Workroom Focus

My Favourite Cutting Tool

Cutting fabric is a key part of the process when making soft furnishings.  My Dad always says that you should measure twice and cut once- you can’t fix a mistake in cutting as easily as mistakes elsewhere in your project!  For those of you still looking for the best tool for the job, I thought I would share my experiences with you.

It has taken me a while to find my favourite tool for cutting fabric.  I find scissors can be quite bulky when cutting delicate corners and leave an uneven line- it’s very difficult to cut right up against a ruler for a perfectly straight line.  I have smaller hands, so some scissors can feel very awkward and uncomfortable when held for any length of time, which isn’t practical when you are cutting a number of projects at once or the fabric for a larger project.

At first, I found rotary cutters to be hit and miss:  I couldn’t find one which cut layers of fabric effectively every time and I struggled to get the amount of pressure needed for a clean cut. But I found that you need to try a few to get the one that suits you.  Once you find the right one, a rotary cutter will become an invaluable tool.  It cuts neatly and accurately, it is quick (as long as the blade is sharp!) and it can be used to cut the most awkward of shapes.

For a while now, my rotary cutter of choice has been this X-Cut model.

 I bought this on Amazon [], but it may also be available elsewhere.  It as a 45mm blade, which I like as I find the smaller blades feel flimsy but the bigger blades are too big for me to handle.

I have also recently bought a new rotary cutter, which I have not yet had the chance to use.  This cutter is of a slightly different design, where the handle has to be squeezed to uncover the blade and allow the blade to cut- let’s see if that affects how easy it is to use.  This design is, however, safer to use if there are children around as the blade remains hidden except when it is actually cutting. 

As much as the rotary cutter has become an essential part of my everyday kit, it does need a sharp blade to work to its full potential.  Regular changing of the blade is key, so if you are in the market for a rotary cutter, make sure you pick up a lot of spare blades along with it!