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Ask Marilyn: Using Fabric Shears to Cut Wrapping Paper?

B.?B. in Fairfax, Virginia, writes:

Marilyn: My friend and I disagree about whether it’s okay to use fabric shears to cut wrapping paper. One of us says the practice will dull the blades. The other says this is true only because more cutting in general means more dulling. Can you settle this for us?

Marilyn responds:


Paper typically contains hard ­minerals that aren’t found in fabric, so cutting even ordinary paper will dull blades more than cutting fabric. Wrapping paper is worse, and holiday wrap with all its foil and sparkly accents may be the most damaging of all. Fabric shears are quickly dulled by using them for household purposes, so hide those shears from the rest of the family! ­Cutting fabric (and hair, etc.) ­requires very sharp scissors because the fibers bend and slip away from the blades so easily. (Ever tried cutting a lock of hair?) But scissors used ­mainly for cutting paper don’t need to be sharp. Even ­kiddie scissors work on just about everything.


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