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5 February 2008


I've spent the last few hours researching hand made buttons, since I intend to make some, and come up with some links.

I thought that I'd share them. The formatting is bound to come out a bit funny because I'm copying and pasting from a heavily formatted Word doc.

I used

Making Buttons created and maintained by Cathy Snell. 9/17/03

as a basis as it was the most thorough paper I found.

It has lots of different methods listed and some very interesting variations described, based on those basic methods, and lots of photos.

I found some more instructions, alternative instructions, a few more pictures (modern ones only - sigh) - whatever contributed to the subject ....

Cloth Buttons has step by step photos for a stuffed button, as well as

also described making a stuffed cloth ball button

Embroidered Buttons

Wrapped Buttons

a modern picture at

and at

More complete instructions at
including adding a bit of gold thread around them as an extra wrap and at

Buttonhole stitch buttons

“An Elizabethan Button” -

I was surprised that I couldn't find more on these.

Death's Head button

A modern picture at

The link in Cathy's doc on how to make them works *grin*

Woven Buttons

A modern pic at

and a fuzzy one at

and thorough instructions at
including some extra variations and at

and lastly, although later in period

Corded, Faceted and Basketweave Buttons

Dorset Thread Buttons


Finishing Buttons

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Blogger Margaret said...

Thanks for these interesting links! The book cover from your previous post is breathtaking. Wow.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "buttonhole stitch" button is the same one as on Cathy's page and at the Renaissance Tailor (and it's in The Tudor Tailor), usually called "ribs out" ("ribs in" is the same, but looped the other direction). The only thing that might be different is the "half knot" (which isn't a major difference, if it's different at all--I can't quite figure out what she means) that makes the bead show through.

Someone in the class I taught described these buttons as being like "making God's eyes," which is pretty accurate. I like them a lot, although they're time-consuming.

I vaguely recall there being some buttons in Janet Arnold that are actually covered with detached buttonhole, but I could be totally wrong.

Friday, February 08, 2008  
Blogger Scott said...

Glad I could help out!

Updated today with Part II of my button-making series featuring three thread-covered buttons worked over a wooden base.

Love your blog. I come here all the time to look at your latest calligraphic post.

Saturday, February 16, 2008  
Blogger Allison Ann Aller said...

You have opened up a whole new world to me...historical embroidery. I came to crazy quilting from traditional American "sane" cotton bed quilts, and consider myself a self-taught hack when it comes to true embroidery. Not being falsely modest here, but objective!
So I will add your blog gladly to my RSS feed and keep tabs on your world!
Thanks for you comment on my blog, which led me here... ;-)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008  
Blogger Elmsley Rose said...

oh, how cool, Allison! That makes my day!

You may enjoy the blog NeedleNThread
which is far more organized and instructional than my meanderings.

She (Mary) covers both modern work and historical work, and her special interest is historical ecclesiastical embroidery (in relative terms a lot of it is still around because it was looked after, being Church goods, and was less likely to be picked apart for the goldwork on it to be re-used on a new piece).
The bishops etc walked around with a kind of gutter at the hem of their garments, to catch any bits that fell of as they walked! *grin*

Tuesday, February 19, 2008  

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