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A Pair of Tailor's Shears

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Tailor's Shears
Tailor's Shears Photography by Jasper Clarke

“Traditionally it is said in the trade that if a pair of tailor's shears were to accidentally fall to the floor, it would signal the passing of a tailor at that precise moment."

“Traditionally it is said in the trade that if a pair of tailor's shears were to accidentally fall to the floor it would signal the passing of a tailor at that precise moment”.

Who? These particular shears belong to Mr Richard Anderson, of Savile Row, and were handed to him in the mid-eighties by his master on ‘The Row’; Mr Brian Hall of Huntsmans, who had used the shears himself for many years and had in turn inherited them from his master, Mr Pressland. Steeped in cutting history these shears are over 80 years old and, to Mr Anderson's knowledge, they have never been sharpened. Rather, they are looked after and kept clean by a tailor running them through his hair, with the natural oils here present keeping the blade sharp and hinge working smoothly.

"Shears are looked after and kept clean by a tailor running them through his hair, with the natural oils here present keeping the blade sharp and hinge working smoothly."

What? Large tailor's shears such as these are expressly designed for cutting, with the quality of their engineering providing crucial accuracy when striking the cloth. At the time these shears were made, tailors would have been working with much heavier cloths, and their length and weight enables a tailor to cut through lengths of the heaviest wools smoothly and accurately. They are finely tuned and, if dropped, their balance would be irreparably damaged; as such they are given pride of place in the workshop and although used constantly they are always treated with great care. “I’ve never heard of any Cutter losing his Shears. They are to be used and cherished” says Mr Anderson.

Why? Mr Anderson started as an apprentice at Huntsmans in 1983 aged 17 and went on to open Richard Anderson Ltd on Savile Row in 2000. He has since cut the cloth for many illustrious clients around the world. Brian Ferry, Benicio Del Toro and Sir Ian McKellen among many others have all worn the beautiful bespoke suits designed and made here.

Text by Jasper Clarke

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