Some of my earliest memories were of my mother threading a needle, tying a not on the end of the double thread and sewing buttons onto an article of clothing. The tiny object that keeps our shirt, coats, waistbands and cuffs together are often taken for granted until one of them falls off.
Button History And 13 Button Facts
A button is a small disk or knob that is sewn onto a garment to fasten it by being pushed through a buttonhole or other loop made for the button. Buttons have been around for a very, very long time. Let me tell you a few facts about the button and tell you about the history of the button.
- The oldest button ever found was in the Indus Valley Civilization which is now Pakistan. The button is made of a curved shell and dates back 5,000 years!
- In 2600-1500BCE buttons were used as ornamentation instead of as fasteners.
- Buttons with buttonholes used to keep clothing closed first appeared in 13th century Germany.
- By the 13th and 14th century, buttons were widespread throughout Europe.
- Ornamental buttons dating back between 2600-1500BCE have been found in the Indus Valley Civilization, Rome and China
- During the World Wars, the British and U.S. military used button lockets which were buttons constructed like lockets to store compasses.
- Buttons are made in all shapes and sizes.
- Flat buttons lie flat and have holes through them. The thread is sewn through the holes to attach the buttons to the fabric. Most new sewing machines can sew on a button.
- Shank buttons have a protrusion on the back with a hole in it. The thread is wrapped around and through the hole to attach the button.
- Stud buttons are the metal buttons you find on jeans and jean jackets. These buttons are riveted through the fabric with a button on one side and a disc on the other. This type of button is very secure because the fabric is sandwiched between the two metal pieces.
- Covered buttons are buttons that are covered with a small piece of fabric. The smooth metal button has teeth to grab the fabric around the edges and a shank that is pressed onto the back to hold all the fabric edges in the hollow metal button back.
- Frogs are knotted strings in an intricate pattern which have a large string knob that is held within the knotted strings like a button and buttonhole.
- Buttons are made of natural and man made materials.
As I was going through stuff today, I came across some clothes that I wore as a baby. I thought about how almost fifty years ago, my teenage mother slipped the tiny buttons through the buttonholes. Funny how something as simple as a button can take you back to memories and feelings of long ago.