Button tufts are as old as the hills. A traditional method used to hold fillings of straw, hair, cotton, silk or wool within an outer bag, a boxed or bordered cushion.

* To button, a light twine is stitched through from the top to the bottom and back again at even intervals across the pad, compressing and securing the filling. Simply cut circles of any fabric, tufts’ were and are stitched  in with the ‘buttoning’ threads; these help to re-inforce the cord and just make the work look more attractive.

* The ‘tufts’ are either round pieces of fabric or hand made fibre tufts; these are usually from wool or cotton and are used both to decorate and to hide the knotting twine.

* The twine is knotted, then stitched from the top fabric through the layers of padding right through to the back. A button tuft is collected and the needle returns to the top where another tuft is collected and the twine then pulled tightly; the twine is now either secured behind the top tuft or taken back though again to be secured beneath the opposite tuft.

* The stitches holding the layers of upholstery together create a rythmic pattern, which the button tufts emphasize.

* Hand made mattresses are button tufted with a circle of wool or cotton; sofa backs and seats – including traditional chesterfield style, window seats, chair seats, and ‘button back chairs’ are often button tufted.

* Padded and buttoned doors and walls between rooms absorb and soak up sound, stopping it dead. A fabric walled room, buttoned or not, is a quiet, calm warm place to be. This technique is also extremely practical in any fabric for a music room, is luxurious in silk for a dressing room and masculine in leather for a study or the spare walls of a book room

*Napoleon III style chair seats and backs are deep buttoned, traditionally with tufts but now often with small buttons instead of tufts.


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