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Happy Birthday to the Rotary Cutter!

OLFA 45MM Original Rotary Cutter (RTY-2G)

Believe it or not, the best friend of quilters and sewers everywhere–the rotary cutter–is turning thirty this month! Prior to 1979 it was a lot tougher to precisely cut through layers of fabrics–since shears do not slice through multiple layers in a single motion. Thanks to the handy rotary cutter, this job is now much simpler.

Here’s some interesting history of this handy tool. The original OLFA rotary cutter was the brainchild of Yoshio Okada, an inventor and founder of the OLFA. He thought up the notion of a rotary cutter when looking at a car tire. As a result, Okada devised a device that would cut through fabric of all densities in a quick, efficient and accurate manner. The rotary cutter quickly caught on, becoming a best friend of quilters everywhere, as it made the big job of cutting far less time-consuming. But it wasn’t just quilters, garment sewers, crafters and scrapbookers all embraced this revolutionary technology. Today’s rotary cutters do it all–they come in different sizes, with blades that not just cut, but also pink, scallop and a whole lot more.

Where would we be if Mr. Okada hadn’t looked at a car tire and seen a revolutionary quilting and sewing tool?

Do you need a new rotary cutter or blades? Remember to shop your favorite independent fabric shop!

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  1. True Up » Archive » Linky Wednesday linked to this post on April 29, 2009

    [...] Happy birthday to the rotary cutter! On Fabtalk. [...]