Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Buttons Before Plastic

I was recently given the opportunity to go through a big metal tin full of assorted buttons. The person who had previously owned them had recently passed away at a ripe age of 96. (or 98... it was up there) I don't tend to be a button person, but this tin had many old and interesting buttons. And one buckle.

I find buttons that are made of things that aren't plastic really appealing. So I picked through and separated out what I consider "the good stuff". I found bone buttons.

And leather buttons. In my head I refer to them as grandpa buttons. I always imagine leather buttons on a grandpa's cardigan.

There was a large grouping of carved shell buttons.

Then I picked out an assortment of other buttons. There are a few plastic buttons in there. But for the most part there are wood, fabric, and metal buttons. I also found two buttons made of antler. They are at the bottom of the picture.

In the tin, there was also a newspaper clipping about the lost art of button making from 1975. Fascinating.

Does anyone else ever wonder what we did before plastic? I'm a little sad about all the neat artisan things that plastic replaced. Buttons being one of those things.


Anonymous said...

I love "grandpa buttons"! I have a small collection of those, from my grandmother's sewing kit :) I think there are some cute plastic ones, but I agree that that the non-plastic ones are so unique. Hmm... this post has inspired me to do some button searches on ebay :)

Happy weekend!

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