Button Up - History of the Button

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BUTTON UP – THE HISTORY OF THE SIMPLE BUTTON Button Up – The History of the Button The simple button is certainly an item that we take for granted these days. Just like the belts we buckle, the laces we tie, the zippers we zip, we take no notice of them. These are items we use every day and yet, we never stop to think about where these things came from. Or for that matter, we do not stop and think what it would be like getting dressed every day without those nifty little buttons. Today, the button is simply here to perform a function, but in the past, the button was both a work of art and a status symbol. It is about 3,000 years ago during the Bronze Age that we see buttons emerge. These buttons were made of horn, wood, bone, metal and seashells, however, they were not for fastening. Their function was simply for decoration on clothing. That is because though the button had been created, the button-hole had yet to be invented. The Greeks and Romans used large button-like fasteners to gather the fabric on their long tunic robes. Again, these buttons were not used as they are today with a button going through a button hole. The cloth was simple wrapped around the large button-like structure and were also decorative on the cloth. It is not known exactly when the button hole was invented, however it was around the year 1200 that the button and the button-hole were brought to Europe by the Crusaders from the Turks, Mongols and battles in the Middle East. The word “button” stems from either the French word “bouton” for bud or “bouter” to push. It was the French who established the Button Makers Guild in 1250. It was the Guild who made beautiful buttons that were designed with great artistry. Each button was created individually by hand. These buttons were only, by law, allowed for the upper class. The lower
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