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RE: 1812 "stayed" buttons: Brits too?

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  • Steve Abolt
    Chris, The hole is produced by using an awl. When I do this I carefully try to work between the threads, spreading them so as not to tear or compromise the
    Message 1 of 21 , Jul 10, 2008
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      Chris,

      The hole is produced by using an awl. When I do this I carefully try to work between the threads, spreading them so as not to tear or compromise the wool. Of, course most people are also going to tell you I put the hyphen in anal-retentive...among other things :-)) You can just punch straight through. There is no need to work eyelets if the buttons are not to be removed.

      On the several US officers summer linen and cotton tailcoats I have done, which are designed to be washed, I worked eyelets for all buttons. The buttons are secured by linen tape and rings. When it comes time for washing, the buttons are easily removed, and re-attached after laundering.

      S.

      Cottonbalers, By God!

      visit our website at www.cottonbalers.lynchburg.net

      --- On Thu, 7/10/08, Christopher Obee <chrisobee@...> wrote:

      Is the hole in the facing fabric worked like a button hole? I take it that
      the scrap fabric is attached to the back or the lining of the piece.

      The original specs call for the decorative buttons to be "stayed". This
      means plugging the button through the face fabric and securing with a piece
      of linen or scrap wool pushed through the shank.
    • James Yaworsky
      I have always found that I can work the button shank through the weave of the heavy wool fabric fairly easily without cutting it. As a general rule, I try to
      Message 2 of 21 , Jul 10, 2008
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        I have always found that I can work the button shank through the weave
        of the heavy wool fabric fairly easily without cutting it. As a
        general rule, I try to avoid cutting fabric or lace whenever possible.
        This is just common sense. Anyone who would call Steve
        "anal-retentive" for doing good work is a fool, to be pitied! I like
        (and will now use) Steve's awl idea, that will definitely facilitate
        the process...

        Jim Yaworsky

        --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, Steve Abolt <sacbg7@...> wrote:
        >
        > Chris,
        >
        > The hole is produced by using an awl. When I do this I carefully
        try to work between the threads, spreading them so as not to tear or
        compromise the wool. Of, course most people are also going to tell
        you I put the hyphen in anal-retentive...among other things :-)) You
        can just punch straight through. There is no need to work eyelets if
        the buttons are not to be removed.
        >
        > On the several US officers summer linen and cotton tailcoats I have
        done, which are designed to be washed, I worked eyelets for all
        buttons. The buttons are secured by linen tape and rings. When it
        comes time for washing, the buttons are easily removed, and
        re-attached after laundering.
        >
        > S.
        >
        > Cottonbalers, By God!
        >
        > visit our website at www.cottonbalers.lynchburg.net
        >
        > --- On Thu, 7/10/08, Christopher Obee <chrisobee@...> wrote:
        >
        > Is the hole in the facing fabric worked like a button hole? I take
        it that
        > the scrap fabric is attached to the back or the lining of the piece.
        >
        > The original specs call for the decorative buttons to be "stayed". This
        > means plugging the button through the face fabric and securing with
        a piece
        > of linen or scrap wool pushed through the shank.
        >
      • Christopher Obee
        Very interesting, I am about to begin construction of a US artillery coatee, my first. I m pretty sure that the coatee will only see seasonal dry cleaning so
        Message 3 of 21 , Jul 10, 2008
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          Very interesting, I am about to begin construction of a US artillery coatee,
          my first. I'm pretty sure that the coatee will only see seasonal dry
          cleaning so I'm thinking that the buttons should be permanently attached.



          _____

          From: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com [mailto:WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
          Of Steve Abolt
          Sent: Thursday, July 10, 2008 12:16 PM
          To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: RE: 1812 "stayed" buttons: Brits too?



          Chris,

          The hole is produced by using an awl. When I do this I carefully try to work
          between the threads, spreading them so as not to tear or compromise the
          wool. Of, course most people are also going to tell you I put the hyphen in
          anal-retentive...among other things :-)) You can just punch straight
          through. There is no need to work eyelets if the buttons are not to be
          removed.

          On the several US officers summer linen and cotton tailcoats I have done,
          which are designed to be washed, I worked eyelets for all buttons. The
          buttons are secured by linen tape and rings. When it comes time for washing,
          the buttons are easily removed, and re-attached after laundering.

          S.

