Friday, April 6, 2012

Facts about Vintage Buttons

Vintage buttons can add the perfect touch to an outfit, or they can be part of a fun button collection. Join me for a quick tutorial on buttons through the ages.


Vintage Buttons image courtesy of Cohdra and MorgueFile.
Shell Buttons


The earliest button ever found is about 5,000 years old and was carved from a shell. It’s a little hard to imagine the garment that sported the little treasure, probably some sort of animal hide crafted into a jacket or pants., though it is not actually known if the shell button was used for clothing or some other purpose. Shell buttons remained popular through the ages, and are still used in fashion design today.

Bone Buttons

Bone buttons have been in use almost as long as shell buttons, helping to keep early humans warm and safe from the elements, and are still commonly used today. Like buttons made of shell, the use of bone buttons has remained a constant part of human culture through the ages.

Modern Vintage Buttons

The terms modern and vintage might sound completely opposite, however it describes the advent of functional, holed buttons. These are the buttons most likely to be collected by button collectors. They can date back as far as 13th century Germany, 17th century Japan, or any time period in between. Usually, though, to be considered vintage, they need to be at least twenty years old.

Vintage button collectors enjoy owning, displaying, and occasionally even using, classic and heirloom buttons made from anything from shell to metal to glass and even plastic.

You can read more about the history of buttons and vintage buttons at:

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