history of japanese blades
What makes these Japanese shears so special is their long history of craftsmanship. In the middle of the 1880’s there was a lot of Western influence in Japan which also had a profound impact on the fashion industry. At the same time new laws prohibited the samurai class from carrying swords making it a difficult time for traditional sword forgers. This encouraged renowned sword forger Master Yakichi (1860-1901) to explore how this ancient sword forging technology could be used for the purpose of shears. Combining the newly introduced possibilities of Western style shears with the lightness and excellent cut of traditional Japanese cutlery, the first modern Japanese shears were born.
PROFESSIONAL USE ONLY
Unlike modern scissors these shears rely on a traditional Japanese blade forging method (similar to Samurai swords). Because of a unique combination of high quality blade steel and very soft steel they can keep their sharpness and are long-lasting. However, this also means you need to look after them very carefully. They are very precise but also very delicate.
These shears are only suitable for professional use.
- Do not cut anything other than what it is meant for.
- Do not drop your shears. This might ruin the alignment of the blades as they are only joined together at one point.
- Once you start using them, do not lend to other people because the shears will adapt to your hand.
The most loved shears in Japan
Shozaburo are one of the oldest and most revered scissor makers in Japan and are very popular in the fashion and textile industries internationally. The blades are awase (laminated) and made from high carbon Japanese steel which is iron clad giving them an extremely fine cutting edge and long-lasting sharpness. These top-quality scissors are only suitable for textiles.
- 裁ち鋏 Shozaburo Shears
- 握り鋏 shozaburo Snippers
Handcrafted shears and snippers
GENTEY started making tailor shears and snippers in 1967. Most of their works are handmade by skilful craftsmen who follow and apply the traditional Japanese way of forging scissors. Gentey scissors are very popular within fashion and textile industries. The blades are made of high carbon Japanese steel which is iron clad giving them an extremely fine cutting edge and long-lasting sharpness.
- 裁ち鋏 Gentey Shears
- 握り鋏 Gentey Snippers
Legendary Needle Maker
Although they`re mainly a needle maker, they also make high quality handcrafted snippers and shears. There are one of two remaining Misuya needle shops in Kyoto. They are based in the Matusbara district in Kyoto and have been operating since 1819.
You may not be aware of this, but these shears need to be sharpened. Once you notice they’re not that sharp anymore to cut materials with ease, it’s time to get them sharpened. This can be done with a sharpening stone but requires a special technique. Unless you’re used to sharpening blades, we highly recommend bringing them to a professional sharpener like this London-based company called KATABA.