The rotary cutter was a revolutionary invention by Yoshio Okada. Mr. Okada already had a sucessful business in cutting tools, but in 1979 he began producing the Rotary Cutter. Mr Okada was watching a television program where someone was trying to cut out a fine fabric with regular scissors and was having difficulty cutting a nice straight even line. Mr. Okada knew he could come up with something better. After 9 months of work, the rotary cutter was introduced as a fabric cutting implement. Not necessarily for the quilting market, but it was quickly recognized as something that could help in the cutting of many pieces of fabric quickly.
I don't think I would be a quilter with out this invention. I'm pretty sure I don't have the patience it takes to cut out all the pieces for a large quilt by hand with a pair of scissors!
Now rotary cutters come in a variety of sizes, shapes, makes, and colors. I will have a post soon about how to use a rotary cutter safely.
BASICALLY! The rotary cutter revolutionized the way we make quilts, and how many we can make in a year!