Sunday, 29 May 2011

For Dorset read Germany

Linen buttons from Germany similar to Dorset buttons.  Lower examples are the rare high top pattern.  The brass ring is all buttonhole stitched and then the spokes are added ,  sometimes to be completed with  stitches worked in ever wider circles from the centre, or is it the other way, from edge to centre?  My efforts with string and a curtain ring and darning needle not surprisingly,  were not at all successful!

Mini Dorset buttons on a yellow card (sign of third quality sold in home market)
Disregard the old address on the leaflet - I have moved nearer to Dorset!
   My Post on Dorset Buttony has to be updated - I know now that these lovely and decorative buttons made with a brass ring and needle and linen thread were also made in Germany and explains why I have often found them on the bedding, kelsches and pillow cases that I have bought in France and which I know were imported to feather factories  from German charity shops.   I now have some of these very special buttons which were once made by the thousand by home workers and very poor women, men and children, for a few pence  per card and were sold in haberdashery and drapers shops.    A skilled worker could make a gross in a day!  'High top' was the rarest and only recently has a man re-discovered the technique of making them.   The others were called knobs, birdseye, singleton, mite, crosswheel, cartwheel and honeycomb. One of the advantages over bone and m.o.p. buttons was that they would easily pass through the mangle after washing.  These 'Dorset' buttons were in great demand for costumes made for the Hardy film and that was when I first heard of them and found some at Shepton Mallet fairs.  I have tried to copy them but found my fingers far too big, the needle far too small and the thread far too thick to do a good job - I have a good W.I. leaflet on how to do it if anyone would like a copy. Email me.

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