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Ways to sew on buttons

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by demeis, Feb 18, 2005.

  1. demeis

    demeis Senior member

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    I was wondering how to tell hand sewn buttons vs. machine sewn. I know that most cross stiched are machine, and that crows foot are hand stitched. I have a barbera shirt that has the parrel sewing with one horizontal strand which i'm guessing is hand sewn, but what about simply parrell buttons? Also is there any other ways to sew buttons on that are either hand sewn and machine sewn.

    regards
    Nik
     
  2. uriahheep

    uriahheep Senior member

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    There are no absolute rules on button attachment methods, e.g. "Parallel attachments are always done by hand, cross-stitched attachment is done by machine, crows-foot is done by hand," etc.
    Now there are machines capable of doing all three methods. Two-hole and even three-hole buttons can be attached by machine. Machines can easily do shanks.
    In general, though, a button was probably attached by hand if it is held in place by a small number of fairly tight stitches made using a thicker thread. A button was probably attached by machine if it is held in place by many loose stitches made using thin thread.

    [edit] an additional note: when buttons are attached using two rows of parallel stitches and a single horizintal stitch, you can be almost certain that it was done by machine. Machines, unlike humans, seem to be unable(to date.) of crossing over to sew the second row without carrying that a stitch across.
     
  3. Renault78law

    Renault78law Senior member

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    I agree with the above, there are no absolutes. I think the best way is to look at the regularity of the 'feet of the button' (sorry, I don't know the correct term). A machine made one will always be symmetrical and regular, whereas a hand sewn button won't be. Most machine sewn buttons don't sew a shank, whereas hand sewn do. And most machine sewn buttons won't be knotted at the underside (they're usually not knotted at all), whereas a hand sewn will.
     
  4. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    The lady who sews my buttons would beg to differ.
     
  5. uriahheep

    uriahheep Senior member

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    Better makers who attach buttons by hand leave the knot hidden under the button.
     
  6. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    Again, I respectfully beg to differ. A properly hand-sewn button has NO knot.
     
  7. T4phage

    T4phage Senior member

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    Better makers who attach buttons by hand leave the knot hidden under the button.
    Again, I respectfully beg to differ. A properly hand-sewn button has NO knot.
    I've seen some that were passed thru the shank or underneath the stitches and then trimmed.
     
  8. j

    j Senior member Admin

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    I finish mine through the shank. Just did about 10 last night, stole some nice MOPs off a Robert Talbott thrift store shirt and put them on a Polo Philip.

    But I do have a starting knot. I put it on the top of the fabric, under the button, so it is mostly covered. Is there a way around this?

    Also, what kind of thread should I be using? I was using regular Coats poly-cotton, doubled.
     
  9. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    Now you've got it.

    Cotton glacÃ[​IMG] #24.

    Just run the thread three times through the shirt in opposite directions. Trim the tail. Begin sewing your button continuing to sew through your original three stitches. Finish as you correctly described. Launder the shirt. The glacÃ[​IMG] shrinks a great deal. The shrinkage locks the threads into an unbreakable, cohesive whole.
     
  10. j

    j Senior member Admin

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    I figured that might be the answer. With the #24, does one double that, or is it thick enough as is? And how many times through, how many times around, etc?

    Just wondering, my method works, but may as well do it right.
     
  11. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    Yes - double. Four times through the button (two per each set of two holes). Shank wrap 5 times tight.. Three finishing lockstitches through the shank.
     
  12. j

    j Senior member Admin

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    Excellent, I am right on except the thread and starting stitch. Thanks.
     
  13. Renault78law

    Renault78law Senior member

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    Better makers who attach buttons by hand leave the knot hidden under the button.
    Again, I respectfully beg to differ. A properly hand-sewn button has NO knot.
    Thanks for the tips Alex. Just to clarify, are you saying that a starting knot (the knot you tie after threading the needle) is extraneous, or that there is actually some merit to '[running] the thread three times...and [trimming] the tail'? Does your opinion change if you're not using a thread that will shrink, eg polyester thread?
     
  14. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    Starting knot extraneous - leaves a bump- Ugh. Three pre-stitches - yes, have merit vs. a knot in that they are flat and smooth. None of the above will work with Ugh.yester thread. [​IMG]
     
  15. HitMan009

    HitMan009 Senior member

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    Love to see a demonstration of this.
     
  16. j

    j Senior member Admin

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    If a demonstration is performed, the background music must be "Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite" by the Beatles.

    Over men and horses, hoops and garters, lastly thru a hogshead of real fire. In this way, Mr. K will challenge the world.
     
  17. BjornH

    BjornH Senior member

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    This is so sad. I'm getting all excited over this thread and saving every page. I really should get a life.... B
     
  18. Renault78law

    Renault78law Senior member

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    LOL, ditto on all counts
     
  19. topcatny

    topcatny Senior member

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    I am mentally picturing how to sew these buttons on with every subsequent post.
     
  20. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    Trying to take still photos. Trying .... trying .... I want a Digital Video Camera... [​IMG]
     

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