Fabric scissors can be a funny thing. They’re a tool that we sometimes don’t treat like a tool, forgetting that they need maintenance just like our sewing machines and sergers. And just like those machines, one of the best things we can do to keep our scissors in tip-top shape is to clean and oil them! Don’t know how to oil them? Let us take you through the steps!
When you receive a pair of our scissors, they’ll likely be covered in a coating of oil. This is especially true if you ordered a pair of our Midnight Edition scissors or Traditional scissors. The oil on the scissors is the same oil you can use on your sewing machine. The reason we oil our scissors for shipping is twofold: first, it ensures that your scissors are protected from temperature and humidity fluctuations during shipping. This could lead to rust developing on non-stainless steel scissors, like our carbon steel Midnight Edition and Traditional scissors. Second, it ensures that your scissors arrive feeling ultra smooth. We always recommend that the oil is wiped off with a piece of scrap fabric before you use them, as the oil will stain any fabric or fiber it gets on. Wiping the oil off before use also has the added benefit of cleaning your scissors, ensuring it’s free of any dust particles or little fibers!
When and how often should you oil your scissors? We recommend oiling your scissors whenever they start to feel a little rough - when it happens, you’ll know the feeling. The exact time will vary person to person, and depends on how often they’re being used and on what kind(s) of materials. For example, we typically see that fiber artists (weaving, macrame, rug hooking, felting, etc) need to oil their scissors more frequently than garment sewers because of the amount of fibers that can accumulate on the scissors. Without wiping them down regularly, those fibers can cluster near and in the button of the scissor, which can make them feel rough and unusable until cleaned and oiled.
Here’s what you’ll need to oil your scissors: