Star Shirtwaist

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Silk Buttons Macclesfield

Leek Buttons

Leek. England, was the center of another cottage button-making industry ¡is early ¡is 1645. Silk from Macclesfield and mohair from local goals were the main libera used in I he early lcck buttons But lat er versions of the buttons were made wuh just silk, l eek buttons remained popular into this century and had a commercial market until the 1920$.. A few buttons were produced as late as 1950 to adorn robes of cardinal*. Most of the buttons were dark and were used on men's vests and top coats

I he lcck buttons described here are always wrapped from the corner anchors toward the center Each round of thread is anchored by the previous round Although these (unions carrv the k-ck name, the drawing for the deaths head appeared in Denis DideM's, Encydcptdit (ca 1750). indicating thai tins type of button was also made in Franc* (and probably elsewhere)

Death's head


This beautiful button has a somber name whose origin is unknown. For the death's head, use a mold with a knife edge and a hole in the center. I look for knife-edged wood or bone disk beads in bead sums, and pick them up whenever I find them A thin mat board or plastic circle Is a good alternative

Because this button is made using a simple wrapping technique and no weaving, a variety of threads can be used. Thick or thin, sofi or stiff all work well. Using this same technique, buttons can also be made with six or eight anchor points.

For sample in ton ai Ujt. you'll need:

  • i-in. knife edge wood disk mold
  • 40/2 linen thread
  • 24 tapestry needle.

Begin with ;in X-wrap (sec drawing on p 17). wrapping four threads in each direction I sing the arms of the X-wrap earner anchor*, begin wrapping, following path shown in the drawing below W rap toward the center until the mold is earned with thread The diagonal lines will form automatically as wrapping proceeds. Each round holds che previous round in place, and each previous round anchors the current round. l:nd on the back and cut the thread, leaving it about 6 in. long. Thread the needle, take one stitch up through ihc hole in the center of the mold, over ihc last four wraps and down to the back "lie off. With the tip



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L«ek buttons: clockw-ve from upper krft: star leek, death's head, checkerboard teck-

of your needle, straighten and neAtcn the threads an the from » that cach is positioned in the order it was wrapped None ol tlie shanks work well on this button, so |u*t stitch through the back of the button to ai tach 11 to your garment.

Tip: II the thread slips oil the mold on the hack a\ you near the center, break off enough thread to complete the button, thread the needle, and pass the thread under previous wraps to prevent thr current wrap Irom slipping off.

To make a matched set ol buttons, count the rounds of wrapping on the first button and use the same number on subsequent buttons If you're ntH careful, and one button is even one or two rounds fuller than amitbef. the eye will pevtielvr thai button as larger

Scar leek


Once you have masteted the death s head, you can use a needle to weave a paurrn on the lace ol the button as wrapping proceeds Many different patsetns are possible, the star described here is just one example.

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  • in. knife-edge wood disk mold
  • o Kanagawa silk ( 1000 demer)
  • 24 tapestry needle

Begin with an X-wrap of three threads each direction { see drawing on p 17) Wrap this button the same way as the death s head The difference In wrap ping technique begins on the third round (drawing above) in this round when laving down the thread (mm position* I to 2 and 3 to 4. weave it under the last thread laid down from positions 5 to o and 7 to 8, and vice versa. On all subsequent nmnds, wra\e the thread under last iwo threads i ollow the direction for the death's head to Itntsh

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Star Shirtwaist Button

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Checkerboard leek

Although )ou'd never gurss it this button uso lhr »me 'wrapping technique .is thr death % head

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  • m knife-edge wood disk mold
  • 16 kanagawa silk 11000 dcnici
  • i uipcnm needle

Begin with an Ywrap of (our thtrads in each ill rcctioti. Cut about 0 it of thread, and thread the end onto the tapestry needle Work the same as lot the death -v head, hut wrap su threads At each position: wrap from I to 2 six times then from \ to -4 six times, and <«o on iset drawing at right) When wrapping from portions 5 to o and 7 loB the second time, you must use a needle to weave over and under i he previous round. To weave the pattern, go under thr first si* wrap* at positions I to 2 and \ to •• and over the second set ol six wraps at these tame positions, as shown in ihr drawing I or the third and laM round, work one set of M* wraps fhnn positions I to 2 going under the first set of wraps at positions 3 to 0 and 7 to 8 and over the next set. Compline the pan em with a *ct ol six wraps going from positions 1 to 6 and twrking over, under, over, under, over ihe sets of wraps going from position* I to 1 fir oil on hack II the first set ol

wraps ai 5 to O anil 7 lo 6 lends in pop off ol the an o chorv loop thr tliread around the set on the hatk of CJ the button, and pull toward the ienter hack ol ihe mold to hold ihe set in pLacc

Round *

Round 2

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  • reba
    How to macclesfield buttons?
    9 years ago
  • linda
    How to make leek buttons?
    8 years ago
  • melinda
    How to make shirtwaist button?
    7 years ago
  • thomas
    How was the silk wound on molds no bigger than 5 mm on macclesfield silk buttons?
    4 years ago
  • einojuhani myllys
    How to make lace shirtwaist buttons?
    4 years ago

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