There has been an explosion of interest from crafters, quilters and knitters into hand made and hand painted ceramic buttons. Most of these buttons are imported from South Africa, where a strong tradition in button-making has developed over the last twenty five years. Many of the designs are inspired by African ethnic art, but it is the animal designs that are the most popular. These range from tropical butterflies, through lions, rhinos and zebra, to dolphins and whales. The most popular of all are based on domestic farmyard animals.
These hand made and hand painted ceramic buttons can be found as one-hole buttons for use as pendants, two hole buttons for fastening garments and no-hole buttons intended for card-making and crafters. They are all very tough and can withstand machine washing and dry cleaning. Their growth in popularity is understandable, given that hand made ceramic buttons show off hand made projects far better than machine-made plastic buttons.
In the world of home furnishings, buttons are increasingly replacing zips for embellishing bed linen, cushions and other home accessories. Here, bead buttons and mother of buttons are firm favourites.
On the fashion scene, one of the best ways to give a modest outfit an expensive designer look is simply to change the buttons. A set of rhinestone or crystal buttons is a fantastic way to dress up a plain black outfit for parties and evenings out.