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What are Embroidery Scissors?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 16, 2024
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For anyone who enjoys embroidery, embroidery scissors are a must have part of your equipment. As you’re finishing each section or a section of stitches, it’s necessary to trim threads closely and accurately. This means embroidery scissors must have sharp tips that will quickly trim thread as close to the embroidery canvas as possible.

Another thing you’re navigating, especially if a single section of embroidery is complex and contains numerous different threads, is that you’ll have to trim threads while the section of fabric is still on the hoop. This can be challenging. Larger flat scissors won’t allow you to get the scissor blades close enough to the fabric unless the embroidery hoop is also very large. This can mean you’re not trimming as closely as you need, or you’re scraping your knuckles on the hoop.

To this end, embroidery scissors are extremely helpful. They come in several varieties and you can pick the ones that best fit your hands, style and cutting needs. The simplest embroidery scissors are short scissors with sharp tips, and these can be used in many different sewing applications. They will easily fit within most medium-sized to large hoops for close cutting.

Another embroidery scissor design looks quite different. Instead of focusing on length, the head mechanism of the scissors is bent upward from the tips of the scissors. This allows for you to trim close with scissor finger openings an inch or two above the hoop. A design like this, which looks like a scissor bent into right angles, is the best choice if you typically use very small embroidery hoops, or a variety of hoop sizes. You won’t have to worry about the hoop coming into contact with the embroidery scissors, which may impair cutting ability.

A practical use outside of embroidery for these bent types is when you’re working on your sewing machine. When you need to pick out a dropped stitch, or trim threads close to fabric still on the machine, the upward bend of the scissors can be helpful in accurate clipping. The blades of the scissors may have a slight upward curve to ensure you trim thread without cutting fabric.

Some embroidery scissors do not feature finger holes. Instead they slightly resemble pliers with more flexible outward extending handles. You simply squeeze the two handles together to provide a close cut.

You’ll find extraordinary range of style and price when you look for embroidery scissors. If you’re left-handed, look for left-handed scissors. People with larger fingers may appreciate the pliers style scissor, or those made with extra large wholes. Price range on these helpful sewing aids can be anything from about $10- 40 US Dollars (USD).

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Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a HomeQuestionsAnswered contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By Wisedly33 — On Apr 15, 2014

The tiny scissors mentioned are also expensive little devils. I use the kind of scissors most elementary school children buy for school and I use a seam ripper if I have to take out stitches. I think it's more precise.

The main attribute for embroidery scissors is, in my opinion, sharpness. They have to be sharp, so they can cut through various thicknesses of thread.

I'd love to have a pair of vintage embroidery scissors. They are usually ornate and lovely, but I don't have that kind of cash when I can get a decent pair for $3.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a HomeQuestionsAnswered contributor,...
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