Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Buttons and More Buttons

For now I am stuck on buttons. Really, can you blame me?  Recently at a flea market, I ran across some linen buttons used mostly on bedding in Germany.
The firm Adler-Knopf is a mystery except that it was founded in 1878 and held 27 German and 12 foreign patents, presumably for its buttons. The only reference to the company is part of a PhD thesis that talks about companies in Germany. Therefore dating this is difficult, but from some research looking at similar products it appears to be from the 1920s to early 1930s.

Newer buttons like these came next:
Dating these is difficult but wrapped in plastic I would guess them to be 1980s or 1990s. I bought these at the same time.

Now days the buttons looked like this in the store:

Notice that they have now gone from linen to plastic even though they are still called linen buttons. So it goes with progress. I did not buy these. I took pictures of them in a department store.

Other button things that have changed over time: Here is an example of an apron I found. Notice the beautiful lace that was zigzagged to the top of the apron...I mean look at the buttons. They are utility glass buttons.
Before WWII Germany furnished a considerable quantity of buttons of many types which were made of wood, bone, and glass. After the war glass buttons went out of either fashion or were no longer made. I have been able to find little information about firms that made glass buttons and what happened to them. 

Not surprising, I have been collection glass buttons:
They are about as common to find as the mother of pearl ones. The fancy glass ones are about as plentiful (or not) as the vintage carved mother of pearl buttons.

Now back to Dorset buttons. In Germany they have something called Trachen. Think Munich beer halls and lederhosen. The typical dress woman wear involve some sort to tunic style dress or skirt with a blouse. The blouses are usually ornate and distinctive.
I found this blouse at a second hand store:
Do you see the Dorset buttons??? Here is a close-up:
The blouse is constructed out of heavy/medium weight linen. The lace is hand crochet, the type in France that one would find on table linens. The Dorset buttons are used purely as decoration. The buttons for closing the blouse are hidden behind the lace. Funny that I have seen much of this type of garment in my many visits to Germany. This is the first time I have seen Dorset buttons. The top is my size and fits me nicely. I can see me taking in the puffed sleeves some, taking off the lace on the neck to make it simpler and adding interfacing to the hidden button area. It needs it. No time soon though as I won't have time before I leave Berlin. Too many other things to do! I do like the fit of the shirt so something will become of it.

Lastly here is the latest on one of my next crazy patch blocks:
It is a work in progress and the poor tree needs some more leaves.


  1. Love the blouse! It is wonderful with its dorset button

  2. how awesome to find buttons on the cards-I rarely find those

  3. I love buttons! Like you, mother-of-pearl are favorites; as a child, I rescued many from items that the family was discarding, and now reuse them, especially for family gifts. I also make dorset buttons to keep an uninterrupted look.

    Your tree is stunning- and inspiring, but my stitching is not anywhere as lovely as yours. Thank you for sharing.

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