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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Tool Talk: Sajou Embroidery Scissors


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Happy Monday all around!

This morning, a little Tool Talk! I love talking about needlework tools!

For those just discovering Needle ‘n Thread, occasionally I like to review tools and accessories for hand embroidery, to help you find those pleasant and useful little things that enhance your needlework experience.

Hopefully, these reviews give you an idea of what’s available on the market, where you can find it, the pros and cons of different tools, and sometimes, a comparison between other similar goods available.

Of course, you should definitely keep in mind that these are just my opinions about needlework tools that I’ve handled and used. I like them (or I wouldn’t be reviewing them) and think they’re worth passing on information about. But we all have our individual tastes and preferences, our needs and budgets – the reviews I write up are simply to add to your knowledge about needlework tools and accessories so that you can make well-informed and balanced decisions about your wants and needs for stitching.

So today, let’s take a look, up close, at Sajou embroidery scissors! We’ll look at the scissors, talk about pros and cons, I’ll share my experience with them so far, and tell you where you can find them.

Sajou scissors for Hand Embroidery

Sajou is an embroidery house based in Versailles, France, originating in the 1800’s and enjoying a new revival in the past decades after being dormant for a while.

Sajour produces and packages all kinds of needlework goods, from threads to charts to books to kits to fabrics to scissors and other accessories. Their iconic packaging is enduring and endearing. It’s got a vintage French look and feel to it, and … well … I just love the colors!

They say packaging is everything. I don’t know if that’s exactly true, because when it boils down to it, do we actually keep the packaging or just what’s inside it? Still, if it were true, I think it would be true about Sajou’s packaging!

Sajou scissors for Hand Embroidery

But, since we’re here to talk about scissors, let’s!

These particular scissors hail from Tres Chic Stitchery, located in Cleveland, OH. Tres Chic is the US distributor for scissors and other delectable goods from Sajou.

Sajou scissors for Hand Embroidery

The one thing about Sajou’s scissors is that they make a visual statement. These particular scissors – they’re these Swan Scissors – are meant to look like mother-of-pearl handled scissors that have been a beautiful and serviceable element in ladies’ workbox for centuries.

Inspired by the mid-18th century Charles X period, the handles, though not real mother-of-pearl, carry the look off well! They are eye catchers!

They are, in short, pretty scissors. They’re the kind of scissors that are nice to have in a well-maintained, beautiful needlework workbox.

Sajou scissors for Hand Embroidery

Sajou’s scissors are hand made in Nogent, France, an area with a long-standing reputation for fine scissor-making.

Besides being pretty, then, they also work! And that’s a good thing! I’m not a huge fan of decorative scissors that don’t work.

The fine, sharp blades snip threads nicely, just as they are intended to do.

Some Pros and Cons in a Nutshell

The pros for these are pretty obvious:

1. They’re really beautiful and artistically made. If you have a penchant for collecting handsome scissors, these are worthy additions to your collection. They’re the type of scissors to put on your Christmas wishlist!

2. They do their job – they cut threads! The blades are sharp and precise. They are meant to do the fine cutting required in needlework – snipping embroidery threads, cutting yarn in crochet or knitting, or cutting lace-making threads. And they do that well. They are not fabric scissors, though they could be used for some types of cutwork, if you’re working in small snips. I prefer shorter fine blades for cutting away fabric in any kind of cutwork stitching, but these would work.

And some cons:

1. The handles and finger holes are not particularly comfortable. You would not use these for any long term cutting – but that’s not what they’re made for, so that’s ok. They’re made for quick snipping. I have relatively small hands (though my fingers can be a bit pudgy!) and I find that the finger holes fit ok, but the delicacy of the carved handles make them a little fussy to hold, compared to the more rigorous scissors I’m used to.

2. Though the scissors work great mechanically, when opening and closing them, there is that slight hitch that you can feel. This is not unusual in many types of good scissors, and over time, it will most likely go away. But, comparing the mechanical movement of these scissors to, say, my brushed stainless steel Dovos and my Premax ring-lock embroidery scissors, the movement on these feels a little hesitant.

Sajou scissors for Hand Embroidery

Not necessarily a con, the scissors are quite light weight. They have a delicate feel to them. They are the kind of scissors that you would be more conscious of being careful with.

Again, not a con – it’s good to be careful with your tools! But this is something you should be aware of. They feel light and delicate.

Where to Find Them

You can find Sajou scissors at locally owned, small needlework shops in your area or online, if you don’t have a needlework shop around.

