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Cutting Assiut Fabrics

“What scissors should

I use to cut modern assiut?”

This is one of my most frequently asked questions over in my assiut and sewing groups on Facebook.  So I thought I would take a moment to talk about these dressmakers shears from Kai. I have been using Gingher since I went to fashion school, and I have an entire arsenal of cutting tools from this German company.  My heart was devoted to this brand until I started the build for the Cloth of Egypt photos. 

Cutting Modern Assiut

I realized that it’s quite easy to cut through the metal stitches of modern assiut. I was using a very affordable pair of Fiskars shears I have laying around for cutting trims and through sequin fabric and trim.  When I reached for my trusty Fiskars, I realized they were really dull.  Not just a tiny bit dull, but OMG, nothing will bring back the edge dull.

I had heard some great reviews of the Kai sewing shears. When I compared the price of Fiskars to the cost of a basic pair of Kai scissors I found these Japanese scissors were not that more expensive. So I picked up a pair.

I’m pleased to report that after cutting assiut for over 200 garments and countless accessories, these Kai shears are still sharp and going strong. My last pair of Fiskars didn’t keep their edge nearly as long, so in the long run, I’ve actually saved money.

Cutting Vintage Assiut

But what about cutting vintage assiut?  Let me start by saying this,  I wouldn’t recommend cutting into a high-quality piece of vintage assiut. However, if you are upcycling a damaged piece or have a fragment you want to use for costuming, go for it.  But don’t use your sewing shears. Vintage metal varies widely in composition and is much heavier than the modern aluminum alloy that is easy to cut.

Instead, I like to use a scalpel or surgical style seam ripper to cut the threads between the stitches.  I plan my cuts in advance and carefully cut the fabric stitch by stitch. This gives me the most precision while saving my shears from damage.  In addition to cutting assiut fabrics, I also use this style seam ripper to cut faux fur, crusty embellished lace, and when upcycling vintage beaded garments.

If you are interested in learning more about my favorite sewing tools, I’ve put together a supplies list.  Please feel free to drop me an email or join the conversation over on Facebook if you have more questions about tools and how I use them.

Happy Costuming!
Dawn Devine ~ Davina
July 29, 2019

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