14 August 2022
Dorset buttons are handmade using needle and thread. They come in a variety of styles and we’ll explore some of these on the day before setting to work and making some samples of our own. As well as making beautiful buttons for clothing, your finished items can be used in jewellery making (such as the hairclip and the bracelet in the photo).
Dorset buttons have been hand made since the early 17th century. The cottage industry made an important contribution to the rural economy until it declined with industrialisation in the mid 19th century. The buttons were used for clothing and examples have been seen on garments worn by Queen Victoria and reputedly King Charles 1. Top quality buttons were sold in London and exported.
We will be sewing the buttons on brass curtain rings using embroidery silks. There will be lots of materials available, but please bring along any favourite silks, sewing needles and other mobile sewing kit you have. Also, it’s quite fine work, so if you have a magnifying glass that you like to use when you stitch, please do bring it.
You don’t need to be an expert stitcher to make beautiful Dorset Buttons, so don’t be put off if you’re not a sewer.