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Your Guide To Fabric: Perfect Cuts Every Time

sewing cutting board

Choosing the ultimate fabric for your project is daunting. There are thousands of colours, textures and patterns to trawl through before you can be sure you’re selecting the most suitable style!

So once you’ve finally made the painstaking decision on which fabric you’re employing, it is critical you treat your new purchase with care. Thoughtfully managing your material means cutting every centimetre with suitable instruments, which will change depending on its thickness and coarseness.

For a collection full of fabrics without any damage, and to achieve perfect cuts every time, keep reading.

 

Firstly, What Types Of Fabric Are There?

Before categorising which scissors suit different cloth, you need to identify all fabric types. Though there are thousands of unique material options on the market, they fall into twenty-two general categories.

  1. Cotton. Cotton is a soft and fluffy material that proves durable for everyday clothing items.
  2. Silk. Silk symbolises luxury. It’s a shiny natural fibre used for formal dress and expensive bedding.
  3. Satin. One side of the material is soft and lustrous, while the other tends to be duller.
  4. Lycra. Also known as elastane and Spandex, Lycra is an elastic material.
  5. Denim. Denim is made using a twill weave with cotton fabric.
  6. Leather. Animal skins or hides create leather, and different animals produce different kinds.
  7. Polyester. An artificial fibre made primarily from coal and petroleum.
  8. Velvet. Velvet is a staple for furniture and cushions composed of short pile fibres.
  9. Muslin. Muslin is a loose weave perfect for sewing, made from cotton fabric.
  10. Modal. Softer and more expensive than cotton, modal is a durable plant-based textile.
  11. Wool. Merino wool is more flexible and less itchy than traditional wool.
  12. Linen. Commonly used for towels and bedsheets, linen is made from the flax plant.
  13. Canvas. As a cotton and linen yarn mix, canvas material is sturdy and heavy-duty.
  14. Crepe. Crepe is a wrinkled fabric that can be silk, synthetic or wool-based.
  15. Gingham. Yarn is dyed and woven to form a checked pattern applied to clothing and cushions.
  16. Jersey. The upside of any jersey has a single rib knit, but the underside is covered with loops.
  17. Lace. Cotton thread, synthetic fibres, silk and linen, can all be used to create this delicate fabric.
  18. Chenille. This woven fabric can consist of cotton, silk, wool or rayon.
  19. Viscose. Viscose is a semi-synthetic rayon fabric used as a silk substitute.
  20. Suede. Unlike leather, suede is made from the underside of animal skin.
  21. Felt. Blended fibres are often condensed to create felt, but they can be natural or synthetic.
  22. Corduroy. With a distinctive raised wale, modern corduroy is made from tufted cords.

 

Next, What Variations Of Scissors Are There?

We know what you’re thinking. Surely there can’t be many different options for scissors! After all, they’re simply blades attached by a handle. You’d be surprised, though. There are ultra-sharp pairs of scissors for precise cuts with fine material and blunter shears for tough fabric. Even size can make a gigantic difference when selecting cutting apparatus. Here are the types of scissors you’ll need to consider:

 

sewing scissorsWhich Scissors Suit Different Materials?

Dressmakers’ Shears:

Dressmakers’ scissors have serrated edges that make them fantastic to cut rigid material. Denim and leather are notoriously tricky to reshape, but you can easily apply these scissors. The long, angled blades make light work of any material you’d like to sew, but bear in mind that thread and paper will dull their sharpness. Any fine fabric or delicate detail would suit a more petite scissor.

 You Can Use Dressmakers’ Shears With:

  • Cotton
  • Denim
  • Leather
  • Polyester
  • Suede
  • Corduroy

 

Applique Scissors:

Applique scissors are one of the most unusually designed pairs on the market. Often referred to as duckbill scissors, one blade is shaped like a semicircle to prevent you from ruining stitches while cutting. This scissor can manage the edge of practically any material due to the width and sharpness of each blade! Still, some materials are better suited for this cutting apparatus than others.

 You Can Use Applique Scissors With:

  • Wool
  • Satin
  • Silk
  • Velvet
  • Jersey

 

Tailor’s Shears

The versatility of tailor’s shears means they appear similar to dressmakers’ shears, and it can be challenging to identify the difference. While they manage comparable material, a tailor’s shear has a thicker and heavier spine that can accommodate even rougher fabrics. Should you need to cut through multiple layers of material at one time, you may find that tailor’s shears work best.

You Can Use Tailor’s Shears With:

  • Suede
  • Corduroy
  • Jersey
  • Leather
  • Denim
  • Cotton

 

Pinking Shears

Pinking shears are designed to work with woven cloth. While typical blades are straight-edged, pinking blades are sawtoothed, so they leave a zig-zag edge wherever they cut. Unfinished woven cloth edges fray quickly, meaning the weave will come undone, and the fabric will deteriorate! Sawtooth cuts won’t prevent fraying entirely, but they will limit the frayed thread length and minimise deterioration.

You Can Use Pinking Shears With:

  • Chenille
  • Muslin
  • Linen
  • Wool
  • Crepe
  • Lace

 

Rotary Fabric Cutter

Rotary fabric cutters are capable of cutting through multiple layers of material. They’re the ideal piece of equipment for quilters or patchwork enthusiasts. Rather than the typical scissor shape, rotary fabric cutters are blades fitted to a wheel! You’ll achieve super smooth edges no matter the material since you won’t need to wrestle with scissor handles to navigate fabric.

You Can Use A Rotary Fabric Cutter With:

  • Cotton
  • Polyester
  • Felt
  • Velvet
  • Canvas
  • Lycra

 

Patchwork Scissors

In place of a rotary fabric cutter, patchwork scissors can confront multiple layers of material at one time. Lightweight and medium fabrics are easily handled, but you’ll struggle with heavy denim or suede. Patchwork scissors will suit you the most if your craft of choice is quilting since your fabrics will be soft and plush. Remember to apply the most suitable scissors for your circumstance to achieve the perfect cut.

You Can Use Patchwork Scissors With:

  • Cotton
  • Polyester
  • Linen
  • Silk
  • Satin
  • Viscose

 

General-Purpose Scissors

Overall, regular and general-purpose scissors aren’t as effective at cutting fabric as specialised designs. However, in a pinch, this cutting apparatus can achieve good work! To bear in mind, you will dull the blades quickly if you use your scissors on fabric and paper alike. If you decide to apply general-purpose scissors to cloth, be sure only to use that pair on material alone. Dull scissors can’t serve anybody!

You Can Use General-Purpose Scissors With:

  • Lace
  • Cotton
  • Modal
  • Lycra
  • Linen
  • Felt

 

Top Tips: Perfect Cutting Every Time!

Now you’ve identified the ideal pair of scissors for your venture; you’re nearly ready to go. Read these top tips to ensure you get exceptional results with your equipment!

  1. Make sure you use left or right-handed scissors to suit your dominant hand.
  2. Complete any cut gently, and don’t force the blades shut if your material is too rough.
  3. Wipe the edges of your scissors once you’re finished working with a material. Use a soft, dry cloth.
  4. Keep your scissors in a protective case when they aren’t in use.
  5. Avoid hanging your fabric off the table. Extra material dangling as you’re cutting could pull and cause distortion.
  6. Cut directed away from yourself at all times. Don’t attempt unusual manoeuvres!
  7. Complete long cuts rather than sharp and jagged for the best results.

 

Replenish Your Equipment With Singer Outlet

Please browse our range of Singer fabric scissors for your next pair, and replenish your crafting closet!

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