Sheffield scissor revival on point after customers pledge £250,000

Scissor maker Nick Wright, who is based in Broad Lane.
Scissor maker Nick Wright, who is based in Broad Lane.
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World-famous scissors are to be produced in Sheffield for the first time since the 1980s after supporters pledged £250,000 to a historic city firm.

Ernest Wright & Son, which has its workshop on Broad Lane, launched a campaign in June to bring back its old Kutrite range of scissors, a household fixture from the 1960s to the 1980s.

After smashing their £60,000 target in days, 3,684 customers worldwide have now prepaid for a pair of scissors via the Kickstarter website – bringing the fundraising total to £250,000.

Managing Director Nick Wright said: “To raise this amount so quickly shows just how much weight Sheffield Steel carries worldwide.

“We were confident of hitting the target, but this is incredible – I’m delighted. We are going to be very busy making 3,684 pairs of scissors now, though.”

Nick said customers – more than 1,500 of which are from America – will have to wait until next year for their scissors.

He said: “They’re well worth the wait as a pair of these scissors literally will last a lifetime.”

The versatile, seven-inch-long scissors were suitable for all manner of uses, from cutting food to snipping card and trimming plants, and each pair featured both a bottle and cap opener.

In order to realise its ambition, the company has to completely renew the expensive tooling and dies that allow it to forge the raw stainless steel ‘blanks’ for the scissor blades.

The skills of Sheffield’s design graduates will be needed to subtly renew the original pattern. The firm has to buy the minimum quantity of blanks – 3,000 top blades, and 3,000 bottom blades – from the forge. A new grinding machine is also required, while the cost of paying the company’s three apprentices has to be covered.

Ernest Wright & Son was established in 1902. It was once among more than 60 scissor manufacturers within a square mile of central Sheffield but is now one of the last remaining companies of its kind in the country.