Saturday, 28 July 2007


I was investigating how to make turk's head buttons, when I ran across this nice site that describes how to make some buttons in other techniques.
Here's my ribbed button (sorry the photos are so dark):

It's pretty simple to make, just time consuming. Take a bead, and some embroidery or perle coton threaded in a blunt tapestry needle. The hole needs to be moderately big, but I found the holes on these beads a little too big (about 3mm in a 9mm bead) making it harder for me to fill up the gap at the end. Tie a knot around the bead. Move the knot to the end of the bead, and then wrap around the bead 5 or so more times, from hole to hole. These are your ribs.Don't pull them too tight or too loose, or it will get difficult later.
Now work perpendicular to these ribs, slipping the needle under a rib, then pass the thread over the rib, and back under the rib lower down the rib. Pull this tight, and poke it as high up on the bead as possible. Do the same on the next rib, and so on until the bead is covered. You can save a step by passing under two ribs at a ime once you gt the hang of things. Make a few stitches freehand at the end to neaten up the end. If you have a large hole like me, you'll need more, with a smaller hole a simple knot (eg french knot) might suffice.

I found a different way to make the even weave button. Here's my finished product:

This version is woven. It sits tighter and neater than the other version (assuming both use a solid core). I don't think this is any harder to make than the ribbed button, and is slightly quicker too. I prefer the elegance of the single colour version, but the multi colour version displays where the threads go better for instruction purposes, and could be cute for some uses.
Start by making a lot of ribs around the bead, the same as the ribbed button, but many more ribs. I prefer enough ribs that the bead is mostly covered, without overlapping. Make sure you have a number of ribs that is a multiple of 3 for your first bead.
Now point your needle perpendicular (tangential) to the ribs and pass it under 3 adjacent ribs. Pass over the top of the next 3 ribs, under the next 3 and so on. When you return to the start, repeat this pattern over and under the same ribs for 3 more turns. Then the following turn, pass the thread under 6 ribs, before resuming this pattern of 3 over, 3 under. After 3 more circuits of the bead, pass the thread under 6 ribs again, and your stitches should be the same as in the first row. Continue until the bottom of the bead, then finish the end with a few stitches if needed.

This bead is worked as a 3 by 3 weave, I think this is a nice looking balance for the thread and bead size. It could be worked in other weaves eg 1 by 1, 2 by 2 , 5 by 5, 3 by 2, etc. Anyway, for the 3 by 3 weave, to look nicest you need a multiple of 3 ribs. Counting might work, but I find it easiest to begin weaving the first row and then if needed add an extra rib or two (using the other end of the string which I've left deliberately long) just before I finish my first lap of the bead, when it's easy to count how many ribs I have. Annother option is to simply have a group of 2 or 4 ribs that sits slightly unsymetrical, but barely noticeable.

1 comment:

Jac said...

Those buttons look so good!

*adds yet another thing to her 'list of things to learn how to do'*