Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dorset Buttons

Not too long ago I read the book "Burning Bright"  A Novel by Tracy Chevalier, I have always enjoyed her books and was pleasantly surprised to find quite a bit of reference to Dorset buttons. The main characters in the novel manufacture Dorset Buttons, a common cottage industry of the time. I have come across these buttons from time to time but never realized the story and workmanship behind them. As so often happens, my curiosity was piqued as I was reading so I started researching the web to learn more.
Pictured below are just three types of Dorset buttons:
Blanford Cartwheel


Knob Dorset
(Above pics courtesy of the British Button Society)
They are considered to be the very first thread buttons and were often made by lacemakers. Thread is wrapped around a flat washer or ring and then filled in with stitches.
Modern day Dorset buttons have exploded into a infinite number of designs and colors:

is a  fabulous site that gives lots of background and historical information on dorset buttons, not to mention other sorts of
needlework, ribbons, tassels, laces and more
it's one of my favorites!

I've never tried to make Dorset buttons but there are a huge number of sites out there with instructions so I think i'll have to give it a try.

1 comment:

  1. Never heard of Dorset buttons-- thanks for the links. I will now be on the lookout for some vintage ones!!!