Silk is by nature quite slippery, making it hard to handle, keep flat and straight, and match one piece to another. What’s more, it frays more easily than many other materials, rendering it difficult to handle with precision. As such, there are very specific scissors that are needed (or, at least, helpful), when working with the luxe material: the sharper, the better, but the size, length, and grip all hold different powers when it comes to choosing the best scissors for your work. Ahead, find ARTnews’s top picks.
1. Gingher 8-Inch Knife Edge Dressmaker's Shears
Nothing beats a classic, and these ultra-sharp all-metal scissors are just that. Measuring eight inches in length, they are ideal for cutting large pieces of fabric, and their stainless-steel blades are super sharp and perfect for lightweight silks and heavy-duty denim weaves alike. Though the grip is understandably not as comfortable than some of the rubber options, when held for extended periods of time, few scissors on the market beat the precision and ease of the classic all-metal design. What’s more, for just over $22, you can’t beat the price either. The best part of the design of these particular scissors is their slightly bent handle, which allows you to easily cut fabric that lies flat on a clean surface.
2. Korbond 6-inch Multi Purpose Scissor
These scissors are best for small or more intricate projects. While they will work wonders on specific shapes, short yardages, and the like, they measure only six inches long, so there are certainly better choices, if you’re looking to chop up bolsters of fabric at once. Their length, however, allows them to be supremely portable and easy to throw into any sewing kit. The handles are coated in a soft-touch rubber, making them comfortable when held, and each one of the finger loops is of equal circular size, meaning that they are equally usable for right- and left-handed tailors alike.
3. Fiskars Amplify RazorEdge Fabric Shears
This brand of scissors is often the choice of classrooms, no matter the subject, due to their durability, low price tag, and high quality. These are no exception, offering particular help to tailors and designers working with lightweight fabrics like silk. That is, of course, because they are super sharp and feature slightly longer blades and a larger handle. Both of those two properties not only help with ease of use, but also with comfort while cutting or holding for extended periods of time. Each pair measures ten inches long, and the handles feature a special SoftGrip technology that allows for a supple hold. Specifically, when it comes to cutting fabric, the brand’s patented Amplify technology provides accurate sensing of blade separation for a crisper and cleaner cut, no matter the material.
4. Kai Nine-Inch Professional Shears
The element that makes these scissors stand out from the rest is their balanced design that allows for virtually fatigue-free use, which is specifically important for tailors who might be holding the tool for hours on end. The grip is angled, which supplies an easy cut along a long, flat surface, without having to awkwardly angle the shears to accommodate the handle. Each one is also gripped with black rubber, which gives a comfortable and slip-free hold. The blades themselves are made of high-carbon stainless steel: they are sharp, right out of the box, and stay that way for a long time. The blades rotate on a single bolt that offers a smooth and lightweight cutting action for thin silks and heavier weaves alike.
5. Guggenhein IX Professional Tailor Shears
These scissors are practically gold when it comes to their worth in the world of tailoring. That said, the price tag certainly reflects that: they retail at $80 for a single pair. But we are here to attest to the fact that the investment is certainly worth it. They are not only among the sharpest scissors out there but are also extremely durable and stand the test of time—at the same high quality that they had when they first emerged from the packaging. And if you don’t think so, the company will refund your money, let you keep them, and also send you an additional pair of eight-inch Gingher Dressmaker Shears from their selection. The scissors measure a sizable nine-inches in length, so they’re best for use on larger pieces of fabric. While they’re perfectly sharp for delicate silk and chiffon, they are also just as strong when faced with layers of heavier materials like canvas and denim.