Buttons Imitating Fabric

BUTTONS THAT MIMIC FABRICS

There are so many way that we can see and enjoy our buttons. We invite you to see them in a new way: recognizing the fabrics they resemble!

Fabric and needlework buttons were fragile, soiled easily, and were difficult to clean effectively. Buttons, made from more durable materials, came to mimic the weaves, finishes, patterns, and applied handwork found on the fabrics they adorned. In this database, we introduce you to the rich variety of the mimicry you can find on buttons.

Don’t consider this a classification or an encyclopedic approach to buttons, but an enjoyable journey. And, check back often as this resource will continue to evolve and expand. We are thankful for the time and expertise contributed to create this introductory database.

To see a button, and the fabric which it mimics, click the link of the fabric, needlework, or fabric design below. Keep in mind that the same “weave” or “fabric” can appear in multiple variations, with different thread types (cotton, wool, silk, polymers) or surface treatments (luster, brushed, heated) which then make the fabric SURFACE different.

This fun journey through buttons is brought to you by Dorothy Krugner from the State of Washington. She came to button collecting via decades of historic textiles research. Dorothy is fascinated with the evolution of costume as it reflects both dramatic and subtle changes in society. As a hobby, Dorothy collects and displays buttons with the fabrics upon which they would have been worn. On the WRBA website, you can find her articles on Mourning Buttons and the Buttons of the National Recovery Act.

If you have enjoyed this introduction, consider learning more about textiles. Two great online resources are:

Textile Research Centre, Leiden, Netherlands  www.trc-leiden.nl, which has an extensive site with hundreds of historic textile images.

Textile Resource Center   www.textileresourcecenter.org  includes terminology, a dictionary, and a weave guide.

NOTE: For those of you who love to catalog and define your buttons by the NBS Blue Book classification, remember that for a GLASS button to be classed as 6-6.7 or 7-7.3 Imitation Fabric, the button must imitate fabric by the MOLDED SURFACE DESIGN.  For other material classes, there is not a requirement for surface molding.

Applique 1    Applique 2   Applique 4

Applique, Reverse 1     Reverse Applique 2    Rev. Applique 3     Reverse Applique 4     Reverse Applique 5

Argyle Plaid

Back Stitch 1    Back Stitch 2

Basketweave 1   Basketweave 2  Basketweave 3  Basketweave 4

Battenberg Lace 1    Battenberg 2    Battenberg 4

Bead Work 1   Bead Work 2    Bead Work 3

Bedford Cord 1    Bedford Cord 2

Bengaline 1    Bengaline

Berlin Work 1    Berlinwork 2

Birdseye

Bobbin Lace

Bobbinet Lace 1    Bobbinet Lace 2    Bobbinet Lace 3

Boucle

Braid 1    Braid 2

Brocade 1    Brocade 2    Brocade 3

Brussels Lace

Bullion Knot 1    Bullion Knot 2    Bullion Knot 3

Calico 1     Calico 2    Calico 3

Cambric 1     Cambric 2

Chain Stitch

Challis 1    Challis 2    Challis 3

Chambray 1    Chambray 2    Chambray 3

Charmeuse 1    Charmeuse 2

Chiffon 1    Chiffon 2

Chinz

Cire

Clam Shell Patchwork 1     Clam Shell Patchwork 2

Cord Braid 1     Cord Braid 2     Cord Braid 3

Cord Work 1    Cord Work 2    Cord Work 3    Cord Work 4

Corduroy 1    Corduroy 2    Corduroy 3    Corduroy 4

Couching Stitch 1      Couching Stitch 2

Crazy Patchwork 1     Crazy Patchwork 2

Crepe 1     Crepe 2

Crotchet

Cross Stitch 1     Cross Stitch 2

Damask

Death’s Head 1     Death’s Head 2     Death’s Head 3

Denim

Diaper 1     Diaper 2

Dimity 1     Dimity 2

Dotted Swiss 1     Dotted Swiss 2

Doupion

Embroidery 1     Embroidery 2

Eyelet 1     Eyelet 2

Faille 1     Faille 2

Flocking

Foulard

French Knot

Fustian

Gabardine 1     Gabardine 2

Gimp 1     Gimp 2     Gimp 3

Gingham

Grenadine 1     Grenadine 2     Grenadine 3

Grosgrain 1     Grosgrain 2     Grosgrain 3

Herringbone Twill 1      Herringbone Twill 2      Herringbone Twill 3     Herringbone Twill 4

Hopsacking 1      Hopsacking 2

Hound’s Tooth Check

Huckaback

Jacquard

Karakul

Lace 1     Lace 2

Lace, Machine Made 1      Lace, Machine Made 2

Lame

Linen Cambric 1     Linen Cambric 2

Lustering 1     Lustering 2     Lustering 3

Madras 1     Madras 2     Madras 3

Matelassé

Moire, Watermarked  1      Moire 2      Moire 3

Nainsook

Netting 1     Netting 2     Netting 3

Nun’s Veiling 1      Nun’s Veiling 2

Oil Cloth

Ottoman 1      Ottoman 2

Paisley 1     Paisley 2     Paisley 3     Paisley 4

Panne

Patchwork 1      Patchwork 2     Patchwork 3    Patchwork 4    Patchwork 5

Peau de Soie 1     Peau de Soie 2     Peau de Soie 3

Petit Point 1

Pique 1     Pique 2     Pique 3

Plaid 1     Plaid 2     Plaid 3     Plaid 4

Plisse 1     Plisse 2

Poplin 1     Poplin 2     Poplin 3

Purl 1     Purl 2     Purl 3

Rat Tail 1     Rat Tail 2     Rat Tail 3

Ribbon Work 1     Ribbon Work 2     Ribbon Work 3

Ribbons 1    Ribbons 2    Ribbons 3    Ribbons 4

Rickrack

Satin Stitch 1    Satin Stitch 2     Satin Stitch 3

Satin 1    Satin 2     Satin 3

Seersucker 1     Seersucker 2 

Sequin Work 1      Sequins 2   Sequins 3   Sequins 4

Shantung

Shot Silk 1     Shot Silk 2    Shot Silk 3     Shot Silk 4

Split Stitch 1     Split Stitch 2

Surah 1     Surah 2     Surah 3     Surah 4

Taffeta 1    Taffeta 2     Taffeta 3

Tambour 1     Tambour 2

Tapestry 1     Tapestry 2

Tassels 1     Tassels 2     Tassels 3    Tassels 4

Tattersal 1     Tattersal 2

Trapunto 1     Trapunto 2

Tulle 1     Tulle 2

Tweed

Valenciennes 1   Valenciennes 2

Voile

Whipcord 1    Whipcord 2

Wool Crepe 1    Wool Crepe 2    Wool Crepe 3

YoYo Patchwork