          Cottonbalers, By God!

          visit our website at www.cottonbalers.lynchburg.net

          --- On Thu, 7/10/08, Christopher Obee <chrisobee@61cygni.
          <mailto:chrisobee%4061cygni.com> com> wrote:

          Is the hole in the facing fabric worked like a button hole? I take it that
          the scrap fabric is attached to the back or the lining of the piece.

          The original specs call for the decorative buttons to be "stayed". This
          means plugging the button through the face fabric and securing with a piece
          of linen or scrap wool pushed through the shank.



          No virus found in this incoming message.
          Checked by AVG - http://www.avg.com
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          7:37 AM




          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Kevin Windsor
          Yes. All of the surviving coats that I have here at the Museum (5) all have stayed buttons. Kevin
          Message 4 of 21 , Jul 10, 2008
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            Yes. All of the surviving coats that I have here at the Museum (5) all have
            stayed buttons.

            Kevin


            >From: "James Yaworsky" <yawors1@...>


            >
            >Actually, I don't give a hoot about what the French, Austrians,
            >Prussians, Russians, etc. were doing... but I'll feel very "validated"
            >if anyone can confirm that the Brits "stayed" decorative buttons... ;>)
            >
            >Jim Yaworsky
            >41st Tailor
            >
          • Kevin Windsor
            and once they fall out are a real bugger to get back in unless you open finished ends and re do it!! (I know I tried to do just put it back in and it didn t
            Message 5 of 21 , Jul 10, 2008
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              and once they fall out are a real bugger to get back in unless you open
              finished ends and re do it!!

              (I know I tried to do just put it back in and it didn't work!)

              KW


              >From: Steve Abolt <sacbg7@...>

              >
              >This staying process also accounts for the many button finds. Unless
              >securely stiched on the inside, something not really done on enlisted
              >garments, it is quite easy to snag them on chair backs, trees, brush, etc,
              >and lose the item.
              >
            • Steve Abolt
              Chris, If it is an enlisted coat they are permanently attached. S. Cottonbalers, By God! visit our website at www.cottonbalers.lynchburg.net ... Very
              Message 6 of 21 , Jul 10, 2008
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                Chris,
                If it is an enlisted coat they are permanently attached.

                S.
                Cottonbalers, By God!

                visit our website at www.cottonbalers.lynchburg.net

                --- On Thu, 7/10/08, Christopher Obee <chrisobee@...> wrote:


                Very interesting, I am about to begin construction of a US artillery coatee,
                my first. I'm pretty sure that the coatee will only see seasonal dry
                cleaning so I'm thinking that the buttons should be permanently attached.
              • Steve Abolt
                That s the truth!! Ask my ADC Scott McMahon about drawing the fun assignment of removing an old set from a finshed garment of several years and replacing with
                Message 7 of 21 , Jul 10, 2008
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                  That's the truth!! Ask my ADC Scott McMahon about drawing the fun assignment of removing an old set from a finshed garment of several years and replacing with a new set for one of our Sgts...and I thought I was creative with expletives.......

                  Cottonbalers, By God!

                  visit our website at www.cottonbalers.lynchburg.net

                  --- On Thu, 7/10/08, Kevin Windsor <kevin.windsor@...> wrote:

                  and once they fall out are a real bugger to get back in unless you open
                  finished ends and re do it!!

                  (I know I tried to do just put it back in and it didn't work!)

                  KW
                • James Yaworsky
                  ... [snip]I am about to begin construction of a US artillery coatee,[snip] I m pretty sure that the coatee will only see seasonal dry ... You plan on cleaning
                  Message 8 of 21 , Jul 10, 2008
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                    > --- On Thu, 7/10/08, Christopher Obee <chrisobee@...> wrote:
                    [snip]I am about to begin construction of a US artillery coatee,[snip]
                    I'm pretty sure that the coatee will only see seasonal dry
                    > cleaning [snip]

                    You plan on cleaning your coat once a year? Good news: I've got a few
                    red coats that I've had for 10+ years and never cleaned them yet. In
                    fact, I've *never* cleaned a coatee, although I'll admit I've cleaned
                    white barracks jackets.

                    The thing is, my coats don't look dirty, and they don't smell. I'm
                    sure of this, because I have a wife and two daughters in my house and
                    they'd sure let me know if any of the coats ever did. Even campfire
                    smoke smell dissipates nicely after a few days. Lace can be given a
                    nice touch-up with a toothbrush and a cleaner if you wish, though I
                    for one haven't bothered. A dark blue artillery coatee would show
                    dirt even less than a British red coat.

