A button is an object that is used in garments either for the purpose of fastening or for


Fig: Buttons

ornamentation or both. Buttons are usually in the shape of a disc or a knob. Evidence shows that, buttons have been used since as long back as 1500 – 2000 BC. Buttons used in 2600 – 2800  BC have been excavated in the ancient Indus valley, while those used in 1500 – 2000 BC have been found in China as well as in Rome.


Evolution of Button:

13th century ——– Buttons were used as ornament.

16th century ——– Began being attached as a functional fastener.

15th & 16th century ——–Buttons plated with Gold & silver were popular among the noble class.

18th century ———- The trend of enamel buttons set in.

Early part of the 19th century ———– Buttons made of fabric as well as glass & ceramic  began to be used. Glass & Ceramic buttons were not very popular.

Middle of 19th century ——— Buttons made of shells, pearls, horn, steel & brass become popular.

Later part of the 19th century ——- Enamel buttons made a comeback.

1930 ——– Buttons began to be made using wood & plastic.

Buttons were initially introduced as a means of ornamentation of the garment, but in course of time, they began serving as fasteners. In the 1940s, men used to wear about 70 buttons on their garments, of which only  a few were useful for fastening.

After the Second World War, buttons began to be more for functional purposes than for decorative purposes.

Types of buttons:

According to the ligne No.: 12L, 14L, 16L, 18L—–26L—-32L, 36L etc.

16L for men shirt, 26L for trouser, 32L for suit/jacket & 36L for cardigan are the most common example of use.

According to the material used:

  • Plastic buttons—Polyester, Polyamide etc. cheap, widely used in shirts.
  • Metal buttons—Normally used in Denims, trousers etc.
  • Wooden buttons—Used mainly in decorative purpose.
  • Horn buttons—Made of horns of animals. Artificial horns are also ue=sed which is made of nylon, plastic, additives etc.
  • Chalk buttons—Used to make plastic glossy.
  • Logo/Printed buttons—Used for utilitarian/ decorative both purpose.

According to the no. of holes:

  • 2 hole buttons
  • 4 hole buttons

According to the shape:

  • Flat buttons —-2/4 holes.
  • Shank buttons —–Have a shank, that is a small bar or ring, attached to their back.
  • Snap buttons

Besides them, covered buttons (Fabric made), Mandarin buttons (Knotted Strings) etc. are seen.


Posted on February 4, 2016, in Apparel Merchandising, Garments Technology-II, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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