Monday, March 19, 2007

Some button history...

I got this e-newsletter from DRG Books and it had this little article in it about buttons that I thought was kind of interesting. Maybe you will, too!

Brief Button History

2000 BC

The earliest decorative buttons were unearthed at archaeological digs in the Indus Valley. They were made from shells of various sea mollusks, carved into circular and triangular shapes, and pierced with two holes for sewing them to a garment. Historians have determined that buttons were purely ornamental for almost 3,500 years.

13th Century

Baggy, free-flowing attire was beginning to be replaced with tighter, form-fitting clothing. A belt alone could not achieve the new look, and pins were easily misplaced. Buttons became popular as garment fasteners.

16th Century

Metal and jeweled buttons were used in abundance! French King Frances I ordered 13,400 gold buttons from his jeweler, which were then fastened to a single black velvet suit. Louis XIV is said to have spent over $5 million on jeweled buttons.

18th Century

The first buttons were made in the United States by Caspar Wistar, a German immigrant. The design on buttons often reflected how the wearer felt about issues of the day, such as scenes of the French Revolution and engraved eagles after the American Revolution.

19th Century

During her long period of mourning, Queen Victoria used black jet buttons almost exclusively, setting a trend that resulted in black glass buttons becoming the most popular style of this era.

20th Century

Art Nouveau, two World Wars, the Roaring '20s and the playfulness of Disney characters all influenced buttons. In World War I, the British Army used 367 different kinds of buttons, and spent $500,000 per year just for the paste used to polish them.

21st Century

Buttons of the 21st century are yet to be determined, but the trend is towards decorative and fun. Use buttons to embellish a collar or lapel, accent a pocket or seam, or create a decoration of your own. When it comes to decorating, cast your mind back to your childhood button-box days and let your imagination be your guide.


So, back from Spring Break. Went back home to Kingwood and had lots of fun! I can update on that when I get the pictures uploaded...but, as much fabric and beads and all the crafty stuff I could think I might possibly need, and packed, I did not get ONE THING done! lol! Why do I think I'm always going to have all this extra time sitting around at my mom's house???


Terri's ThreadArt said...

Lauri this is AWSOME! I've been meaning to look for a book on button history ~ thanks for the info! Terri

Sundries Sublime said...

Wow!! Love the new look!!! Love, love love it!!!

Hey, I'm emailing you a question today on the pendant.... :-)

Tatterededge said...

I have always said that the reason I love buttons and collect them is because it's what links us back through the ages as human beings. If you think about it, every human being has worn a button of one sort or another.

Lauri said...

Wow! Glad I was so informative! And it seems that buttons are fascinating to everyone...I remember going through dozens and dozens of my mom's buttons, my grandmother's and my great aunt's when I was a kid. Now, my kids love to go through's almost hypnotic.