                    These wool coats are a bugger to wear in the hot weather, but there's
                    no denying that they are durable!

                    Jim Yaworsky
                  • James Yaworsky
                    Kevin, as Steve said, *unless securely stitched* on the inside, they can fall out... so... when making the coat, *securely stitch* them on the inside. To the
                    Message 9 of 21 , Jul 10, 2008
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                      Kevin, as Steve said, *unless securely stitched* on the inside, they
                      can fall out... so... when making the coat, *securely stitch* them on
                      the inside. To the best of my knowledge, no coat that I've done this
                      way has ever lost a "stayed" button. And 41st can be a rough-housing
                      kind of unit... ;>)

                      But seriously, the infantrymen coats that I think most of us are
                      making today are probably done far more carefully and securely than
                      the originals.

                      By "carefully", I mean tailored to specific individuals almost to the
                      standards of officers' coats, and by "securely", I mean definitely
                      some "overkill" on aspects of the construction. I know that on a coat
                      that I do the shank would rip out of the button before the button
                      would detach from the coat.

                      Jim Yaworsky

                      --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, "Kevin Windsor" <kevin.windsor@...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > and once they fall out are a real bugger to get back in unless you open
                      > finished ends and re do it!!
                      >
                      > (I know I tried to do just put it back in and it didn't work!)
                      >
                      > KW
                      >
                      >
                      > >From: Steve Abolt <sacbg7@...>
                      >
                      > >
                      > >This staying process also accounts for the many button finds. Unless
                      > >securely stiched on the inside, something not really done on enlisted
                      > >garments, it is quite easy to snag them on chair backs, trees,
                      brush, etc,
                      > >and lose the item.
                      > >
                      >
                    • Richard Feltoe
                      Jim, Some additional details regarding the staying of buttons. When I was at Glouster Mass. inspecting the original other-ranks 104th coat in their museum, I
                      Message 10 of 21 , Jul 11, 2008
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                        Jim,
                        Some additional details regarding the staying of buttons.
                        When I was at Glouster Mass. inspecting the original other-ranks 104th coat in their museum, I noted that while the buttons were all sewn on for the centre front closure, the insignia "104" ended up being sideways, which made no sense to me. So I took a closer look at all of the buttons and their attachment points and found that, as I suspected, that while the loop of the shank of the button was cast so that the shank was at the 9/3 oclock position when the button was held upright and the number was the right way up, all had been resewn on at some later date with the integral loop of the shank placed at the 12/6 orientation (the most common way of sewing shanked buttons), thus making the number appear sideways.

                        With this in mind I made a more rigorous study of the inside of the coat at the front and found distinct linear staining evidence on the inside fabric that indicated that the buttons had originally been held in place by a cord or thong (my guess would be of leather) passing down the line of the buttons. By this form of attachment,(i.e. with the shank pushed right through to the inside of the coat), the numbers appear right side up and the pull of the button is distributed along the thong and not into the material of the coat. I took a similar look at the cuffs, pockets and back pair and found a very faint staining of the same sort there. However, if this was the case, then here the number 104 would show sideways to the line of the lacing loop that they were attached to, which leads to the possibility that either they were thonged individually or stayed in place, possibly using a strip of leather, rather than cloth.

                        From my inspection of other coats, I have also seen several examples of fabric staying of non-tensioned buttons on officers coats with the fabric swatch being sewn into place on the inside of the material by a simple looping stitch.

                        I have also got, in my archive, a published tailor's instruction manual for our period and a copy of an actual tailors order book for military uniforms that has a wealth of hand-written annotations and drawings. I will study these to see if anything else comes up and let you know.
                        Regards
                        Richard Feltoe

                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Ted and Dianna
                        Steve. Thanks for the button info. I do a lot of hand sewing and I know about the technique of fixing the buttons with a piece of wool. although I ve not done
                        Message 11 of 21 , Jul 11, 2008
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                          Steve. Thanks for the button info. I do a lot of hand sewing and I know about the technique of fixing the buttons with a piece of wool. although I've not done it. Do you think decorative buttons on civilian clothing or other buttons were done that way? Why? Do they hold very well? Thanks again Ted Mueller 1st. reg

