An Angle on Buttons

An Angle on Buttons

Choosing buttons for our fabrics is one of my favorite tasks at Sawyer Brook because it is both rewarding and challenging. Sometimes it’s quite easy, and sometimes it’s a bit difficult.  The best part is when we discover a pairing that looks like the buttons and fabric were made for each other.

That’s what happened a few months ago when the Atlantis fabric came into stock. We like to photograph buttons with our fabrics for the web site, to show you an option.  We also offer the service of matching buttons to fabric for our customers. And I’m the lucky person who gets to play with buttons in this way!

My first glance at this stunning brocade told me finding buttons might be very challenging because of the strong, angular graphic design of the weave. Most buttons are round, and the fabric is very angular.  The black Rainforest button is graphically strong, but in a very circular, round way.  Other than being bold, its shape does not speak to the elements in the fabric.

Black Rainforest

What I wanted was a button with linear elements that would echo the lines in the weave.  A rectangular or square button would have been great, but we don’t currently have one that matches color-wise.  In the back of my mind, though, was a green button I suspected might be a perfect color match – and it was.  Even better, the shape and design of the button echoed the design of the fabric. While it has rounded aspects, the strong, straight central band relates to the bands of color in the fabric.  The two were gorgeous together.  Midtown and Atlantis were a match made in heaven!

Mineral Green Midtown

To see the overall effect of a button style, we like to place several of them as they would appear on a garment.  Beautiful!

Midtown and Atlantis

But my challenge wasn’t over yet. Several customers have purchased the Midtown buttons with the fabric, and our supply is dwindling. The button is no longer manufactured, so there is no hope of obtaining more of them. Last week, a customer requested three 1-1/4″ buttons to match Atlantis. The large size of Midtown is close to that measurement, but we have only 1 remaining in stock.  We needed to find other options for this customer.

At first I threw my hands in the air in frustration, because I doubted I would find a satisfying match. I knew we didn’t have another large mineral green button, so it would have to be black.  I also knew we didn’t have an angular shaped black button style, so it would have to be round.  Then it dawned on me, a round button with linear or angular aspects in its detailing could work.  It might not be as stunning as the Midtown/Atlantis match, but it would still be good.  I found two possibilities.

Seine and Atlantis

Seine is a large natural shell button with laser-cut black lines – the linear aspect I was looking for.  The iridescence of the shell leans toward green, so it picked up the color in the fabric. The button offers some contrast because the shell is lighter in color, but it still relates well to the fabric.

Seine and Atlantis

Another option is a molded resin button, Shalott.

 The web-like linear design in the button led us to name it after the Lady of Shalott, a Tennyson poem with references to a weaver, a curse, and a web.

Shalott and Atlantis

Midtown is still my favorite button for this stylish, elegant fabric.  What if you were the customer? Which button would you choose?  One of these, or something totally different?  Leave a comment to let us know!

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