If you’re looking for them online, you’ll find a vast selection of Sajou scissors available here at Tres Chic Stitchery, where shop owners can order them wholesale to carry locally, and where folks can also purchase them retail.

You’ll also find Sajou scissors available at some favorite online needlework shops. The French Needle carries Sajou scissors, and I believe you can find them through Needle in a Haystack, too.

And you can always ask your favorite shop if they carry them, if you don’t see them listed in their website inventory.

The folks at Tres Chic stitchery sent me these Sajou scissors so that I could see them and try them out. Keep an eye out for a give-away for these beauties! They’ll be passing out of my little paws and on to one of you in the near future.

In fact, with November well under way, I’m looking forward to running my pre-Christmas give-away series, A Stitcher’s Christmas, in just a few weeks. This is a series of needlework give-aways with some really beautiful prizes. The series starts after Thanksgiving and runs intermittently up to Christmas.

If you’re interested in seeing what this year’s series is all about, why not sign up for the Needle ‘n Thread newsletter so you don’t miss out?


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(13) Comments

  1. Dear Mary

    I’m back from Valencia I had a great time exploring the City went to a silk museum which was really interesting and had a go pulling the thread from a silk cocoon and watched a massive loom in progress, I saw some beautiful Valencian costumes on display and had a really great time with family. The scissors are really lovely and I love the swan mother of pearl handles very chic, would love to own a pair so I will wait for your give-away to see if I will be fortunate enough to win, really looking forward to the goodies on offer. Thanks for sharing these beautiful scissors with us and for the links.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  2. Hi Mary,

    I received these scissors for Christmas last year. Since they are delicate, I am very cautious where I use them. Such as in my living room where there is a lot of tile☺️. One thing I have noticed about them (may be the hitch you mentioned) is that if I squeeze the handles a little bit beyond the cutting I have done, that the blades go past each other. Hope that makes sense. Anyway, they are beautiful! One day, I hope to make the Strawberry Fayre by Caroline Pearce, to store them in!

  3. Love this article about decorative handmade scissors. Do you have an opinion on Jean-Marie Roulot? He is very well known in Nogent, France. He has made real some eye catchers! I think most people that purchase these types of tools do so to ‘represent’ their passion for needlework, not necessarily to use them. It is tempting to to have a pair in your special sewing box, just for show.

    1. I’m familiar with the scissors, Pat – the French Needle carries a large selection of Roulot scissors, and I’ll be including a pair in this year’s Christmas series. I’ve not seen them myself, but by all accounts, they are quite beautiful, and very precise and sharp.

  4. I have an addiction to scissors and love decorative ones, even the cheap-ie ones. I came across some mother of pearl buttons and a thread holder and went on a hunt for scissors so I’ve been sucked down that rabbit hole too. I drool over the swan scissors and would love a pair but so far the best I have is the Dovo embroidery scissors, first heard of them on your blog. I just heard about the Gingher Designer scissors and I’m kind of glad I didn’t hear about them in years past (from a financial point of view). I love the larger scissors by them but never used the embroidery ones. I love looking at all the Sajou design packages on French Needle and Sublime Stitching. Have a great day.

  5. For all your Australian readers, Allthreads Embroidery is a Sajou stockist with many of their kits and other products including scissors. Today we sold out of the Mother of Pearl Swan scissors however more have been ordered and should be available within 2 weeks in readiness for Christmas! We do have stock of the Sajou Eiffel Tower scissors and Decouvit scissors.

  6. I love the Sajou scissors. <3 I recently bought a pair that look like ivory (but their not) with the "S" for Sajou. I like to think that the "S" stands for Stephanie. lol However, I don't really use them. I tend to prefer my Kai scissors for my every day use since they stay sharp. But the Sajou scissors make an awesome addition to my scissors collection. 🙂

  7. Ut oh you hit on my little obsession, sajou 🙂 I have quite a few sajou pieces (the hornbeam items are my favorite) but no scissors. I’m really glad you wrote this because I’ve been debating on buying the sajou scissors or not and now shipping is $25 from the UK Etsy shop I have been buying from so everything in this article is a HUGE help!! Thank you so much 🙂

  8. Thank you your article on Sajou scissors. I just received a pair of the bunny scissors because I love bunnies but was very disappointed because they felt so “tight”. I think that is the feeling you are talking about when you describe a “hitch”. Hopefully that will go away. I appreciated your description because I was feeling the scissors were not right.

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