When it comes to fabric cutting tools there is no doubt that every tailor and every occasionally sewer has plenty of options to choose from. However, beginners who lack the necessary experience might find themselves in a pickle because it’s not always easy to find the right tool and to know how to pick it. So here is a list of 15 of the most popular and useful tools for cutting fabric that you could use. Keep in mind that these are also among the best sewing tools notions and equipment any tailor could hope for.
1. Fabric Cutting Table, Obviously
Before you start any designing process and before you take out the patterns for your projects you first need to make sure that you have a sturdy and reliable cutting table. In my opinion, the working space and working environment in general is highly important for anyone to have the desired results and to be as productive as possible. This is exactly why you should have a high quality desk or working space that gives you both the necessary space and the opportunity to increase your creativity. Anything other than a proper cutting table is a waste of time and probably a waste of money as well.
2. Scissors/ Shears/ Bent Handle Shears For Your Most Basic Cutting Needs
When it comes to cutting fabric, scissors, bent handle shears and regular shears are probably the most basic tools that you could use. They are very straightforward and almost need no explanation, but for the sake of having everything clear, I am going to give you a few details about each of them.
Scissors are just the common tool you have around the house except the fact that they have very sharp blades and ends. They are great for cutting fabric and for undoing seams.
Shears are ideal for cutting fabric because they have a straight blade that can perfectly align with your cutting surface.
Finally, bent handle shears are just an updated or improved version of the regular shears in the sense that, as the name suggests they have a bent handle which further allows you to align them on the cutting surface.
3. Pinking Shears For A Uniquely Simple Seam Finish
This type of shears is incredibly useful when it comes to seam finishes. I particularly like it because it is very easy to use and easy to find in stores. It’s not one of those tools that you have to spend ages in order to find in a specialized store. However, you need to keep in mind to use them on tightly woven fabrics because otherwise they might still fray at some point. In my opinion, pinking shears are ideal for light fabrics that are tightly woven because sometimes that cut is all you need for a perfect seam finish.
4. Thread Snips/ Trimming Shears
Trimming shears and thread snips are basically one and the same thing. It is a rather small and incredibly sharp and pointy miniature scissor. It is often use to cut the extra thread from the sewing machine and it can even be useful when you sew by hand. I particularly like it because it is versatile and if you have a tiny bit of imagination you will most certainly find more ways in which to use it. For instance, you can use it to undo stitches and to trim bits of excess fabric. It might even work wonders in the finishing process.
5. Electric Scissors, For The Lazy Tailor In You
In fact, this tool has nothing to do with being lazy, but more with being accurate or on the run. After all, let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want to have all the hard work done almost automatically, without room for error? That’s exactly why this type of scissors does. It makes sure that you get the job done with a minimum of effort. If you haven’t yet made an effort to purchase such a product, you should pay attention at the various models that are available on the market at the moment. You can choose either one that runs exclusively on batteries and is cordless or one that can also be charged directly from your outlet.
6. Seam Ripper – The Ideal Tool In Case Of Mishaps
This tool is probably one of the most popular ones, especially for beginners. If you are just now starting sewing then you should make a note to get one as soon as possible or at least keep in mind to have yours handy every time you get to sewing. I remember that when I first started sewing I used seam rippers so often that I had almost a dozen of them. Mistakes are bound to happen, but this doesn’t mean that the entire project has been compromised. Every seam can be undone and any garment can be fixed, regardless of how far along you are.
7. Rotary Cutter For Easy And Simple Cuts
If there is something that I have managed to learn up until now in my sewing adventures, it’s the fact that fabric cutting does not have to be a rocket science. In fact, no sewing process should be rocket science, because from pressing and ironing to the finishing process everything is pretty straightforward.
Now, going back to our rotary cutters, all you need to know is the fact that they are ideal, especially if you want to make sure that you have incredibly straight lines regardless of the situation. This tool basically does not give you the opportunity to mess anything up and that is absolutely amazing if you ask me.
8. Cutting Mat/Self Healing If Possible
It should be no surprise by now that cutting mats make a great team with rotary cutters. They might be an optional addition to your sewing kit but they should certainly be included in your quilting kit.
