Pinking shears are scissors whose
blades are sawtooth instead of straight.
Pinking shears will leave a
zigzag pattern instead of a straight
edge. These scissors can be used for decorative
cuts and there are a number of patterns
(arches, sawtooth of different aspect ratios,
or asymmetric teeth).
Pinking shears also
have a utilitarian function for cutting
Cloth edges that are unfinished will
fray (the weave becomes undone and threads
pull out easily). The sawtooth pattern doesn't
prevent the fraying but limits the length
of the frayed thread and thus limits the
The cut produced by pinking shears has
given its name to pinks; hardy
carnations of the
Dianthus genus named for their
petals' "pinked" edges. The color
was then named after these flowers.
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