Thursday, November 1, 2012

Button Up....Literally!

Art Deco, celluloid buttonhooks
I am often asked how I came to be a Buttonologist.  It's a long story, really, but the thing that drew me to buttons was the "crossover factor".  Buttons have so much in common with other things that intrigued me: history, sewing, quilting, fashion, traditions and the like.  Here is one of those fascinating crossover tidbits I found:  Buttonhooks!
I recently found a website for collectors of buttonhooks while doing research for my upcoming novel.  They are mainly based in England, but, like button collectors, they have a Society and strive to document and educate others about these lovely little tools.  Like buttons, there are your garden variety and your pieces made for royalty.  There are pieces that multi task and pieces that advertise!  There are even some buttonhooks made from military findings, including uniform buttons, called Trench Art! Like buttons they were, of course, made from the most popular materials of the day.  These included materials such as sterling silver, celluloid, brass, Mother of Pearl, bone and plastic.
Buttonhooks came to be a very necessary utility item between the1880's and 1930's.  The style of clothing included shoes, gloves, stiff collars, spats and dresses used rows of tiny buttons that were to be pulled through equally small eyelets.  The buttonhook was a real sanity saver!
The society has a wonderful and well written website that explains so much more, if you are interested.  I found it fascinating!  Now, as you search for buttons, you can keep your eyes pealed for these beauties as well and you will always be able to "Button Up" with no trouble at all!

For more info, visit:

States: " The only first class fastener in the world.
ask your dealer for them
Does not mutilate the (???) the foot
saves time and trouble of sewing on buttons
samples attached to this card"