Something tells me I will be stringing buttons latter today as I have the urge to play with them. I am following two threads of thought here. First I am still poking around sites that relate to buttons and button collecting. The second I have started to collate together those narratives general and personal that are associated with textiles.
I found this article on Victorian Charm Strings by Cynthia Burgess. I had heard about these but have done little research on them. Apparently the idea was to collect 1,000 different buttons and string them together the last being added by the woman’s future husband. This story has various versions. As I said it is one of those textile tales that I have heard before but do not know too much about the tradition. At the time button trades and swaps were set up. This aspect is I think one of the things that attract me to the story as women have always swapped sewing materials and scraps and recycled them to make new items from old.
People are still making things from buttons today. I am not shopping but I found these button bracelets, and then there are these too. Hence the urge to string some buttons! Although, I am not a bracelet person as I catch them on things but I do occasionally wear a string of beads around my neck so my thinking is why not buttons. Also the other thing provoking the urge to dig around in a button box is Valerie at work has been making some great button necklaces. I am wondering if I can do something interesting with all those plastic shirt buttons that clutter up my workroom. Using them would be a challenge. I don’t think I could bear stringing vintage buttons around my neck they are too special and I might damage them with wear.
Of course buttons can always be used to decorate garments and accessories but the Pearly Kings and Queens of London took it to extreme and now they part of the cultural tradition of London.
Mmmm another textile story Wanders off scratching head, thinks to self for a bit of fun what about covering a hat in buttons…