Archive for Thursday, March 1, 2007

Aunt Norie’s Sewing Room

March 1, 2007

Corrections, and apologies to you Mary Jane for last week's error, before your story on learning to sew on buttons hit the printed page your name some how got dropped, we are so sorry.

Now back to buttons: When I first read that primitive man used thorns and sinews for that purpose, I thought about my dad, a busy farmer, who wore bib overalls, and when a button came off the bib, I saw him poke a bit of the fabric of the bib up thru that suspender buckle and then run a small nail thru it to last the rest of the day. I suppose one of those locust tree thorns would do just as well. It's hard to believe pins and buckles came before buttons. Button-like knobs with shanks were used only as ornaments. Then one fine day in the 13th century we're told that someone discovered that one could either push a button thru a slot, or slip a loop over it. By the 16th century buttons had been widely accepted as part of one's everyday attire.

Two centuries later, button making had become a flourishing industry in France, Germany, and England. Buttons were made of metal, jewels, stone, mother of pearl, leather, wood, glass, steel, and other materials. They were very expensive, and were not discarded, but were removed and used again and again.

The first buttons made in the United States were made of metal. One maker guaranteed his buttons for seven years. One button maker bought up brass pots and pans to make brass buttons then button making grew faster -- buttons were made from plants, cattle hooves and bones. Those bone buttons are still used in underwear today and are mostly made of the shin bones of cattle.

No wonder button collecting has become such a widely spread hobby -- some of the buttons are very, very valuable.

Maybe one of the kids looking for a project or subject to write about just might want it to be buttons.

We all grew up with the old art game of "button, button, whose got the button."

Till next week then, Have fun and God Bless you all.

-- Aunt Norie, P.O.Box 265, Tonganoxie KS 66086. auntnorie@bdc.net

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