the journal of a vintage clothing aficionado for roughwear,selvedge denim and overalls fanatics....
Monday, October 5, 2009
ABOUT NAVY BUTTONS
As promissed to my friend Gregg,here's a little addition to the former post .we will prove here,that not all navy buttons were created equals. if you need to restore a vintage navy uniform,you need to be aware of this .Differences in materials and designs,even if not obvious to most of us,do exist.Pictured above,from left to right, is a small sample of them.The first one,from civil war area,is made of rubber.In 1839 Goodyear,secured a patent for vulcanisation.It was a process using extreme heat and sulfur along with hard rubber to form the final product.Details were often crude .The second button,dates from ww1 and was made of celluloid .It was a material created at first as a substitute for ivory or wood .Celluloid buttons first appeared around 1897 and can nowadays,be widely seen featured in old SEARS and ROEBUCK catalogues .These buttons were extremely fragile and often break.Look how thin and detailed the anchor is on that example. Last ,but not least, the first stage of the button we all know .This button dates from the early part of ww2 and is made of bakelite .Bakelite became very popular and stylish about the 40's and 50's and is easily detectable as it produces a fresh worm feel,as opposed to plastic .Later,during the war ,plastic will be the final material of choice.