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"stayed" buttons

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  • 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 1 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 2 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.



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      • Kevin Windsor
        Yes. All of the surviving coats that I have here at the Museum (5) all have stayed buttons. Kevin
        Message 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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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