Pinking Shears


What an unusual term for a pair of scissors. If you’re unfamiliar with the name, it’s given to cutting shears that have sawtooth-shaped edges. They were developed to cleanly slice through woven material that easily frays when cut with regular scissors or a knife. The zigzag-patterned edge prevents extensive fraying of the fibres, making it easier for seamstresses and tailors to handle. The term “pinking” comes from a flower called a “pink”, or what is commonly referred to nowadays as a carnation. Look closely and you will see that the petals of a carnation have jagged edges. Pinking shears were introduced to the public in the 1930s by American Samuel Briskman who owned three patents for the new device. Two decades later, at the height of their popularity, upwards of half a million pairs were being sold each year. As you can well imagine, sales of that magnitude left this inventor “in the pink.”



Greyellowhite #24