It is hard to imagine relatively ‘modern’ times without buttons for the uses known to them today. Yet it was not until 13th century Germany when buttons featuring that most important counterpart, buttonholes, were used to keep clothing closed and they also started to be used for fastening shoes, tunics, surcoats, hoods, etc. This article focuses on the ‘button-fastener-era’ so-to-speak that followed the 13th century invention of the buttonhole. In the 18th century luxury fabric buttons were largely replaced by metals and ivory. Pewter, a common metal of this time, was used to make either molded or stamped-out buttons. Cast brass buttons, were popular on both military and civilian dress.
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