Yes, my friends…you may not have realized it, but this is National Button Week. “Why does it matter?” you ask.
Just think about it . . . a world without buttons.
How do you keep that winter coat of yours closed? And your favoite blouse? What happens to your nice, warm cardigan when the breeze catches it and you can’t keep it closed?
And your purse? You know, that gorgeous handmade one you bought at the craft fair last summer, the one with the giant button closure?
Buttons are more than just a way to keep clothing secured. They are tiny pieces of art and they have a unique and interesting history. According to historians, the earliest buttons weren’t used as much for fastening as they were for ornamentation. The first funtional buttons with buttonholes to put them in appeared in Germany in the 13th century.
The modern hobby of button collecting began in 1938 when a woman named Gertrude Patterson talked about her button collection on a radio program. It created such a sensation that women who had more time than money began saving buttons. Today, button collecting has become one of the top three hobbies in the world, right behind stamp and coin collecting.Not convinced that buttons are worth noticing? Take a look at some of the vintage button sites online. You'll be astounded!
Over the years buttons have been made of everything from gold to ivory to plastic and rubber. Back in the late 1800s, it was fashionable for young women to wear buttons with their boyfriend’s picture on them.
So next time you come across a button, give it a second glance. You could be looking at a little piece of history.
This September, I’ll be premiering a new series called The Button Box Mysteries that I’ll be writing under the name of Kylie Logan. The books will give me the opportunity to murder more people. Oh, and to indulge my passion for buttons, too.