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Leather Buttons – An Exquisite and Stylish Design Element

Have you ever wondered about the features and types of leather buttons, and how to enjoy using them? Well, we have! And it has left us with some fascinating details about leather buttons.

Leather buttons are clothes clasps made of pig, sheep or cowhide leather. They are known to improve the aesthetics of fine clothing. Leather buttons come in a variety of sizes, colors and designs. You can find them online or make them yourself by invigorating your artistic talent.

Let’s take a closer look at the best leather buttons, their different types and the online stores where you can buy them. 

What are Leather Buttons?

Genuine leather buttons are made from the pure hides of animals, giving them a rich leather texture. They are used to decorate costumes, leather garments, and furniture upholstery. Leather buttons have been popular since early Roman times. However, it was not until the Byzantine period that they began to be used to fasten sleeves. And the functional utility of leather buttons was discovered by the Germans in the late 13th century. Since then, leather buttons have become a part of high fashion in the field of clothing.

Commercial manufacturing of leather buttons is carried out using state-of-the-art machines. Whereas, the traditional way of wrapping leather buttons is also practiced in some parts of the world. In many cultures, it is considered an art form. These methods have been practiced and passed down from generation to generation. However, the traditional method of wrapping leather buttons is considered inconvenient because of the time and expense involved.

Leather buttons come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. In general, leather buttons are divided into those with visible holes and those with hidden holes. A visible hole button carries pinholes that are sewn into the garment. Buttons with hidden holes, on the other hand, have an indented bulge in the back through which a thread is sewn to attach them to the garment.

Leather buttons with visible holes are prepared by wrapping a piece of leather around itself and stitching its edges. This could take the shape of a knot, a toggle or a plain button. While thinned leather is gloved around snaps and then pressed into the studs to make hidden hole leather buttons. 

Bowl Full of Leather Buttons - Leather Buttons - Liberty Leather Goods
Bowl Full of Leather Buttons

What to Look for In Leather Buttons:

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Leather buttons come in a variety of sizes, can be of varying colors, and take numerous shapes. Therefore, you should always look for three things in buttons: size, color and design.

Size 

The size of the leather button is determined by the size of the latch that the leather and stank surround. The larger the latch, the larger the button. You can find it in a variety of sizes ranging between 0.5″ to 1.125″.

Color 

Natural leather comes in only a limited number of shades: russet and brown. However, thanks to modern pigmentation processes, leather manufacturers can now produce it in any color. For example, leather buttons can be purchased in shades ranging from charcoal black to grey-brown to hazelnut. They can also be dyed in beige, navy blue or red. Whereas, leatherette (synthetic leather) comes in a wide range of shades. In fact, modern swirl leather comes in rainbow colors.

Design 

The element of design plays a crucial role in elevating the aesthetic appeal of leather buttons. These are broadly bifurcated into; with stank and without stank. The stank-less leather buttons can be tied into knots or rolled into toggles. While those involving a metallic stank are either braided or plain pasted. 

Types of Leather Buttons

You might be wondering what different types of leather buttons are? Well, we have you covered there too. There are ‘shank-based’ leather covered buttons, leather upholstery buttons for furniture decoration, vintage leather buttons, leather knot buttons – brown or otherwise and artistically handmade leather buttons.

Leather Covered Buttons 

Leather-covered buttons are made by pasting natural, or faux, leather on a metal shank and pressing a stud into it. Simple pressed leather covered buttons include patent leather, suede leather and swirl leather. They can have a plain or braided texture, depending upon the requirements of their application.

Leather-covered buttons are used in a variety of places. They can be used on clothing such as leather jackets, leather coats, suits and retro attires. They can also be used to decorate leather shoes, belts, and ladies’ handbags. Nowadays, they are also used to make key covers and for ornamentation of dog collars.

Leather Upholstery Buttons 

Leather upholstery buttons are different from ordinary leather buttons in design and application. Leather upholstery buttons have clinch prongs in their rear studs allowing them to be embedded into the furniture items for decoration purposes.

