Sunday, September 20, 2009

Question of the Day: What scissors do you run with?

I'm introducing a new addition to my blog and hope you will all respond.

Now and then I'll post a question and hopefully you will all chime in with your best answer, advice, favorite whatever the question requires.

Today's question: What do you love to use to cut your fabric?

What brand scissors or if you prefer, rotary cutter. Or in fact, do you use something else? Let us know your favorite cutting tool and if you have a story -- please share!

My favorite scissors were given to me as a high school graduation gift from two older women I worked with at The Leader Store. Ages ago! They are a pair of Farr scissors and have not required sharpening for 40 years and I've cut everything with them. I don't know if they are even for sale any longer.

How about you? Tell me about your scissors, please. --Dawn


Sarah Nopp said...

Mostly I use my medium size Olfa rotary cutter, being a quilter. But them I have my little snips- random assortment and sizes, whatever comes to hand. I have a couple pair of cheap Fiskars scissors for paper and whtanot. But my actual shears- beautiful steel Gingher straight blade, with dogwood enameled handles. Don't really use them much, but they are sharp as anything and heavy.

Susan said...

I call myself a collector of scissors. I always buy a new pair at quilt shows. They tend to either hide or multiply in my sewing room. I have a great pair of Gingher shears that I would use if I ever made something from a pattern.

I think I inherited this scissors bug. My mother passed away in August, and I cleaned out her apartment. 30 pairs of scissors!

Suzan said...

My favorite scissors are small pair of KAI. I keep them at at sewing machine all the time. I have carpal tunnel and don't like large, heavy tools. My favorite rotary cutter is an OLFA that automatically disengages the blade (much safer that way!).

Dawn said...

I'm enjoying your comments so much! Thank you. Although I must admit that I'm still a bit stunned -- 30 pairs of scissors?! What a legacy! Did your Mom have a favorite brand, Susan?

Sarah, I hadn't thought about scissors as being decorative. How cool!

And Suzan, sorry about the carpal tunnel. I have the old fashioned OLFA rotary cutter and it is so dull because I'm hesitant to change the blade. I may just chuck it for the kind you use. Thanks for mentioning it!


GARI said...

I, too, use a self closing rotary, Olfa, for fabric. The sissors I like to use are the Fiskars, both shears and smaller blades, that are spring loaded. They are sharp, smooth cutting and don't wear out my hands. I do have electric sissors and I like to use them when cutting out a garment pattern. They are cordless and I just have to remember to keep them charged.

shiny4444 said...

Now then, weren't you all taught not to Run with scissors?!!

I use an Olfa rotary cutter and also a good pair of shearers. For small work I have a pair of those ones with orange handles (sorry, senior moment, the brand escapes me!!) but I have just purchased a pair of one handed cutters with a spring action that I'm getting used to and think I'll be using a lot.

Caron said...

I love using a rotary cutter, but I have two pair of scissors I treasure:
1) a pair of embroidery scissors given to me by Ami Simms upon the publishing of my first book. She had them engraved for me.
2) My mom's Ginghers. Dad bought them for her years ago and she never used them. She was saving them for "good." I guess I am good. Miss you, mom!

Dawn said...

How cool that Ami Simms gave you engraved scissors! Definitely a priceless gift!

I didn't realize what a link scissors would have between mothers and daughters. And Susan, I'm so sorry for your loss. I can feel the love in yours and Caron's messages. Sounds like you both had great Moms!


Jan in AZ said...

I love my little Ginghers and was crushed when I thought I lost them. I bought a second pair when I found them on sale and then, as Murphy would have it, my old pair resurfaced. Lucky me, I now have two pairs and I'm holding out to buy a pair of nice shears for when a rotary cutter just won't do!

Magpie said...

I love scissors too. I used to have a rotary cutter called KAI that closed after you cut...I lost it but it may turn up. An open blade type cutter is scary to use but I do have to. I have a pair of leopard skin handled scissors (Ginghers) that is my favorite, so sharp! and a few orange ones. I love to buy little scissors to wear around my neck but I have poked myself so I need to make a few scissor cases (to match everything). I love that your Mom had 30 pair!

erin said...

I mostly use my rotary OLFA rotary cutter but I really am beginning to be addicted to my spring loaded Tonic studios super fancy scissors...they make it easy to cut into fabric when it's lying on my cutting table without picking it up off the table. Hard to explain in words but I love 'em.

Lisa said...

Love my Olfa rotary cutter! I have three different sizes and use them all the time. I wish I had a fancy(aka expensive)pair of Ginghers for times when the rotary cutters don't fit the bill, but my inexpensive silver Ginghers work great for now. Except that I really need to have them sharpened!

Gayle Pritchard said...

I love scissors, too, and love this fascinating post, and the comments. First of all, I carefully keep my fabric scissors separate from my paper scissors, and have many sizes and styles that fit in each category. I have managed to misplace my pinking shears, both pair, and miss them sometimes when I'm working. When I am cutting yardage, I use a rotary cutter with a retractable blade cover. When I am cutting patterns, I use my lightweight gingher shears. I don't like that they don't lay flat while cutting, though, so use a small pair of ginghers for "detailing", such as cutting around notches and curves.

