Count Your Button Day is October 21, so get out your buttons and…count them!
No one know why or who started Count Your Button Day but it is officially an unofficial day on the calendar. Buttons have a much longer history than Count Your Button day with the earliest buttons found by archeologists in the 2800–2600 BCE in the Indus Valley civilization. These early buttons were often used as decorations rather than for a functional use.
The first functional button with an actual button hole was found in Germany in the 13th century. Pins were largely used to hold things together for garments up until the 17-18th century. During the Industrial Revolution pin manufacturing became more efficient and the price of pins dropped substantially. This also marks the time where button manufacturing and the use of buttons on clothing took off. At this point in time all manner of materials were used for making of buttons. Ivory was very popular and used by the dressmakers and tailors for the wealthy set. So too was glass, gems, porcelain and jet and pearl. During the 17th century fancy buttons were a sign of wealth and stature. When visiting textile museums or exhibits always take a look at the closures and what materials were used for the button. The craftsmanship on these early buttons is striking.
The use of plastic for buttons became widespread during the ’50′s. Plastic is still commonly used and is the predominate type of button in craft and sewing stores. If you want your garment or other sewing project to really stand out take the time to search for the just-right, beautiful button. Check local independent fabric stores, often times they’ll carry a far greater selection of unique buttons.
I’ll be giving a button tutorial on October 23 here on the blog, so please come back and visit.
Here are a few resources for button searching, history and collecting and buying.
For Free Stuff Friday we are giving away the book, in honor of Count Your Button day on October 21, the Busy With Buttons book by Jill Gorski.
What is the most expensive button you’ve bought for a project? Or do you go to button shows or are you a member of a button society? What makes you love collecting buttons?
And the winner for Free Stuff Friday October 11 (Beasties book) is Mary M. Please send your mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org!