Buttons are small instruments use to fasten two parts of a garment. It is an element that makes the difference and enhances a men's or women's garment, a leather item, a pair of jeans. Elegant and classical buttons mean style; the perfectly shaped and coloured button is a design feature. Buttons are of different material, colour and shape, and they allow the wearer's personality to stand out, enhancing a garment, a leather item, or some jeans.
Button is a small round disc usually attached to an article of apparel or garment in order to secure an opening, or for decorative ornamentation. Buttoning is done by sliding the button through a fabric with reinforced slit called button hole or thread loop. Buttons are fashionable because they also decorate and enhance look of apparel.
History and Origin of Button
During the ancient Indus Valley civilization (circa 2800-2600 BC) and Bronze Age sites in China (circa 2000-1500BC). Beads were found to be in use to fasten body covering materials like hide etc. Beads were used as ornaments for their decorative and symbolic value rather than fasteners but gradually the use modified to fasten layers of materials. The term is from the French word, button meaning a round object. Functional Buttons with button-holes for fastening or closing clothing appeared first in Germany in the 13the century. They soon become widespread with the rise of snug fitting garments in 13th and 14th century Europe.
Stem Wrapping is a process where the threads under the button are wrapped automatically by machine to make a sort of neck to secure button and give reinforcement. This is widely used for buttons in garments made from thicker materials like Jackets, Overcoats etc. There are special machines used to make this neck/stem.
Stitch type and looping
The zigzag single chain stitch is the most common (stitch type 107) for sewing buttons, but if thread tail is loose. Then this thread tail can be pulled easily resulting in loose Button. Now generally all buyers ask for lockstitch type (stitch type 209)
Functional buttons are normally paired with a buttonhole. Alternately, a decorative loop of cloth or rope may replace the buttonhole. Buttonholes are made by a sewing machine. Buttonholes often have a bar at either end. The bar is a perpendicular stitch that reinforces the ends of a buttonhole. Button hole size is the length from the bar to bar but the inside cut is big or too small buttonhole cut can restrict button to slide in or easily slip out of buttonhole. Appropriate buttonhole opening will be button size (L) + button thickness.
Cutting thread after sewing: The thread is cut with a shearing action by knife fixed to the sewing hook and cut the thread with a back stroke after the sewing process or either arranged below the throat plate.
Textile artist Maxine Bristow – works in progress
- Shank button
- Self Shank button
- Two or found hole button
- Snap button
- Cloth buttons are created by embroidering or crocheting tight stitches (usually with linen thread) over a knob or ring called a form
- Mandarin buttons or Frogs are knobs made of intricately knotted strings where they are closed with loops
Buttons Differs in
- Size (ligne)
- Design Form (round, oval, rectangular, triangular, square etc.)
- Distance between holes and no. of holes
- Thickness (height of button)
- The way their reverse side is made (convex, concave or flat)
- Material with which buttons are made (Leather, Polyester, Metal, Horn, Shell, Rubber, Ivory)
Button sizes are normally indicated by “Ligne” from French word meaning Line is a unit of length that was in use prior to french adaptation of the metric system in the late 1700s and still used by French and Swiss wrist watch makers to measure the size of watch movement, and is abbreviated with the letter “L”. Ligne is the internationally recognized standard. The conversion of Ligne is 0.635 for example 20 (20L) = 20x0.635 = 121.70mm. The measure indicates the distance of farthermost corners or multi-angular buttons or easy to say it is diameter of round buttons.