Back dating history
The button—with its self-contained roundness and infinite variability—has a quiet perfection to it.
Running a cascade of buttons through your fingers feels satisfyingly heavy, like coins or candy; their clicking whoosh and blur of colors lull you.
A button packs an extraordinary amount of information about a given time and place—its provenance—onto a crowded little canvas.
These sleeves could be easily swapped between outfits and laundered whenever they got dirty.
"was originally used more as an ornament than as a fastening, the earliest known being found at Mohenjo-daro in the Indus Valley [now Pakistan].
It is made of a curved shell and about 5000 years old." Early buttons like these usually consisted of a decorative flat face that fit into a loop. Supporting yards of cloth at a single point required buttons of architectural heft, made of bone, horn, bronze or wood.
You heated up the mold in a bed of hot coals, then filled it with molten lead or pewter, which set into a button shape.
The sturdy metal buttons could then be covered with fabric or other embellishments.