Vintage leather buttons

Vintage leather buttons are reminiscent of the vintage culture of Europe and America. These buttons differ not only in style but also in the way they are made from modern leather buttons. It requires a complex, traditional process to make them.

Traditionally, vintage leather buttons were used only for clothing. But today they are also used to decorate furniture items. Most vintage buttons are made by cutting thin strips of pure cowhide and then braiding them into the shape of a net. This complex of braids is then pasted onto a metal stank and then fixed from the rear. Viola! And your vintage leather button is ready.

Leather Knot Buttons

Leather Knot buttons are made by tying thin stripes of leather into a knot. You can make knots in simple or complex shapes. Simple knots include a round button knot, a triangular button knot, and a square button knot. While complex knots include a chap knot, a gaucho knot, a Celtic knot, and a double-Celtic knot.

Black Leather Buttons - Leather Buttons - Liberty Leather Goods
Black Leather Buttons

Brown leather knot buttons

Brown leather is preferred to manufacture leather products, and leather knot buttons are no exception. Brown leather knot buttons are extensively developed and widely used. This is because natural leather is produced in russet color which is easily dyeable to darker hues of brown. Whereas, it requires complex tanning and pigmentation processes to dye leather into shades other than brown. Hence, brown leather knot buttons are frequently available in the market.

Handmade Leather Buttons

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Handmade leather buttons are different from those manufactured using modern technology. They are made to order in different sizes to suit your needs. However, you can make them yourself using simple tools and techniques. Their construction can vary depending on the requirements of the application. For example, strips of leather can be hand woven into knots or hand-rolled into toggles. Moreover, leather can be fixed into self-cover metallic buttons and then hand punched to create handmade leather buttons.

Handmade leather buttons come in a variety of shapes and designs. Due to the complexity of the method, handmade leather buttons have a unique sophistication and feeling of affluence that is seldom found in mechanically produced leather buttons. 

Leather Buttons DIY

It’s exciting considering the range of DIY things which you can do with leather buttons. Making leather button studs could be an interesting hobby which you could adopt. You can make leather covered buttons by covering studs under the leather. Or you can also have fun making leather upholstery buttons.

Leather Button Stud

Leather button stud is an integral part of leather button crafting. It consists of four parts: the cap, the snap, the flat disc post and the button. Making leather button studs requires metallurgical techniques. However, they are readily available on the market too. But if you have the necessary tools, you can start making them as a hobby.

How to make leather buttons

To make stank free, leather-only toggles, you need to cut narrow strips of leather first then punch two aligned holes in the middle of a strip and start folding it from one side. Afterwards, put the unfolded side of the strip around the folded end and pull it through the holes tightly. And that’s how you make leather toggle buttons. Similarly, you can make leather knot buttons by cutting pieces of leather into thin strips of equal width and tying them into different knot styles – Celtic, double-Celtic, chap or gaucho.

Now you might be wondering how to make leather covered buttons? Well, covering buttons with leather requires mechanical tools to produce a quality piece. You will need a cutter and a press. It is important that you determine the thickness of the leather, as it will determine the length of the studs. Cut leather in circles and wrap around the caps. Then insert the snaps into the back of the caps and place the disc posts along with the buttons in the back cavity. Now press the head of the machine. Your button will be covered with leather.

How to Make Leather Upholstery Buttons 

The process of making leather upholstery buttons is not much different from crafting a shank-based leather button. Precut the fabric and place it on the curvy side of the self-cover button. Now fold the extra leather inwards and place the back side of the button atop the folded fabric. Close the die and place it under the punch machine. Insert pressure and reopen the die. You will get a nicely done leather upholstery button.

Self-Cover Buttons for Leather

Just like leather button studs, self-cover buttons for leather are also a thing of art. Using self-cover buttons, you can create leather buttons whenever you want and wherever you want. They are composed of metal and plastic, and come in a variety of sizes. 

Leather Couch with Brown Leather Buttons - Leather Buttons - Liberty Leather Goods
Leather Couch with Brown Leather Buttons

Best Leather Buttons

You can find a plethora of leather button manufacturers in the US. Different manufacturers specialize in different types of leather buttons. Listed below are some of the top ranking leather button brands along with their specialty items. 

