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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Rotary Cutter and Cutting Base Rotary Mats. Do I need one?

Rotary Cutter and Cutting Base Mat.  Do I need to one?

This blog maybe a little controversial.  It is prompted by an email received from one of my customers this week.   In brief she was having difficulty using these tools to cut fabric.   The question was long winded and I spent some time drafting a reply.   Time took over and I decided to respond the following day.   Re-reading my draft in a different light after sleeping on her words, I realised my answer should be much simpler.  In short .... Dear Mrs T,   Do you really need to use a rotary cutter and mat for cutting fabric?

I came to this conclusion after thinking about my own experience with a rotary cutter and mat.   My first encounter with these tools occurred in 1990.   I was given a set by a lady whom I had been giving classes to in London.   A very generous gift at the time and I could not wait to try this new technology.  At the time  I had 20 sewing years behind me so using new tools was going to be revealing and possibly challenging.  I tried.  I tried many many times.  In short the rotary cutter scared me.  The exposed blade, just one slip of a finger, just seconds away from a wound.

Far easier to rip a strip of fabric and trim the edges with trusty safe scissors.   Twenty four years later and the rotary cutter remains in my drawer, through fault of my own, abeit a bit rusty.  The blade is still sharp.  I am sure one day I will return to it and with the aid of you tube video clips learn to use it properly, perhaps concluding "how did I manage without it".......  

The mat has been great, how did I manage pre-1990?     I currently have several laying around my studio.  Finding it hard to throw the original one out as it still has plenty of life in it yet.  Having a mat with inch grid and diagonal lines has been incredibly useful for all sorts of projects, mostly cutting stencils or paper using a basic craft knife.  The mat and cutter shown below are my gift from 1990.  Its true to say that the sewing technology of 1989 has survived. 





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