Buttons! Buttons! Buttons!

Today a group of us met to learn the art of making Dorset buttons – with varying degrees of success, I should add!

If you’ve not heard of Dorset buttons, they’re  hand-made buttons which were popular from the early 17th century until they were rendered obsolete by machine-made buttons in the mid-19th century.

To make a button, you begin with a metal ring and some embroidery silk.


From there, it gets a bit complicated as you cover the ring and then create spokes of silk to make a button in the cartwheel pattern.


After a great deal of intense concentration …


Our end results weren’t too bad!


After a lunch break and a lot of laughing, we turned our attention to traditional fabric buttons in the afternoon. Embellished with embroidery and beads, they were really lovely.


A big thank you to Lis who organised today’s workshop, to Gail who hosted and acted as tutor and to Charlotte and Sue Martin who were invaluable in helping us untangle our threads!


See more photos of the button workshop here.