1.    Leather Toggles from Capital Buttons Co. 

Toggles have a vintage charm that no other type of leather button can beat. New York based Capital Buttons Co. is one of the finest suppliers of leather toggles in the US. The company’s leather toggles are considered to be one of finest out there and can be used on any kind of leather jacket or coat.

2.    Metal Covered Buttons from Eisen Inc. 

Eisen Inc. has a worldwide distribution of metal stampings, buckles, pins, rhinestone settings, studs etc. However, its metal covered buttons are the novelty item to look out for. The company is one of the leading distributors of metal covered buttons in the US. 

3.    U.S. Button’s Handmade Leather Buttons

Handmade leather buttons carry an artistic aura around themselves. They are easily distinguishable from those made using modern procedures. Putnam based U.S. Button excels in the manufacturing of top quality handmade leather buttons. The company has ensured a unique distinctiveness regarding its handmade leather buttons. 

Here is an insightful look into leather covered uholstery buttons and their application:

Where to Buy Leather Buttons  

Leather buttons are easily available in the market. In fact, you can also order them over the internet from different online platforms. Some of the online sources from where you can procure leather buttons for yourself are listed below.

Benno’s Buttons and Trimmings

Benno’s Buttons and Trimmings is one of the largest suppliers of leather buttons in the United States. The company has been catering to the leather button needs of designers for many years. Besides, it also offers a wide range of products, including ribbons and other accessories for casual, formal and bridal wear.

Etsy

As one of the leading e-commerce platforms in the United States, Etsy is home to an extensive variety of clothing accessories, jewelry items and party suppliers. However, the Brooklyn-based company specializes in providing quality leather buttons throughout the United States.

Mood Design Fabrics

The company claims to be one of the world’s leading suppliers of fashion fabrics. It deals in a wide range of accessories, including fashion fabrics, designer fabrics, trims, leathers, buttons and more. Here you can not only find a wide range of leather buttons, but you can also purchase quality leather and button fasteners to satisfy your cravings for DIY leather button making.

Amazon

Amazon is a one-stop-shop for all your needs. Here, you will find a wide variety of leather buttons at affordable prices. Since Amazon has a global presence, you can ship leather buttons to any corner of the globe.

Britex Fabrics

This California-based fabric store offers an endless selection of buttons. It sells buttons made of shells, wood, glass, animal horns, metal, corozo nuts and more. It also carries a variety of leather buttons, such as polished or stained jacket buttons, woven-top buttons and turban’s head knots.

Totally Buttons

The company, based in Slingford, England, sells more than 4,000 different types of buttons to customers around the world. The company sells a wide range of novelty, exotic and diamante buttons rarely seen elsewhere. The range of leather buttons includes classic buttons, toggles and modern swirl patterns. They can be used for knitting, sewing, tailoring or furniture upholstery.

M&J Trim

M&J Trimming specializes in buttons along with many other products. The company sells braided leather buttons, hook and loop leather buttons and leather anchor buttons for sewing and home décor. The range of leather buttons includes finished, rustic and streaked articles.

Buttons.com

In 2014, JHB International was acquired by Blumenthal Lansing Co. which led to the creation of revitalized Buttons.com. The company specializes in making leather buttons that complement any theme or design.

In Closing

Clothing buttons have a fascinating history of their own. Their use in political campaigns during the Gilded Age made them an integral part of our culture and history. To conclude, leather buttons are charming, beautiful, and add a delightful allure to whatever they are worn. 

Related Topics

How long do leather buttons last?

The lifetime of leather buttons is determined by the quality of leather used. Genuine leather easily undergoes wear and tear, whereas full grain leather can last a lifetime. 

Are leather buttons expensive?

The expensiveness of leather buttons is also determined by the quality of leather used. Faux leather is quite cheap, so its buttons are also inexpensive. Top grain or full grain leather are costlier than faux or genuine leather, so their buttons are expensive.

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