Every stitcher needs a good pair of scissors. I'm not talking about the gigantic all-purpose scissors you keep in your junk drawer. I'm not talking about the round-tip craft scissors you stole from your kid's room. I'm talking about small, sharp scissors that are designed specifically for needlework.
Embroidery scissors make your work better, and who am I kidding, they're just plain adorable. You're going to want more than one pair. Read on for tips on picking the perfect ones.
Small and sharp rules the day
Cross stitch and embroidery is delicate work, and the best scissors are similarly delicate. Embroidery scissors are generally 3 to 4 inches long, but some mini versions are as small as 2 inches. The small size allows you to get close to your work, and makes the scissors easier to manipulate and control.
The blades on embroidery scissors are relatively short and narrow, and both tips and blades are super sharp. Sharp blades are important because they allow you to cut your thread cleanly with a single snip instead of shredding it, which keeps your work neater.
Look for scissors with finger holes that are large enough to use comfortably, but small enough to give you precise control. Embroidery scissors especially for left-handed stitchers are also available.
Fun and functional
Just because embroidery scissors are functional, doesn't mean they have to be boring. Designs range from classic to whimsical, with traditional metal finishes alongside bright modern colors. Think of embroidery scissors as the gems in your stitching tool bag.
Snips and clippers
While basic embroidery scissors can handle most tasks, it can be helpful to have a good pair of thread snips or clippers in your collection. Snips are a perfect choice if your fingers are too big for smaller embroidery scissor handles, or if you have arthritis. They are also great for both right and left handed stitchers.
Traveling with scissors
When I travel, I tend to pack an inexpensive (but still sharp and well designed) pair of scissors or snips, so I don't risk losing a cherished pair.
When traveling by plane, TSA allows scissors with blades less than 4 inches to be packed in carry-on bags, but even items that are permitted can trigger additional screening, and TSA reserves the right to confiscate such items. I have never had a problem bringing small scissors and snips on a plane, but I definitely would not bring my favorite pair just in case.
A thread cutter pendant like the one below is also a great option for travel. You can string it on a cord or chain and wear it around your neck so it doesn't get lost.
Caring for embroidery scissors
Just like fabric scissors, embroidery scissors should be used only for cross stitch and embroidery. Using them to cut paper or other material will make them dull more quickly. Store scissors in a sheath to keep the points sharp.
Embroidery scissors come at a range of price points. The best are crafted using high-quality steel and old-world techniques. They can be an investment, but they will last a lifetime.
Ready to find scissors you love? Shop the collection.