Pinking shears are sewing machine supplies that can be useful when you make garments. While not every sewist needs a pair, these specialty scissors work great for finishing the edges of some seams after the fabric is stitched on sewing machines like the Juki F400. Yet to achieve the best results with these unique sewing machine accessories, it is important that you understand the best way to use them and why fabric grain matters.
What Do Pinking Shears Do?
Pinking shears easily and quickly cut little zigzags at the edge of fabric. You could use these useful sewing machine supplies to give your seams a cute, trimmed edge; however, that cute edge has a functional purpose as well. Pinking prevents the fabric edge from fraying, making it especially useful for clothing seams and other items where this could happen at the seam edge. It is a final touch you can use to preserve the seam allowance and protect the actual seam; however, you must do it correctly to achieve the best results.
Fabric Considerations for Effective Pinking
To obtain the best results with pinking shears, you need to understand the type of fabrics where they can be used and how pinking relates to fabric grain.
- Pinking is recommended only for sturdy woven fabrics with very little stretch. It should not be done on knits.
- It can be difficult to use these sewing machine accessories on delicate fabrics without causing damage. Loosely woven fabrics may still fray, so pinking may not be the best option to use on this type of material.
- Before trimming seam edges with pinking shears, consider the grain. To prevent fabric from fraying, you should only use pinking with the grain or across the grain. By cutting the fabric in this manner, the little triangles will be cut on the bias, increasing stretch and preventing fray.
- If pinking is done on bias cut fabric, the triangles are cut with the grain, allowing the threads to loosen and fray. Considering this limitation, you would be better off avoiding the use of pinking on bias cut fabric or around curved edges.
Get the Best Results with Pinking Shears
When used correctly on fabric cut with or across the grain only, pinking shears make a nice, fray-proof edge for seams sewn on a Juki F400 or any other machine. For added support, you may also want to first sew a straight stitch about a quarter of an inch to the inside of the pinked edge before pinking seam edges. Also, trim multiple layers of fabric one at a time in a graduated layer. For a neater appearance, you should take time between cuts to align zigzags to match and look even.
Pinking shears can be fun and useful sewing machine supplies that belong in almost any sewing kit when used correctly. They provide a simple, yet effective way to prevent fabric fray at the edge of seams sewn on sewing machines like the Juki F400. The trick to your proper usage of these sewing machine accessories is knowing when to use them and how to locate fabric grain!