Yorkshire Buttons

This is going to be short!  I have been searching for information on Yorkshire buttons and they are proving elusive.  There is a type of button which goes by the name of ‘Yorkshire button’ and I have found references to them here and there, but I can find no historical proof that they were linked exclusively to Yorkshire.  I have a sneaking suspicion they might be a relatively recent invention but I remain unsure.

Anyway, for now all I can say is that they are a type of hand stitched button.  Made by creating a circular woven wheel, traditionally from woollen yarn and stuffing it to form a sphere.  You can find more detailed instructions on how to make them here, as for no particular reason the Yorkshire Button is the subject of my very first tutorial found on my How to….page.  So, even if its own history is a bit hazy, it now has a place in the history of Potter Wright and Webb!

If, by any chance, you can shed light on the history of this humble button then please let me know.

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5 Responses to Yorkshire Buttons

  1. jean thornton says:

    Very well laid out instructions. I have been making yorkshire buttons for a number of years without any historical background. However i wind my thread on the disc, then measure the 2.5metres and then cut the thread. At the end of making the spiral i remove 3 loops and catch each one with the thread & needle – add a little stuffing shaping the button- continuing like this all round, it gives a better shape with more control. Also if you wish to make a larger button it is adviseable to increase the notches by 4. E.g. 16, 20,24.

    • Rachel Reynolds says:

      Thanks very much. Thats a good tip about removing three loops and adding a little stuffing as I found that when you take all the loops off at the same time it does all go a bit loose and saggy until you can get all the loops gathered up.

  2. Catherine says:

    Your two button tutorials are so clear – I love them! I’ve been making buttons which look similar to your Yorkshire buttons, but using a completely different technique (needle weaving over a bead or piece of stuffed scrap fabric). I’m very interested to try out this new method (to me!). Thanks very much for posting it.

    • Rachel Reynolds says:

      Thank you so much! I am interested to hear about your technique which I haven’t come across before. So many ways to make a button!

  3. Krissy Wallace says:

    I have searched and searched for the origin of this button! When I run workshops I like to be able to tell the students the history/origins ….
    I now have invented my own version of the History !!!!! Living Yorkshire I know the nature of the people fairly well I tell them that being a yorkshire women they saw the dorset button and the cost to buy so they asked their husbands to to fashion a disk and then wound it it with wool from their sheep!!!!!!

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