Count Your Button Day – October 21

ancientpoint 1024x768 Count Your Button Day   October 21

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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.

 History of Buttons

National Button Society

Colorado Button Society

British Button Society

My Trip to a Button Show

Collecting Buttons

JHB International

Lots of Buttons!

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!

 Count Your Button Day   October 21

About Jill

I write for the Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery blogs. I love sewing, vintage and would love to get a comment from you!
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6 Responses to Count Your Button Day – October 21

  1. Linda Giese says:

    I bought some handmade buttons for a Christmas wall hanging. The collection of buttons cost $64. I competed the hand work before I priced the buttons and HAD to finish it. It is one of my favorite Christmas pieces and have had lots of requests to make copies for family and friends.

  2. Evelyn says:

    I inherited my mom’s button box which includes several hand-carved mother-of-pearl buttons, a few ivory ones, fancy ones, and plain ones. The buttons are all mid 50s and older. She always removed buttons from clothes before putting the clothes in the rag bag. To this day I do the same, but today’s clothes don’t have fancy buttons too often. Never heard of button shows or societies. Looking forward to checking the links listed.

  3. Mary Mac says:

    I am a paper crafter and use buttons on my cards and photo journals more than my sewing projects. The most expensive button was used for a wedding album. I paid $7.50 which was half price. It was a beautiful vintage white wavy glass piece. It measured 2″ and may have been for a coat.

  4. robin lucier says:

    I spent quite a bit buying all the stuff to make a button for a jacket. Only used the stuff the one time, I don’t even know where it is now. Lol

  5. Carol K E says:

    My dad tied Monkey Fist Knots from tubes made from a felted mohair for a coat I made for a make it with wool contest. They made beautiful matching buttons. When one factors in the time and love, they were priceless.

  6. Jane C. says:

    I know that I once paid $5 for a button for a small pouch. Often the whole look of a second hand garment can be changed by investing in great buttons. Recently I bought a jacket that looked better with the superfluous decorative buttons removed. Win some! Lose some!