The little pink buttons have a satin covering. Its a medium weight fabric, so the covering has been placed right on the wooden mould. This mould is only about 9mm across. The stitching to create the covering was not in a matching thread - perhaps an indication of being homemade?
The beige button is perhaps older. The silk has been used as a double layer adding a bit of extra stability. The top layer of fabric had completely shattered. Again, a turned wooden domed mould inside, but this time, the sewing thread is a perfect match.
This one was a nice surprise. The top layer was black black silk. Not too fine, so only required the single fabric layer.
Beneath the black, a faded, a shattered fine pale lavender - over a second layer that has a much stronger purple tone to it.
The purple stitching was a perfect match to the fabric. The black stitching was too, but the thread itself a little thicker than that used on the purple. They are two distinct levels, indicating that the button was re-used and recovered after the initial sun damage to the lavender had happened.
Then there is the covered-covered button. The button mould is actually a fabric button that has been made using a button machine or press - so there is a metal back and/or front. The large buttons in the image at the top of the page are this type - a velvet/plush covering over a damaged cloth button with metal moulds. The damage to the original covering is quite obvious when the velvet was removed.
This is another - the inside button is a three-part with a thread back, and the woven front is probably a mohair / silk mix. This could be a very old button, and I'll be looking at it more closely in the future to see what I can discover.
These plain blue buttons have a textured orange fabric button underneath. The button is a two part with a pad back, and as you can see from the picture, quite soiled. With such a drastic change in colour I suspect they were removed from the original item and used on something quite different.
This already hard working, utility, machine made linen button has been covered in an equally hard wearing cloth. A cotton twill in a dark khaki colour, I wonder if it was made to replace a missing button on a kit bag or similar? Either way, this too is showing signs of wear along the edges. I like this button.
Then there are the surprises. Such as this little faded silk button - with a bone disc at the centre. I assume made to be a covered button right from the start, as there is no central hole. This silk is quite a pretty light peacock blue on the underside.
Or this - the fabric covering was actually quite thick, so the button did look a bit squarish, but not fully. And that's because the mould is a square, but with the corners trimmed. It is quite an uneven piece, so the thicker fabric allowed a far more even looking button to be made.
This one is one of my favourites so far. The fabric appears to be a fine black cotton - but there are two layers, and the bottom layer shows some patterning. These were sewn over a nice bright red button.
I image a home dressmaker, making a patterned something that needed one button - at the neckline perhaps. She chose the red button but just wasn't happy with it, so covered it with a bit of the offcut fabric....
However, nothing beats the find of my button collecting friend Cheryl Killam. She found a group of covered buttons that were so thick she carefully took apart the layers. She found four layers - and at the core - a beautiful, yet very faded - death's head button. Here is her image of four of the buttons - with each layer shown. How cool is that.