Product Review · Sewing

Ernest Wright Antique Stork Scissors [Product Review]

I approached the company Ernest Wright to try their Antique Stork scissors to share a product review with you**.

I had a lot of fun with this review.  I intentionally picked up an embroidery project to test the scissors.  I’ve noticed that I’ve typically seen stork scissor designs paired with embroidery applications.

 

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I’m also an avid garment sewer and sewing pattern tester so I also tried out the scissors through clipping threads during sewing garments.  This was a handy platform to test the scissors as well.

 

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The following is a product review of the Antique Stork scissors.  If you have any questions about my experience, please ask via the comments below (or send me an email).

Product Review

Product Description: 

The Antique Stork

Type: Embroidery scissors
Use: Delicate embroidery and needlework
Total length: 4.5″ / 11.43 cm
Blade length: 1.6″ / 4.06 cm
Material: Hard-wearing carbon steel
Finish: Hand polished
Packaging: High Quality presentation box

 

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Current Product Options:

  1. Antique Stork
  2. 8″ Dressmaker Shears
  3. 10″ Tailor Shears
  4. 13″ Tailor Shears
  5. 8.25″ Dressmaker Shears L
  6. 10″ Tailor Shears L
  7. Turton Kitchen Scissors

Although for this review I tested the Stork scissors, I think their product offering is quite interesting.  I write with my left hand but I learned to use my right hand to cut with scissors when I was in elementary school.  Left handed scissors were rare at the time and much harder to come by (so I adapted, as a lot of kids did in that time).  I love that Ernest Wright also offers left handed scissors in their product line.

Ernest Wright is a small company and their products are made in batches (as you would expect from a handmade product).

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Did the end product look like the advertised products on the website? Yes

How were the ergonomics of the product?  I was quite impressed with the scissor profile and the balance of friction as the scissors are opened and closed.

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I find a balance there is nice, having the blades close enough together to cut well yet also not bent too close together so that they’re difficult to use. I found this equilibrium with the Stork scissors quite nice.

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As I used the scissors, I also notice a nice ergonomic feature with the stork profile.  The curve of the neck fits nicely with your index finger to hold and use to the scissors.

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The pointed end of the blades made clipping threads easy and precise in both the embroidery and machine sewing applications.  The following photos show a seam line hidden in the “ditch” of the shoulder seam.  The stork scissors helped clip the tail thread flush with the seam, to make the hidden seam even more invisible.

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Was the ordering process easy to complete and easy to follow? Yes.  I was quite surprised at the speed of shipping.  I live in the United States and I commonly order products from England or Europe (where shipping typically takes a week or more).  From the time that the scissors were ordered, I received the package within three days.

 

Was there anything you disliked or would change with your experience?  I take this question as, Were there any negatives with my experience?  I struggled to find a negative to share but I did note a variation in the stamping process between the left and right side of the scissors, in the feather details on the left side.  This variation is most likely due to the two different dies being used to punch the stork etchings (a left and a right).  This variation doesn’t affect the performance of the scissors and really is a reminder to the scissors being handmade.

 

 

What makes this shop unique or different?  All of their products are handmade.  As I was thinking about their product, it struck me how special it is to use handmade scissors with items that I’m making by hand as well (embroidery, sewing, cross stitch, etc.).  I also appreciate the material choices that the Ernest Wright group has selected for their scissors (that is noticeably different from their competition).

 

 

Cost?  Although I received this product in exchange for my review, I wanted to share about the cost of the product.  At the time of this review the cost of the Antique Stork scissors are 34GBP or $43, plus shipping.  I was quite curious, upon noting the cost of the product, to look more into why the scissors cost what they do.

The first note is an obvious one, they are handmade.  When you’re a part of the Maker community, you know the care and detail that comes with making things with your hands.  I find there tends to be a higher attention to detail, a more intricate inspection process, and a more passionate approach when companies are selling handmade items vs items that are made in mass production with machinery.

I come from a mechanical engineering background so, out of curiosity, I decided to delve into the material used for the Ernest Wright Antique Stork scissors (vs materials that other companies are using).

Ernest Wright uses carbon steel for their Antique Stork scissors.  You can recognize this material choice right away, by their weight.  They’re not “heavy” but they do have a substance to them, they feel sturdy.  A benefit to Ernest Wright selecting this material for the storks is that carbon steel is made with the blade and handle formed in one piece.  Carbon steel is a strong material that has the benefit of staying sharper longer (but can be sharpened over time).  Typically carbon steel is plated with nickel or chromium to prevent rust over time.

I noticed some competitors that make Stork scissors have chosen Stainless steel as the material for their scissors.  Stainless typically requires a secondary material to be used for the handle.  Stainless scissors aren’t typically as hefty of a material and requires the blades to be sharpened more often.  They’re harder to sharpen but are typically chosen because they’re a cheaper material.

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Would you purchase from this site again? I would.  I’m really interested in the kitchen scissors to purchase.

Would you recommend it to others?  Yes.  I had a very positive experience with this product, from the ordering process, discussing the product with customer service, fast shipping and then the impressive performance of the scissors in application.

One area that I wanted to note which was a fun surprise was the packaging.  The stork scissors come in a really beautiful drawer shaped box.  Most often companies send items in packing that you might discard, but not in this case.  The little drawer even has a little drawer pull (made with a burgundy twill tape) to easily open and close the box.

They are made in Sheffield, England.  They came with a Seal to note the certification of a product made in Sheffield.  I really valued this level of detail and communal aspect of the area that the product came from.  It seems like a really special community and I really appreciated their encouragement of handmade products in their area.

 

I was curious about the history of Stork scissors.  The Ernest Wright company started in 1902.  The metal stork profile was originally used by 19th-century midwives as clamps for the umbilical cord during labor.  There is a little more history on this site if you’d like to read more about how the original clamps changed into scissors and were paired with the hand embroidery application.

I actually really enjoyed these scissors much more then I thought I would.  They are sturdy, they can be sharpened over and over again and will last.  I like the idea of using these scissors with embroidery but I am planning to use them regularly with sewing garments (as I make garments more often then sew hand embroidery).

It is so special to think of this as an heirloom piece that I can enjoy using and will also hand down to my children when I pass away.  In thinking of ways I can make more sustainable choices in my sewing and making, selecting a pair of well made scissors like these to sharpen and take care of feels like an easy step.

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**I received this product from Ernest Wright to review.  The opinions that I share are my own.

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