A brief history of Chinese scissors

- Oct 10, 2017 -

Scissors, as a daily necessities, is closely related to the history of Chinese civilization. Early in the shun period we can see the shadow of scissors, to the Shang Zhou and spring and autumn and Warring States, there have been a lot of "scissors" written records. "Han Fei son · Five beetles" said "Yao's King of the World also, CI not jian (shear archaic words), consumer (Zhuó)," said Yao life is simple and frugal, do Wang Yi still covered with thatched roof, and not trimmed neatly. "The Book of songs, called South and Tang" has "Shelter Fairlie (fèi) Gan Tang, do not cut, call the Longum (Bá)." Cover Fairlie Gan Tang, do not cut do not defeat, call Bo's resting. Cover Fairlie Gan Tang, do not cut do not worship, call Bo said (Yuè, interchangeable word). "The poem, describing Zhou Xuan Wang when the people remembered the benevolent benevolent of the call to Bo, after the death of the church to protect his rest of the Tang tree, do not cut." Bronze cutters appear in the Warring States Period, mainly for daily work. At that time silk hemp fabric has been prevalent, and the tailor-made clothes can only be cut with a knife, because the fabric is soft, cutting is inconvenient. The need for productive life has prompted the updating of tools. Some scholars have pointed out that the origin of scissors and Chinese chopsticks is very similar to the process. Chopsticks produced the main opportunity is because cooked food hot, the ancestors were casually picked up branches, fine bamboo to make a small stick to get cooked food, chopsticks in this appearance, because with a stick fishing still difficult to achieve the goal, with two sticks for better results. Over time, the development of two hands with two sticks to pick food, and finally turned into a hand two chopsticks, easy to eat. Similarly, the scissors initially by a knife cut cloth, to use both hands to cut two knives, and then the tail of the two knives connected together to form a ring, using the elastic shear metal freely, so a new tool was born. Early-stage scissors did not install any accessories, self-contained, there is no shaft in the middle, just a bar of the two ends of the appearance of a knife, the grinding of the sharp, and then curved into Arabic numeral "8" font or "U" font. With this kind of scissors, you can cut things by just tapping the edges of the ends, and two blades will bounce back, naturally opening, like tweezers. This kind of "Cus" shape scissors are called spring shears. The first kind of scissors we can see at present in China is the Nanyue iron shears in the Western Han Dynasty unearthed in Changsha, Hunan Province in the 90 's. This pair of scissors "straight back straight edge, front-end flat, blade after double strands cross, the department around the ' 8 ' zigzag, length of 12.8 cm." ”

To the Tang Dynasty, the ancient Chinese shearing industry appeared the first regional brand--and the state scissors. And the state is now Taiyuan, Shanxi. and state scissors materials excellent, production fine, modelling bold. Enjoy the reputation of "cutting the bone without curling the blade, shearing without dust". Poet du fu poem Yue: "Yan and State fast scissors, cut Wusong half River." The Ming Dynasty novel "The Cautionary word" 19th volume "Cui Shanne White Harrier recruit Demon" also has the description which the state scissors hinge sends. From the present national unearthed in the Tang Dynasty scissors, at that time, the production of scissors is still dominated by iron, the shape is still "Cus"-shaped, but the process is further than the Han Dynasty. The whole pair of scissors into a "8" shape, in the hands of the formation of a small loop, so that scissors shear force is stronger.

During the long term use, people gradually found that the "Cus" of the spring shear still has a lot of defects, such as the two-edged mouth small, can not cut hard and bulky things, if many times hard, will lead to elasticity subsided, scissors will be scrapped, the most insufficient is the Cus place easily broken. To the five dynasties of the Northern Song Dynasty, the craftsmen will be separated by the two blades of scissors, very cleverly in the middle of the knife and the small axis of the eye, put the shaft, the fulcrum of force to move to the knife and the center, so the whole x-shaped scissors. This means that the traditional spring shear has developed into a shaft shears, with the prototype of modern scissors. This is a key innovation in the development of scissors in China, since the use of leverage principle scissors greatly increased the shear strength. Until today, "X" is always the mainstream shape of scissors.


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