Delighted children aside, the chief purpose of pinking shears is for sewing
. Fabric that is cut in a zigzag pattern doesn't fray as quickly as straight cut fabric. So, if you use pinking shears, you don't have to leave as much fabric for the hem
You may be wondering where the "pinking" part came from. It has nothing to do with the colour pink. (Well, nothing much.) In old english, "pinken" meant "to prick", probably as a weird corruption of "pick". So, if you pinked someone with a sword, you poked a hole in them, and if you pinked something with scissors, you cut a series of small holes or scallops in it. It makes sense.. really...