several months of using them, I consider them essential for my workbox.

Curved Embroidery Scissors

Embroidery scissors with tiny curved blades are about the handiest little scissor-thing going, when it comes to fine needlework.

Curved Embroidery Scissors

It’s all about those tiny curved blades.

Curved Embroidery Scissors

They’re fine, they’re tiny. And they can get in ever-so-close for trimming threads. They’re wonderful when doing detail work! I like them especially when I’m doing anything particularly small. For example, on one of my “inside” projects – that’s a sofa project, when I’m not really “working” at needlework – I’ve been painstakingly stitching my way through a teeeeeny tiny Cluny tapestry reproduction from MicroStitchery. These scissors are a life-saver in that kind of work. They get right down to the surface of the silk gauze and minimize the danger of cutting anything else but the thread I’m after.

Update, 2018: While MicroStitchery is still online, they are no longer honoring orders. I have heard from many folks who have placed orders with them, but have never received the orders and had to apply to PayPal for a refund. I’ve tried to contact Joy, the lady who took over the business, but with no luck. Just a word of caution, for those looking for miniature tapestries.

So they’re great for detail work. But heck, I use them for everything! (Well, I don’t trim my toenails with them, I don’t cut veggies with them…) But really, I use them for all kinds of needlework applications. They’re wonderful for cutwork and for drawn thread work, and I have it on good authority (though I haven’t used them myself for this) that they are excellent for Hardanger.

They’re modest little scissors – not very exciting looking, no fancy handles, no super-chic leather sheath. They’re just plain-Jane great little scissors that sport a short, curved blade.

This particular pair is by Gingher, and made in Italy. But there are lots of brands of curve-blade scissors out there. And you can pretty much find them at any needlework shop that has a good collection of scissors. I know Nordic Needle carries several types.

So that’s the last tool-in-the-workbasket post for the week. I do have some follow-ups coming up in the not-too-distant future: we’ll re-visit the goldwork scissors (I’ve had some fun with those!), we’ll look again at Transfer-Eze and compare it to another product, and I’ll show you yet another transfer product. But that’s in the future. The rest of this week, I’m planning to review a magazine and a couple books up close!


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(8) Comments

  1. So..aside from being Ginghers, what makes them different from my cuticle scissors? Just asking… 🙂

    I love your tool posts…but can we tackle How To Properly Rip Stuff Out sometime? I just made hash out of an excellent little project when I ripped out a completed flower I didn’t like…

  2. Interesting that you like this type so much. It’s the same as what I use (not same brand). I don’t remember where I got them but I like them because they’re small, sharp and very precise.

    When my husband started stitching, he was using my scissors. But he’s used to tin snips and wire cutters. He couldn’t figure out why his stitches kept coming loose on the front. I found out he was applying too much pressure against the fabric when he snipped off the tails. He was also clipping some of the backs of the stitches. After a bit, they would start coming loose on the front. He learned his lesson but I also gave him some different scissors.

  3. I have those exact scissors and I love them too. The little curved blades make all the difference. I am looking fondly at them right now. My former bird embroidery scissors have not seen action in a long time.

  4. Those look a lot like the surgical scissors I got in college bio (which, after cleaning thoroughly, are now excellent embroidery scissors).

  5. Hi Marymentor:
    Here’s echoing onfixedincome’s comment. I”ve been using my cuticle scissors with curved blade for a good while now and can’t see the difference. (for those who see the obvious value in this little tool….but are not at this time able to purchase the ones you described). Every little hint helps……yes? :-),,,,Judy

  6. Hi Mary,
    I do love the feel of nice scissors. I found mine in our local drugstore (before it was bought out by a big mainland chain). The scissors are made in Japan and sharp to the point that I must be careful where I put them so as not to poke a hole in my work. I also purchased tweezers that are super fine tipped.
    Mourning the days of the local owned stores being bought out by the big ones.
    Aloha !

  7. I have two pair, one I have not a clue where they came from and the other came in a little sewing box from my grandma with all sorts of needlework supplies. I never thought of using any other kind of scissors. They work too well!

  8. I have the large version of those, they’re bandage/stitch scissors. My mom had them from when she worked as a nurse at the local hospital.
    I borrowed them to cut thread one day I forgot my normal scissors and haven’t given them back since.

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