National Button Day

National Button Day is a holiday that celebrates a fastening mechanism that has been around for thousands of years and is now widely used not only for fastening clothing but also for crafts projects. It is a holiday that falls on November 16th every year. Although buttons made in the past were somewhat basic, they are now available in every size, shape, and color imaginable.

The History Of National Button Day

Although most people don’t realize it, this holiday has been around for over 83 years. It was first founded in 1938 by the National Button Society. They established this holiday as a celebration for everyone who crafts with buttons or enjoys collecting them.

The History Of The Button

Buttons for fastening clothing and as more decorative ornaments have been around for at least 4,900 years. Decorative buttons used as ornaments and seals have been found in discoveries from the Indus Valley Civilization dated around 2800 B.C. Buttons have also been found from Bronze Age sites in China and Ancient Rome.

The Roman Empire produced some of the first buttonholes, and buttonholes can also be found on footwear from the Middle Ages. In the 5th century A.D., buttons were used by the Byzantine Empire to fasten cuffs and were also used to fasten the necks of tunics in Egypt at the same time.

Some of the first buttons that approximated what we would call modern buttons appeared in Germany during the 13th century. Throughout that century, they spread all over Europe, and by the 14th century, buttons were in wide use throughout Europe.

Interesting Facts About Buttons

If you’re into buttons and want a little more trivia about them to chew on, you can look over the following facts. The facts below are some of the ones that we uncovered during our research and thought that people celebrating National Button Day might like.

  • Seashells, horn, metal, wood, and even bones have been used throughout history to make buttons.
  • The measurement system “Lignes” is used to determine the size of a button. 40 lignes equal about one inch.
  • Buttons being used for ornamental purposes predates them actually being used as fasteners.
  • During both World Wars, both U.S. and British military members used button lockets.
  • Buttons are made in every imaginable size, shape, and color.
  • Some of the more popular button types include flat buttons, stud buttons, shank buttons, and covered buttons.
  • Most modern sewing machines are capable of sewing on a button.
  • Many Amish communities avoid decorative buttons and instead opt for plain buttons that are functional rather than decorative.

Observing National Button Day

National Button Day can be celebrated in several different ways. You can learn more about the history of the button, spend some money buying some new buttons for your collection, or by sharing pictures of your button collection with other people on social media using the hashtag #NationalButtonDay.

When is it?
This year (2024)
November 16 Saturday
Next year (2025)
November 16 Sunday
Last year (2023)
November 16 Thursday
Hobby & Creativity, Lifestyle