These English made buttons made me wonder. When were crocheted buttons fashionable enough to justify the cost of carding these labour intensive hand-made items? I would image they were made and/or carded at home rather than in factories, in the way that leather buttons were made in Australia post WW2; constructed by the gross by women in their homes to supplement the family income, then collected for finishing in factories.
According to Sally Luscomb in her 1967 “The Collector’s Encyclopedia Of Buttons”, crocheted buttons were “first” in fashion in the 1880s and then again in the early 1900s. They were initially “made by hand, later by machine.” However, they were advertised in Australian newspapers as early as 1861.
The frequency of their mention in newspapers was greatest from 1910-1930, however, instructions for making crocheted buttons appeared in all eras, particularily as part of knitting/crocheting patterns.
Daily Herald (Adelaide), 20th June 1914 page 5.Perhaps, my buttons date from either the WW1 or WW2 era, when “fancy buttons” were hard to come by: