Press, fold, cut, isn’t that how it goes? Not quite. Here we have five different tools for cutting fabric and an explanation on when you should use each method. It's a great way to take your projects to the next level, and these different techniques can even help you save on time and frustration! Make your project prep work easier.
It’s straightforward, but it’s important to note that size and quality vary greatly. It is nice to have a huge set so that you can chomp through big chunks of material at a time. But you should have smaller sets too for more delicate work and even thread work.
Sheers are lovely, and if you haven't tried them yet, you should. They're great for DIY projects and can help you get a more accurate cut on projects that will require a lot of time with a sewing machine. Sheers are flat on one side, which makes it easier to use them on a flat surface such as a table without having too much lift off the table.
Dressmaker sheers use a straight blade against an off-set angle so that the lower edge can sit even closer to the table. Then there are pinking shears, which are excellent for seams, and they create a jagged cut that helps the fabric break along the line of the thread.
Rotary cutters are a quilter’s bread and butter. It has a super sharp blade and provides a smooth cut through most fabrics. You can get larger wheels for thicker material or to cut through multiple layers of fabric, but those wheels often cause you to lose accuracy in your cutting.
Numerous rulers are available to guide you through cutting different shapes, which is very useful in learning to quilt.
You don't get much cooler than cutting fabric with laser beams. The laser beam has high temperatures, which causes the material to split, and it seals the edges, preventing them from fraying. These machines are primarily for industrial use and hold up to 18 meters or 60 feet of fabric. Many people now use computer programs to create designs to laser across the fabric.
A hot knife uses heat to cut fabric. A metal blade runs down from an electronic hand and heats to high temperatures, as the metal hits the material it divides. Usually, you would reserve this tool for fabrics that melt. Additionally, you can only use this tool over surfaces that can stand the heat, usually glass.
What a hot knife is excellent for is custom shapes, especially with the synthetic and polyester fabrics. You can find glass or high-heat resistant rulers and shapes to help with using this tool.