The humble Button which is taken so much for granted has an amazing history. Buttons tell the story of the evolution of fashion over the years.
The earliest known button (over 5000yrs ago) was originally used more as an ornament than as a fastening. In ancient Rome buttons were used decoratively to close flowing garments along with brooches, buckles, and straight pins.
In medieval time having a collection of buttons meant big money. Debts could be paid by removing a precious button from a suit. Pity we cannot do that now!
The Button became more prominent among the wealthy in the Middle Ages. Fashion became more close fitting and buttons helped to keep the snug fit and accentuate curves. Buttons came in all shapes and sizes, but most often they were mounted on a shank. Unlike modern buttons with holes in the centre, the shank style left the button totally exposed.
The Button with its self-contained roundness and infinite variability has a quiet perfection to it. Running a cascade of buttons through your fingers can feel so relaxing with their clicking whoosh and array of colours. Children learn to button and unbutton early in life and continue to do so for ever after.
Enjoy browsing through the wool shops' buttons......... can you imagine how life would be without our humble Buttons!