Earlier this year, Anna McDowell of Henry’s Buttons set a challenge to bring the Singleton Dorset Button into the 21st Century. This involved making a Singleton button using traditional methods on a 25mm ring with a free reign for the decoration on top. The whole button had to be no more than 30mm in height. All buttons received would be displayed at the Dorset History Centre, Dorchester as part of an event to raise awareness of the Dorset Button industry. This is what I came up with:
The main button is made on a 25mm brass ring and covered with Jamieson’s 100% pure Shetland woven wool. Wadding provides some shape as well as stitching around the edge of the ring, all part of the traditional method of making this particular button.
For the decoration on top, the use of Shetland products inspired the theme of a thistle. For this I used Jamieson & Smith 100% Shetland wool 2ply. It is made up of a two colour pompom made on a fork and then shaped with scissors. With the whole button to be a maximum of 30mm in height, getting the size and shape of the thistle proved to be the hardest part.
Finally the pompom thistle and button base were attached together with the thistle centred onto the button with a cotton loop made underneath the button as a form of attachment.
Anna received 34 buttons from Australia and Canada as well as the UK, all displaying a wide variety of colours and decorations. The buttons will now be auctioned to support the work of the Dorset Archives Trust.