Shirley said...

I have a huge scissors that I was given over 40 years ago. They are overall 12 inches long, marked 'WISS inlaid USA'and came from a dress factory that was closing down in Leicester in the UK. They were well used when I got them, and they have never been sharpened since I had them, but are still sharp. They have done a lot of dressmaking over the years.

Dawn said...

I love tools with a history! Thanks for commenting about your 12-inch long scissors, Shirley. They sound perfect for dressmaking.


Pam Jeannet said...

I just purchased a small pair of FARR scissors today and can't find anything on the internet that references them but this blog! Do you know anything about this company and how long ago they were in business? I got the little scissors at an estate sale and cleaned them up to look like new. Guess I am not alone in my love for scissors! Who knew??

Dawn said...

Hi Pam,
Welcome to Subversive Stitchers! I have a pair of Farr scissors as I mentioned in the blog. But I don't know much about the company. I can tell you that they were in business back in the late 1960s since that's when I received mine. Actually it was 1970, but the older women who gave me the scissors seemed to think them respectable and not something new.


Pam Jeannet said...

Thanks for your reply. It's so odd not to find something about this company on the internet. I thought everything was on the internet! ha

Suchuwato said...

HI everyone!
I too have just come across a pair of FARR scissors just two days ago at one of our local charity shoppes. I tried to locate the company online and was only able to come across this Trademark web site.

It shows the entry for the trademark canceled around 1993.

Other than this I was unable to find anymore info on FARR. I am in the process of hitting them with my dremmel and some Flitz polish to take a few scratches out and then , I am thinking of sending them off to have a professional sharpening and adjustment.

As they are now, they can cut but not as smoothly as I think they should be able to. The center set screw keeps working loose making them not work.

On the WISS brand, my grandmother had many pairs of them in her sewing basket, and to this day I wish I had taken them when I was given the opportunity after her death. WISS made some of the best scissors using pre-war German steel. Sort of akin the the Leica Cameras made at the time.

If anyone may happen to stumble across any new information about FARR scissors, I would love to hear about them.

I am a beginner at sewing but have seriously fallen in love with it since I found an impeccable Singer 306W machine that was in like new shape.


Dawn said...

Thanks Stew for the info about Farr. I didn't realize their trademark canceled in 1993. Sorry I don't have any new developments to share with you.


Anonymous said...

I too own a pair of FARR scissors. They were in a hand sewing kit I purchased from goodwill. However, these scissors look like they were made with deformities. The blades do not meet at the ends, the blades are not straight, there is actually a significant curve on both blades leaving an opening in the top part of the blades. There is also a groove where it looks like the press kinda slipped and started to cut on the tip, making a groove, then cutting away from the groove. I believe it was a manufacture goof. What is your thoughts on this. I know that there is no way to find info on internet about the FARR company. Any ideas?

William Lack said...

I recently found a pair of Farr shears and I like to know about the history of items that I acquire considering I collect antiques. I'm 25 by the way but I found these shears in an old storage unit and I'm in cosmetology school. I searched and searched the internet and a lot of times when I would like to find info about famous people and businesses, I hit up wikipedia and I couldn't not find anything on this company.....until now.
So i hope this works for everyone to check it out. I like to save the information if I know the website might get taken down. Maybe I'll leave another comment with some of the information.

William Lack said...

On Wednesday, May 21, 1986, a U.S. federal trademark registration was filed for FARR by PAYNE CUTLERY CORPORATION, THE, NEW BEDFORD 02746. The USPTO has given the FARR trademark serial number of 73600004. The current federal status of this trademark filing is CANCELLED - SECTION 8. The correspondent listed for FARR is DANIEL VAN DYKE of PRICE, HENEVELD, COOPER, DEWITT & LITTON, 695 KENMOOR S.E., P.O. BOX 2567 GRAND RAPIDS, MI 49501 . The FARR trademark is filed in the category of Hand Tool Products . The description provided to the USPTO for FARR is SCISSORS, SHEARS, FINGERNAIL AND TOENAIL CLIPS, NAIL FILES, TWEEZERS, POCKET KNIVES, MANICURE STICKS, BLACKHEAD EXTRACTORS, PUMICE STONES, CUTICLE PUSHERS, NAIL BUFFERS, EMERY BOARDS, NAIL WHITE PENCILS AND KITS CONTAINING COMBINATIONS THEREOF.
Word Mark: FARR
Status Date:
Serial Number: 73600004
Filing Date: 5/21/1986
Registration Number: 1427228
Registration Date: 2/3/1987
Mark Description: NOT AVAILABLE
Type Of Mark: TradeMark
Published For Opposition Date: 11/11/1986

P.O. BOX 2567

Primary Class: Hand tools and implements (hand-operated); cutlery; side arms; razors.
First Use Anywhere: 4/1/1972
First Use In Commerce: 4/1/1972

Anonymous said...

I found a pair of FARR pinking shears at a yard sale this past summer and they are in perfect condition and razor sharp. I just started trying to find info on them and am glad to hear all the comments about them. I thought of putting them on e-Bay but maybe I will just hang them on the wall in my sewing room. Thanks for all the comments.