These cutting mats have various gradations on them and they can not only offer you the necessary support while you cut the fabric, but they can also help you measure it and even check your initial measurements to see if everything is in order. There is also such a thing as a self healing cutting mat which is said to last a lot longer than regular ones as it is less affected by superficial cuts and scratches.
9. Pattern Weights To Add More Security To Your Patterns
Have you ever tried to imprint a certain pattern on a fabric just to discover that the pattern and the fabric have shifted their initial position and you now have to do everything all over again? If the answer is yes then you haven’t yet discovered what pattern weights are and how they can work in your advantage. This tool that can be easily made out of things that you have around the house will help you keep both the pattern and the fabric in place for a flawless finished product.
This is a very simple solution to a problem that every beginner must have faced at some point.
10. Tweezers For Those Hard To Reach Places
Although tweezers might not be a tool for cutting fabric per se they are still very useful when it comes aiding in the process. The thing about this tool is that it is so popular and self – explanatory that it is almost hard to believe that there are still people who do not use it, including beginners. In any case, you can use them to get into hard to reach and tight places both when you are sewing with a sewing machine and by hand. Additionally, they can help you turn corners from the wrong to the right side so that you can give them a professional finish.
11. Lint Roller – It Can Be Useful In Cutting Fabric As Well
We all know what lint rollers are and what they can do, but there are actually few tailors who take advantage of everything these small and simple tools have to give.
First of all, this tool is ideal for getting rid of wandering threads on a finished project. They can actually pick up everything that isn’t supposed to be there and in the end the finished product gets a much more professional look.
One other thing this tool can help you with is gathering up and getting rid of any threads and craps that are on your cutting board, especially if it’s in not the best possible shape and it tends to have scraps of fabric caught in the deeper cuts.
12. Buttonhole Cutter A Lifesaver For Many Tailors
If other tools that aid in cutting fabric can be used in many different ways, this one has a specific function and that is to help you cut button holes in different fabrics. It is actually fairly easy to work with it, believe it or not.
After stitching the buttonhole shape you simply have to take this tool, a flat piece of wood or any other hard surface that won’t get ruined and a hammer or something to beat the cutter with. In any case, you simply have to place the cutting tool in between the stitches and use the hammer to make a hole. Then you only have to cut out the extra threads and the buttonhole is done!
13. Compass Cutter For Perfect Circles
This is not particularly a necessary tool to have in your sewing kit, but if you plan on taking on various types of projects that also require you to have the fabric cut and shaped in specific ways then you might actually find it useful.
This tool is basically used to cut perfect circles of fabric. It works exactly like a compass except that instead of drawing circles on the fabric, it actually cuts it. I personally do not own this type of a cutter because my projects rarely require me to cut the fabric in circles and in the rare occasions when they did, I managed even without it.
14. Chenille Cutter For More Texture
This cutting tool is not necessarily used in sewing but in quilting and I’ve come across lots of projects that required you to have such a tool. If you are a passionate quilter and still don’t have it in your tool set then you might want to consider purchasing one.
This tool is basically used to give a little bit of extra texture to various fabrics, especially to baby blankets and even sweaters. It is easy to use and it can certainly improve the look of any project. More than this, as opposed to many other cutting instruments used in sewing and quilting this one is rather safe and the risk of cutting yourself is rather small.
15. Art Knife If You’re Feeling Particularly Artsy
In my opinion, art knives should only be used by professionals who are interested in leatherworking. However, if you are brave enough to try different patterns on leather or on other similar fabrics that can be crafted with this type of cutting tool then you should definitely add it to your collection. After all, there is actually nothing wrong with experimenting.
You should know that these cutting tools are incredibly sharp (looking like surgical scalpels) and can do some serious damage if you’re not careful enough. The best thing about them is the fact that you can buy the blades separately when they get blunt. All you have to do is replace the blade and you’re good to go!
I really hope that I haven’t missed any important cutting tools in this list. If I did, make sure to let me know in a comment! And don’t forget to share the list with your friends if you liked it, especially if they are beginners who are just now trying to figure out what’s what!