Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Elizabethan buttons

Back from my little holiday - which I thoroughly enjoyed, especially doing some fabric shopping with my mother! (You can never have enough fabric I say..)

Just before my break, I completed some silk buttons based on those found in Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion, from circa 1596, for a costumier. Although the originals have a white foundation thread, which shows at the top (making a little star shape), we decided to go with a black foundation thread so that the whole button was black.

Getting wooden forms today of the right shape and size is really quite difficult. Luckily, in the same book, Ms. Arnold shows a very similar button with a core of fabric, so I decided to make the forms using the same method as for Dorset High Top buttons. This worked really well, but I am still trying to convince my hubby that ultimately he needs to get a small lathe and turn me all of the button and tassel molds I will ever need! (Of course, then we have to decide where that goes...)

The silk itself needed to be twisted up to get the correct weight - cord twisting really is something I'd recommend anyone working with silk and doing historical work to gt well practiced with. Silk of the correct weight historically is very hard to get, it it so much easier to simply twist up what you need.

So, on to my next project, a lovely medieval gold-brocaded band, which is warped up and ready to go.


  1. can't wait to see the band :)

  2. Just saw these buttons in the flesh at harman Hays;0 i'm making the elizabethan corset for the gown they are going to adorn.... absolutely gorgeous!

  3. Thank you! Isn't it a small world


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