Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Plexi glass / Lucite buttons - Glass imitation from early 20th century

There were a lot of kinds of early plastics, as experiments with synthetic materials continued. Plexi glass was an attempt to imitate glass, both transparent and opaque.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Sticky button cards

Throughout the whole 20th century buttons were displayed and distributed on button cards. I have some lovely Art Deco cards from 1930s, but also some more modern ones from 1960s. The buttons were usually sewn to the cards. I once met a woman who was delighted to see my button cards because they reminded her of her youth: she used to live in Paris, where she sewed the buttons to the cards for a large fashion firm.

Anyway, somewhere around 1950s-1960s someone had one of those 'brilliant' ideas to make things easier and instead of sewing - glue the buttons to the cards, usually using an adhesive tape. I saw this method used all through the 1970s and 1980s!!

Apparently, this looks easier. You spent much less time attatching the buttons to the display and if you rip them off, you do not let the rest of the buttons loose (which was the case of sewn cards).

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Swapping buttons - winter coat makover

Have you ever owned one of those? Sad black coat, with little character or decoration? You probably still do, beacuse they seem to be universal, but in the end, they just make a silent existence in our wardrobes. I decided to give mine a new life.

As you can see, it is a classic short coat, with a hood, double breasted and with a belt. The buttons are really unexciting and just make it more classic. I bought it in times when I would go everywhere on a bicycle, so I needed something short but warm.

Monday, 13 November 2017

War-time era buttons

The second world war was a difficult time in Europe. Although Spain was not directly involved in it (apart from some help sent to the Nazi Germany), it was no different there, as there had been a terrible civil war, which had just finished in 1939.

Along with the atrocoities came hunger and scarcity. The former moved people from cities to the countryside, where they could at least access the basic produce, and the latter was caused both by insufficiennt resources, but also by the fact that most commodities were reserved for the military use. This was the fate of the plastic, whose use was restricted for civillians.

This is an example of metal military buttons for the navy.

The alternatives provided by the button manufacturers were metal and wood. However, plastic had already made it to the haberdasheries and now it was difficult to convince people to buy cheaper and more mundane materials, so the buttons were usually covered in a thick layer of paint in vivid colours, just to make them look like plastic.

Monday, 18 September 2017

How to fit a D-buckle, or how I fixed that old belt

I had this belt, you can call it boyfriend style. The trouble was that it had been worn out. The faux leather pieces were crumbling, I replaced them with new ones I cut from a scrap of leather I had in a matching colour.

Now this looks really bad...

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Mother of pearl buttons and their cheap imitations

Mother of pearl buttons, also called nacre buttons, have been used long in any kind of garments In the early 20th century they were the cheap and most popular material, used in all garments, from underwear to winter coats. Nowadays they are popularly used in cardigans, but sometimes also in blouses and dresses.

The light pink buttons are still available in my etsy shop

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Recycle your bubble envelopes!

While it is necessary to use envelopes with plastic bubble wrap to cusion the buttons and other goods, there doesn't seem to be an alternative as yet, like paper filling for these envelopes or something (If you have seen one - do let me know!). However, there is a way to make it a bit more environment-friendly.

If you cut the sides of the envelope, you will sii that the bubble wrap and the paper are separate layers.