Saturday, December 23, 2006

Why can't you find small pinking shears?

Mickey asks:
Where I can buy a pair of teensy tiny pinking shears, for cutting out incredibly small doll parts? Mine are huge. Thank you so much.

Sigh. I wish you could find teensy tiny pinking shears, I'd be first in line to buy a pair! Pinking shears are thick bladed, sawtoothed scissors. If you look closely at them you will see that their edges are turned under 90 degrees to the blade. It is this design that makes it near to impossible to reduce their size. I wrote to Mundial, Gingher, Fiskars, and Cooper-Wiss and asked why these scissors aren't manufactured in smaller sizes. David Wolff, President of Wolff Industries (who make Mundial scissors) said:
"The process used to make pinking shears would be very difficult to use to make something that small. The teeth stay the same size no mater what the blade length is, this is because of the limitations of the grinding equipment and the lapping process used to make the pinking scissors cut." Meredith from Gingher added that a small scissor would have to have a thin blade and that wouldn't support the type of blade used in pinking shears.

You can buy pinking wheels for rotary cutters and they might work for some of the body parts, such as legs and arms. Unfortunately they only seem to come in the 45mm size. Other than that I think you might be stuck with clipping your curves with your small straight-edge scissors.

Just for fun I looked up the history of pinking shears. According to Wikipedia:

Louise Austin of Whatcom, Washington, received United States patent number 489,406 on January 3, 1893 for "Pinking shears". The patent describes how "pinking scissors or shears" are superior to the existing tools at the time, "pinking irons" and "pinking cutters". The operation of the shears are described as "pinking" or "scalloping". There are references to "cut ornamental openings in the body portion of fabrics" but no references to the more utilitarian function of preventing fraying.

Hope this helps!


mimi k said...

great question and answer! Inquiring minds need to know this stuff :-)

Shriara Navarro said...

Good answer-I would love a pair for doll clothes. I just missed a pair of 5 inch vintage on Ebay Australia. Sigh