                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • James Yaworsky
                          ... [snip] ... coat at the front and found distinct linear staining evidence on the inside fabric that indicated that the buttons had originally been held in
                          Message 12 of 21 , Jul 11, 2008
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                            --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, "Richard Feltoe" <feltoe@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Jim,
                            > Some additional details regarding the staying of buttons.
                            [snip]
                            >
                            > With this in mind I made a more rigorous study of the inside of the
                            coat at the front and found distinct linear staining evidence on the
                            inside fabric that indicated that the buttons had originally been held
                            in place by a cord or thong (my guess would be of leather) passing
                            down the line of the buttons. [snip]

                            JIM: yes, as I recall Norm Drouillard experimented with doing this way
                            back when, and concluded that for "our" purposes, it wasn't really
                            worth the effort. The thought was that the thong would allow for easy
                            removal of the buttons for the occasional cleaning. The fear was that
                            the thong would snag on something or otherwise snap, and then,
                            "bye-bye buttons..." So we went back to just sewing them on securely,
                            and using a piece of cardboard or metal with a slit that could be slid
                            between the button and the coat to facilitate cleaning.

                            Robert Henderson told me that the sewing on the 104th coats was
                            extremely light, because they were of course still in the process of
                            being forwarded to the Regiment when the store ship they were on was
                            captured by an American privateer. They were basically just "tacked"
                            together, pending final fitting and (presumably) solid final sewing by
                            the regimental tailors. Henderson said that if we sewed our coats to
                            the same standard as the 104th ones, they'd literally fall apart the
                            first time we took the field... So although the "leather thong" or
                            "cord" was used on these particular coats, is it possible that this
                            was just a "transportation" measure?

                            > I have also got, in my archive, a published tailor's instruction
                            manual for our period and a copy of an actual tailors order book for
                            military uniforms that has a wealth of hand-written annotations and
                            drawings. I will study these to see if anything else comes up and let
                            you know.
                            > Regards
                            > Richard Feltoe
                            >
                            JIM: I'm sure many list members would appreciate hearing what you are
                            able to discover!
                          • Ted and Dianna
                            I have another question about the button subject. How long is the wool piece that is passed through the button eye? is it slightly tapered? Thanks again! Ted
                            Message 13 of 21 , Jul 11, 2008
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                              I have another question about the button subject. How long is the wool piece that is passed through the button eye? is it slightly tapered? Thanks again! Ted Muller 1st reg

                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Steve Abolt
                              Ted, I have seen civilian garments with both stayed and sewn buttons. S. Cottonbalers, By God! visit our website at www.cottonbalers.lynchburg.net ... From:
                              Message 14 of 21 , Jul 14, 2008
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                                Ted,

                                I have seen civilian garments with both stayed and sewn buttons.

                                S.

                                Cottonbalers, By God!

                                visit our website at www.cottonbalers.lynchburg.net

                                --- On Fri, 7/11/08, Ted and Dianna <tdm02@...> wrote:

                                From: Ted and Dianna <tdm02@...>
                                Subject: 1812 Re: US buttons
                                To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
                                Date: Friday, July 11, 2008, 8:27 AM






                                Steve. Thanks for the button info. I do a lot of hand sewing and I know about the technique of fixing the buttons with a piece of wool. although I've not done it. Do you think decorative buttons on civilian clothing or other buttons were done that way? Why? Do they hold very well? Thanks again Ted Mueller 1st. reg

                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • Steve Abolt
                                Ted, The original specs called for linen when staying buttons. I use scraps of wool left over from cutting as it is more dependable. When I sell kits for
                                Message 15 of 21 , Jul 14, 2008
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                                  Ted,

                                  The original specs called for linen when staying buttons.

                                  I use scraps of wool left over from cutting as it is more dependable. When I sell kits for uniform garments I include scraps of the body fabric for this purpose

                                  There is no set size. I merely cut a small tapering wedge, not too wide, otehrwise you will not be able to pull through the shank.

                                  This is then pulled through the shank and trimmed down. In order to avoid bulk you can place a slit one either side of the center point allowing the plug to lay flat around the shank.

                                  S.


                                  Cottonbalers, By God!

                                  visit our website at www.cottonbalers.lynchburg.net

                                  --- On Fri, 7/11/08, Ted and Dianna <tdm02@...> wrote:

                                  From: Ted and Dianna <tdm02@...>
                                  Subject: 1812 Re: US buttons
                                  To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
                                  Date: Friday, July 11, 2008, 7:54 PM






                                  I have another question about the button subject. How long is the wool piece that is passed through the button eye? is it slightly tapered? Thanks again! Ted Muller 1st reg

                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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