What is a button?

Tuesday, 30th June 2020

What is a button?

How buttons changed fashion

Buttons and button-like objects used as ornaments or seals, rather than fasteners, have been discovered in the Indus Valley Civilization during its Kot Diji phase (c. 2800–2600 BC) as well as in Bronze Age sites in China (c. 2000–1500 BC) and Ancient Rome.

After this period when the button was being used as something decorative to go on to a garment, around 3000 years later someone invented the button hole. So now the button has a more practical use.

Designs of the button haven't changed much since the middle ages. Most people would prefer a round button with either 2 or 4 holes or with a shank (the loop on the back of the button).

Many people wouldn't know how to work out the size of the button hole needed for their button. The formula for this would be: Diameter + Width (depth) of the button + a little bit of ease = your button hole.

Before the use of buttons, clothes were loose and just draped off the body, but as time goes on fashion gets closer and closer to the body, and there was found to be more use for buttons.

Despite changing fashions, buttons have stood the test of time because they combine decoration with a very practical use. And they work!

Compare that to some other fastenings, like zips and Velcro, for example.Zips often break, and Velcro strips can stop sticking to each other! With a button, you can just pick it up and sew it straight back on.

Having the right button on a garment can make or break it. The right button can really make what you have created or bought stand out. It's like the jewel in the crown!