We tend to take buttons rather for granted these days. They are the ubiquitous fastener in all our wardrobes. We do them up in the morning without much thought. But in fact the humble button has been essential to the Western World for centuries. It made possible tailoring and fashion as we know them today. Without the button we would be quite undone.
We use buttons on shirts, jackets, skirts, dresses, suits, overcoats and a host of other clothing. These days they are so cheap that many people give them little regard. When you buy a shirt, blouse or jacket it comes with buttons already on it. When the garment wears out most people chuck out the buttons along with the item of clothing. Only a few of us bother to keep the buttons - mostly on the grounds that they "might come in handy one day". They rarely do, of course, because the next garment we buy also has buttons.
The modern wardrobe would be lost without buttons. It can come as a bit of a shock, therefore, to learn that humans had been coping without buttons perfectly well until fairly recently. Indeed, buttons are a surprisingly modern invention.
Not so very long ago nobody used buttons to do up their clothes. And when buttons did first come in they were not treated as lightly as they are today. Time was when buttons sent out important social messages about status, occupation and wealth.
The button has a long and distinguished history. But to understand just how crucial the button is, we need to start back before it had been invented.
Title: The History of Buttons
Author: Rupert Matthews
Format: 196 x 132 mm landscape
Extent: 58pp (10pp colour)
How to Order:
Send a cheque made payable to "Rupert Matthews" for £5 per book, plus £2.90 postage and packing for up to 7 books, to:
8 Fir Tree Close
The books "The History of Christmas Food" and "Winter God: The Authorised Biography of Father Christmas" are also available at £5 each.