Happy National Button Day!

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National Button Day is observed annually on November 16. Founded in 1938, the National Button Society recognized button collecting as an organized hobby. This is a celebration day for all button collectors, skilled and novice.

The appeal of buttons is clear. They come in every shape, color and style, from pearly white shirt buttons, to ornate Victorian affairs, to cute fastenings shaped like insects and animals. Any outfit can be updated by adding the right buttons, and sewing them on is one of the easiest types of needlework to learn. And they don’t just belong near buttonholes, either. Clusters of buttons can be used to decorate almost everything, and even on their own in jars they are delightful to handle, play with and admire. Some collect them, but most just lose them. Regardless, nearly everyone seems to love them, or at least regard them with fascination.

In case you may be thinking that buttons do not deserve their own holiday, try to imagine what life would be like without them. Sure, we have zippers and velcro, but could you imagine velcro down the front of your elegant blouse? Of course not!

wooden-font-b-button-b-font-font-b-art-b-font-diy-handmade-flower-butterfly-eagleButton, usually disk like piece of solid material having holes or a shank through which it is sewed to one side of an article of clothing and used to fasten or close the garment by passing through a loop or hole in the other side. Purely decorative, non-utilitarian buttons are also frequently used on clothing.

In medieval Europe, garments were laced together or fastened with brooches or clasps and points, until buttonholes were invented in the 13th century. Then buttons became so prominent that in some places sumptuary laws were passed putting limits on their use.

By the 14th century buttons were worn as ornaments and fastenings from the elbow to the wrist and from the neckline to the waist. The wearing of gold, silver, and ivory buttons was an indication of wealth and rank. Expensive buttons were also made of copper and its alloys. The metalsmith frequently embellished such buttons with insets of ivory, tortoiseshell, and jewels. More commonly, buttons were made of bone or wood. Button forms of these materials were also used as foundations for fabric-covered buttons. Thread buttons were made by wrapping the thread over a wire ring.

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In the 18th century luxury metals and ivory largely replaced fabric, although embroidered buttons in designs to complement particular garments were popular. Pewter, the familiar metal of the age, was used to make molded or stamped-out buttons, but these were scorned by the wealthy. Cast brass buttons, particularly calamine brass, with ornamental and distinguishing designs, also became popular on both military and civilian dress.

In the middle of the 18th century, Matthew Boulton, the English manufacturer and partner of James Watt, introduced the bright, costly, cut-steel button, which was made by attaching polished steel facets to a steel blank. In France the facets of the cut-steel button were elaborated by openwork designs. During the first quarter of the 19th century, a less costly stamped steel button was made in an openwork pattern. Brass buttons that were gilded by dipping in an amalgam of mercury and gold also became popular.

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The two-shell metal button was introduced about the same time as the stamped-steel type by B. Sanders, a Danish manufacturer in England. The two shells, thin metal disks enclosing a small piece of cloth or pasteboard, were crimped together on the edges. Sanders also originated the canvas shank. By 1830 fabric-covered buttons were being made mechanically. Also coming into use were animal horns and hoofs, which could be made malleable by heating and then could be cut, dyed, and molded.

Buttons were also made of ceramics and glass. Porcelain buttons became a French specialty; they were decorated by hand painting or by transfer printing designs using colored inks. Bohemia, in the present-day Czech Republic, produced most of the colored glass used in button manufacture.

In Japan, ceramic buttons, hand painted in traditional motifs, were developed. Buttons with an intricately carved thickness of vermilion lacquer on a wooden base became a Chinese specialty, and decorated and lacquered papier-mâché buttons became popular in Europe in the late 1800s.

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The use of the pearly shells of sea mollusks in button making increased with the mechanization of production. Shell was separated into its component layers by treatment with a nitric acid solution, and blanks were cut out by tubular saws. Holes were bored in the blanks for sewing, and an engraved decoration was mechanically applied. At first only seashell was used, but in the 1890’s the American manufacturer John F. Boepple began to use the less iridescent but abundant freshwater mussel shells found along the Mississippi River and its tributaries.

In the 20th century, buttons became primarily utilitarian, not decorative, and in many applications were supplanted by the zipper. Buttons began to be made of plastics such as cellulose, polystyrene, and polyvinyl resins; designs tended to be abstract or geometric. Mass-production machines produce molded buttons either by compressing powdered plastics or by injection—forcing liquid plastic into individual molds through small openings.

Some old buttons are considered valuable and are collected for their art and workmanship. The place, date, and name of the maker are usually marked on their backs.

Originally published by: ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA

www.britannica.com/topic/button-clothing-accessory

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Where to Call for Help with Selecting Window Treatments

Lets face it, buying custom made window treatments can be a very expensive proposition. Regardless if you are shopping for custom drapes, Roman Shades, valances or shutters you can easily spend upwards of $10,000 by the time your done. We’re talking about a lot of money here and you should not have to make some of the important decisions on your own. For most window treatments you need to be very accurate with your measurements, especially if you have larger or odd-size or odd-shaped windows. When you are making a sizable investment we always recommended have a professional window treatment measure done early in the process. Having an accurate measure done first can help avoid costly mistakes and re-makes later and may also help save you money on you initial purchase and installation. Most custom drapery or window treatment retailers may often provide an initial measure for free. Retailers and Workrooms can also use a detailed measure to find ways to save money by maximizing fabric lengths and widths. After all, the majority of the cost or expense with custom soft window treatments, like drapery comes from the cost of the fabric. If your Retailer or Workroom can shave a yard of fabric off of every treatment, the savings can really add up.

Beyond the measure, better drapery retailers and Workrooms should be able to provide you with free design advice. It is important to understand, and ask, who will be giving the advice. Many of the larger retailers will send a “Sales Person” out to your home who is on commission. You are not going to get good, if any, design advice from a untrained Sales Person. If you are dealing with your retailer over the phone, make sure you are speaking with someone with real-world design experience. At DrapeStyle, we don’t have “Sales People”. When you call us you are speaking with a trained Interior Design Professional who understands your entire project from measure to fabric selection to construction. When calling any national retailer, ask some good questions to be sure you are not speaking to a Sales Person who is simply reading off of a script.

When it comes to selecting custom window treatments it is always best to call a qualified Designer or Retailer early.


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Happy Friday!!

Can we really have arrived at another Friday so quickly?  It really seems that time is accelerated during this time of year.  We are busy working on all of the orders we need to get shipped before Christmas.  Our “Drapery Elves” are back there in their Drapery Workroom working themselves silly.  Thanks for all of your support as always!


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