Why Scissors Are Usually Orange
The ubiquitous household tool has quite a history.
Take a look around your home. You probably have a pair of orange scissors somewhere in a drawer. But have you ever stopped to wonder why scissor handles are so often orange?
Well, it turns out there’s quite a story behind the ubiquitous orange scissors. They are made by Finnish company Fiskars, and this year marks the 50th anniversary of the common household tool. According to Fiskars, customers have purchased 1 billion pairs of their orange scissors. And the history of the orange scissors tells a story of ingenuity.
The Origin Of The Orange Handles
Back in 1967, Finnish industrial designer Olof Bäckström worked with plastics to design furniture and home products. One day, he decided to work on adapting scissors. Until that time, shears were made entirely of metal, which was expensive to make and sell to the public. Metal scissors also felt heavy in the hands and weren’t particularly easy to use.
So, Bäckström wondered if he could design a pair of scissors that was durable, affordable and also easy for people to use. His new design called for the first plastic-handled scissors.
But where did the orange color come from? This was one of those wonderful meant-to-be moments: When Bäckström made the prototype for the new scissors, the plastic remaining in the machine came from a juicer the company had previously designed. Instead of starting a new batch of plastic, he decided to run with the orange plastic.
After seeing the striking scissors, the company voted to keep the orange handle over the more traditional black. Orange became such an identifying feature for Fiskars that the company got a registered trademark for the color in 2003.
We're celebrating the 50th anniversary of our Orange-handled Scissors in October! From sewing to crafting projects, we're always inspired by your work and want to hear your Orange-handled Scissors story. Tag us with a picture of your scissors and story and we just might share! Project: @ruffledblog #fiskars #scissors #ourscissors
Celebrating Fiskars’ 5oth Anniversary
The iconic orange scissors has become so ubiquitous in our culture that the Museum of Modern Art in New York added it to their permanent collection. In honor of Fiskars scissors’ 50th anniversary, an entire collection of art inspired by the Fiskars’ orange color sits on display in the Helsinki Design Museum. The installation, called “Our Scissors,” showcases the work of many artists inspired by the scissors and its iconic color.
Here are a few highlights from the exhibit:
We're thrilled to be celebrating the 50th anniversary of our Orange-handled Scissors with womenswear designer, @katieermilio. To help us celebrate she created this beautiful dress that represents the hallmark of her brand: minimal femininity. With orange handles being iconic to Fiskars, she wanted to create something that was iconic to Katie Ermilio. #fiskars #ourscissors
“The Petals Edge” showcases the history of our Orange-handled Scissors represented in its iconic orange color and the scissors’ cutting-power through the many intricately cut and layered paper flowers. We’re honored to have teamed up with visual artist, @eloisecorrdanchstudio for this installation in the design museum. #fiskars #ourscissors
From home seamstress to fashion icon, we're so excited to share the mood board @tracy_reese created for our design exhibit. The iconic orange colors shown throughout bridge the connection between a moodboard as fantasy and the scissors that are used to cut the material in reality for an upcoming fashion collection. Thank you Tracy for helping us celebrate! #fiskars #ourscissors
Want to see more Fiskars’ orange artwork? Check out this video of the various pieces on display in Helsinki for the milestone anniversary.