Monday, 18 September 2017

Upholstery Buttons 101: What are They and How Can You Use Them?

Whether you’re just starting to learn about the world of DIY upholstery, or you’re looking to fine tune your skills, working with upholstery buttoning will prove beneficial, both in terms of practical skills and knowledge. Plus, upholstery buttoning will add the perfect decorative touch to your DIY projects.

How are Upholstery Buttons Different to Normal Buttons?
Upholstery buttons and normal buttons are very similar, however, there are a few stand-out differences. The main differences come in how they’re used. While upholstery buttons can be used for clothing, they are more commonly used as decorative features on furniture items like chairs, upholstered bed heads and cushions.

The other big difference is that upholstery buttons often don’t come ready- made like clothing buttons do. This is because there are so many different variations in styles, colours and etc, that having ready-made options to suit everyone’s varying upholstery needs would be no easy task. However, this does mean that you can have buttons made to your design specifications, regardless of whether you’re after a button that’s made from leather, fabric, vinyl or etc.

How are Upholstery Buttons Made?
Upholstery buttons are made with a heavy-duty buttoning machine, such as the Osborne W1 Buttoning Machine. The buttons are made by clamping fabric between two metal moulds (also known as shells), and different dies and button moulds are used, as required, to create different-sized buttons.

Upholstery buttons are also constructed with stronger shanks (the loop at the back of the button) than standard buttons, as they need to be able to withstand a lot of tension when pulled deep into the cushioning.

The following items are often used to make upholstery buttons:

-       Osborne W1 Buttoning Machine
-       Die & Cutter (in the size of your choice)
-       Moulds in the size of your choice
-       Fabric, vinyl and leather
-       A bit of muscle!

What Types of Upholstery Buttons are Available?
There are multiple types of upholstery buttoning available, including slab buttoning, diamond buttoning, and deep buttoning.

Here, we look at the uses for each of these types of buttons:

Stab Buttoning
When buttons are put in randomly or in a set pattern and can pulled to different depths.

Diamond Buttoning also called Deep Buttoning
Diamond buttoning creates an intricate pattern of buttoning and pleating. In traditional applications, the diamond pattern is first drawn on the reverse side of the fabric and has allowances for additional fabric, that is folded under into neat diagonal pleats, and flock is usually the padding of choice when working with diamond buttoning.

When you decide to work with diamond buttoning, you need to be prepared for a more labour intensive process. Diamond Buttoning is taught to final year apprentices and does entail a great deal of time and skill.  Should you wish to try it yourself the timeless finish will ensure your time and energy was well spent.

To learn more about upholstery buttoning and what options are best suited to your next DIY upholstery project, contact the team at Padgham Upholstery today!

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