Should I Use Pinking Shears On My Project?

Pinking shears are a saw-toothed version of the regular scissors used in cutting to avoid fabric fraying and trimming edges. Pinking shears aren’t necessarily a basic sewing tool but they make a great addition to your sewing tools especially if you make garments from time to time.

Pinking shears serve a decorative function too asides from cutting functions as they can be used to create decorative hems after you’ve sewn seams on your fabric.

If you’re wondering if you should try using pinking shears on your projects, then continue reading this article.

What Are Pinking Shears?

Pinking Shears are a specialized type of scissors that are used for cutting fabrics. Pinking shears are also referred to as zig-zag scissors because instead of having smooth sharpened metal blades like regular scissors, they have saw-toothed edges. So when you use pinking shears to cut you get a zig-zag kind of edge instead of a straight cut. They come in a wide variety of sizes and apart from their uses in sewing, it’s also used in many other arts and crafts projects where the zigzag pattern edge is preferred.

Should I Use Pinking Shears On My Project?

Pinking shears make a fantastic addition to your sewing tool as they have numerous functions, so you should use them on your projects. These shears are used to cut woven fabrics. They’re designed to protect the fabrics you’re working on. Using pinking shears helps while working on a less stable fabric that is, cloth with unfinished edges will help minimize damage by limiting the fraying of the fabric.

So if you’re worried about fraying and you don’t want to bind or hem a seam allowance, you can bring out your pinking shears and cut the edge of the seam allowance after you’ve finished sewing and ironing out your seam.

Additionally, it also comes in handy when you’re working on a project where you’ve to cut and handle a lot of fabric pieces before sewing. Since it’s known to prevent fraying of fabrics using a pink shear on your fabric will benefit you very well especially if you have no overlocker or your sewing machine can make good zig-zag stitches, you can just pink the edges of your fabrics with this tool.

Pinking shears can also be used to smoothen out the rough edges of non-fraying fabrics with decorative hems.

How To Cut Fabrics With Pinking Shears.

If you want to use pinking shears in your projects follow the steps outlined below:

  • Sew fabric seams before cutting with pinking shears. Fabrics should only be poked after seams have been sewn. You can use any of the seaming methods that suit your fabric type before cutting.
  • Place the fabric you’re working on, on your project table and position it very well so it lies flat.
  • Start cutting along the edge of the seam. Avoid taking too much of the fabric as the fraying of the fabric will be minimized if it’s as far from the seam as it can be. With this, you can always cut more off if the edge isn’t to your satisfaction.
  • Lift the fabric with a hand slightly and position the pinking shears so that the fabric is perfectly in between the shear blades.
  • The seam should be cut carefully in a straight line to make neat and fine pinked hems. You can make use of a ruler, especially a metal ruler, to direct your cut and take your time, don’t cut in a rush.
  • While cutting with pinking shears, align the teeth of the shears with the zig-zag shape of the previous cut to avoid a rough, jagged edge.

NOTE: If it’s the first time you’re making shears, you can get extra fabrics so you can practice cuts on them before making the real cuts.

Does Pinking Shears Prevent Fraying Fabric?

Fabric fraying is the unraveling of yarns and threads from the remaining part of a fabric structure along a cut edge, it is an unwelcome sight as it’s something to see your lovely piece of clothing purely wasting away and a way to save your fabric from fraying is by using pink shears to cut the edge. Most woven fabrics fray when cut and a very common way to prevent fabric fraying is using pinking shears. The zig-zag pattern of the pinking shears will prevent the fabric yarns from coming off.

In addition, pinking shears can cut through different types of fabrics, and if you have a piece of clothing that easily frays it might be time to trim it with your pinking shears. However, you should take note that when it comes to more loosely woven fabric such as cutting, pinking shears might not completely prevent it from fraying and you might want to try and combine it with other methods like overlocking stitch function, adhesive bonding technique to prevent the fabric from fraying.

Can I Make Patterns With Pinking Shear?

You can make patterns with pinking shears. Pinking shears can be used to cut patterns to embellish your project. You can use it to cut out the shapes of the different parts of the garment you’re working on. While cutting out these patterns, make sure to give about 1 to 2 inches seam allowance because of the zig-zag shape cut the pinking shears leave on the fabric edge.

You can also use the pinking shears to cut out patterns and designs to decorate the garment you’re making, it also helps that the zig-zag edge the cuts have is nice to look at. Take note that you shouldn’t use pinking shears on any material apart from fabric as it loses their sharpness as the blades of the shears become dull.

Tips On How To Care For Pinking Shears

The proper functioning of pinking shears will ultimately depend on how well they’re cared for. Listed below are tips on how to keep your pinking shears in good condition.

  • Clean the shears after use. Wipe out any thread or lint on the teeth of the blades after every use.
  • Oil the shears regularly to prevent them from getting stiff. Apply drops of oil to the pivot screw area and wipe away any remnant with a clean, dry cloth.
  • Only cut fabrics with your pinking shears, don’t cut paper, aluminum foil, or any other materials with it to avoid losing their sharpness.
  • If you notice your pinking shears becoming dull, take them to professionals for sharpening.
  • Store your pinking shears in a cool and dry place.



Pinking shear is a functional sewing tool and will make a great addition to your sewing tool collection due to its essential functions. Not only does this sewing tool minimize damage by avoiding fabric fraying, but it is also the easiest and fastest way to smoothen out the rough edges of non-fraying fabrics.

You can also use this tool to cut decorative cuts and different patterns but you should not use pinking shears on non-woven fabrics it may cause snags or runs.