Vintage Buttons

I just returned from a visit to San Antonio.  My sister had emergency surgery (she is doing  well) while in the midst of getting ready to put the house on the market and move.  I went down to be the bossy big sister and help out.  One reward, other than time with my sister and my 11-year old nephew, was a box of vintage buttons and sewing needles that belonged to my B-in-L’s grandmother.  Here are just a few. Aren’t they wonderful?

I especially liked these tiny Czech glass buttons:

The needles are mostly unopened as far as I can tell.  The packaging is a bit faded, I think it was originally purple.

There was an article in Piecework a few years back on the needle making industry in Redditch, England, where these needles were made.  The message inside the needles makes it quite clear, however, that these needles are the real thing, and not ‘ineffable trash.’  I looked up ineffable to make certain it  meant what I thought it did.  “Too great or extreme to be expressed or described in words.”  Such wonderful reading matter, no wonder the manufacturers of the “worthless, rotten, brass-headed needles” copied it.

I must steer anyone with an interest in Textiles over to Yarnlot‘s blog.  She has some recent posts about an Estonian Knitted Toy exhibit she visited as well as a show in the Netherlands called “Unravel.”  Fantastic photos and textiles.

The baby hawks are squeaking louder every day.  It won’t be long before we see them pop their dopey tweetie bird heads out of the nest.


16 responses to “Vintage Buttons

  1. Glad your sister is doing well! And those needles and buttons are really cool – lucky you. 🙂

  2. Ineffably lovely buttons and needles! I’m glad your sister is doing well, too.

  3. Gakd to know your sister is on the mend. It’s got to be fun to be the bossy big sister. Love the buttons and the needle story.

  4. Thanks for steering us to those other blog entries.

  5. What treasure ! I love finding old buttons and such.
    Glad to hear your sister’s on the mend.

  6. I second your recco of Yarnlot, which I’ve been appreciating for about a year now. Amazing stuff.

    How nice to be rewarded with buttons.

  7. The link to the Piecework article doesn’t work: it has an extra bit at the beginning. But I got to it in the end.
    What a lot of interesting things. I remember watching a television programme some years ago about the collapse of the English needle-making industry: lots of very skilled and proud people facing joblessness, partly because somebody thought it would be a good idea to stop teaching schoolgirls how to sew.
    I have drooled all over the keyboard while reading that Yarnlot blog – and it’s trilingual too! (Hangs head.)
    May your sister continue to flourish.

  8. Lovely stuff! I never need them, but I find buttons fascinating.

    I hope your sister continues to recover well.

  9. How lucky you are. Those buttons are so pretty, I guess you have not the heart to take them out of their cardboard.

  10. travellersyarn

    The buttons are fantastic. I love buttons, and have been thinking about sewing and knitting projects that use one or two special vintage ones. You are so lucky to have some complete sets. I love the green ones (it appears to be a perfect colour) and the red stars are very pretty.

  11. I’m glad your sister is okay – but lucky you for getting to go to San Antonio! (I miss it a lot!) The buttons are great! I love the Czech ones. Most people don’t know that there was a large Czech (and Polish) population in central Texas – the kolaches you see on most bakery menus are there to remind us, though!

  12. Man, they just don’t write packaging copy like that anymore, do they?

    I’m glad your sister is doing all right – that’s good news 🙂

  13. Glad to hear your sister is doing well. Those buttons are really nice but that label is fabulous. I wonder if they could print that nowadays? Even if it was completely true.

  14. Those buttons are wonderful, I have a crush on vintage buttons too. One of my knitting friends brought back from a trip to London some vintage inlaid mother of pearl buttons and I plan to knit a twinset starting from those buttons!
    And the lovely compliments on my blog are very encouraging, thank you so much…

  15. The Sharps needle packets are black and gold. Just ran across your article this year in searching for pricing on vintage needles. My grandmother collected buttons for 50 or 60 years. Her collection was HUGE! My Dad sold most of them before he passed away, but left the antique dishes etc. for me to take care of.

  16. Excellent article. I absolutely appreciate this site. Continue the good

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