Working on my new fabric line (working, working, working—will post results soon!!), my pinking shears are invaluable. Pinking shears are those scissors that have sawtoothed blades, instead of straight ones. When you use them to cut fabric, the fabric won’t fray nearly as much with the sawtooth pattern on the edges.
(You can’t cut paper with these because the paper dulls them—echoes of my mother in my head trying to ingrain this rule in my head after I had stolen hers for a craft project!) So the fabric swatches I create will have “pinked” edges. In the office, we were collectively wondering why they are called “pinking” shears. (Yes, a bit of procrastinating!) Thanks to Wikipedia, we know:
“The cut produced by pinking shears may have given its name to (or be derived from) the plant name "pink", a flowering plant in the genus Dianthus (commonly called a carnation). The colour pink may have been named after these flowers, although the origins of the name are not definitively known. As the carnation has scalloped, or "pinked", edges to its petals, pinking shears can be thought to produce an edge similar to the flower.”
I think they might be making this one up but it does have some caché so I am going to keep that fun definition in my head to go along with one of my favorite things—those awesome scissors. Coming in the future: swatches of fab fabric with "carnation" edges.