Fabric Covered Buttons
All You Ever Wanted to Know about Fabric Covered Buttons
Fabric buttons are really cool and their uses varied. However, there is much more to consider than just what kind of fabric to use. Fabric moves and folds differently than paper so special handling is required.
For instance, did you know, with our most popular Red-n-Black fabric covered button maker, larger button sizes can accommodate both fabric and paper? But the smaller sizes of 1” and 1.25” may not? Did you know the weight of the fabric makes a difference? Our fabric button makers are calibrated to accept light to medium weight cotton. Think T-shirt fabric. Try to use anything heavier, like denim or velvet, and you’re likely to see firsthand what a jammed button maker looks like.
That’s not to say you can’t use those specialty fabrics. But they do require further calibration. If you want to use a variety of fabrics then your best bet is to have your button maker specifically calibrated to your thickest fabric. Then test your thinner fabrics to see if you can successfully make a button. You might find it necessary to put a piece of paper or muslin behind thinner fabrics to account for additional thickness.
Back to the smaller sizes. Since the dies of 1” and 1.25” button makers are so much smaller, they require more extensive calibration. So if you decide on one of these sizes, you will need to send fabric samples to us and our technicians will make certain they work properly together.
Embroidery? Yes! Believe it or not you can make a button with embroidered fabric. But again, it requires special handling. In this instance we’ll ask you to provide us with samples (instructions will be provided to you for submitting the samples). The technician will work his magic and voila – you’ll be making beautifully embroidered buttons!
FYI – Mylar cannot be used with an embroidered button. The stitching makes it impossible for the mylar to lay flat.
OK, let’s talk specialty fabrics. By specialty I mean fabrics such as grosgrain ribbon, denim, felt, etc. Each of these, and others of the same thickness or finish, require special handling no matter which size you choose. Again, this means sending us samples of the fabric so your fabric covered button maker can be calibrated to accept them. Red-n-Black fabric covered button makers calibrated for specialty types of fabric will only be able to be used for that specific fabric thickness.
Ribbon comes in varying widths. So if you’re going to make a button from ribbon, you need to make sure the ribbon is wide enough to wrap around the button. For example, you need to be able to cut a 1.837” circle for a 1.5” button.
Fabric buttons can be made into ponytail holders and zipper pulls (to match school uniforms), pocket mirrors, magnets, flatback buttons (for jewelry and badge reels) and everybody’s favorite – pinback buttons. Yes, even a key chain can be made from a fabric button.
Your other option for making fabric buttons is the Green Machine. This fabric covered button maker only makes fabric buttons. And those buttons have an eyelet on the back, like those shown in the picture to the left. You can turn this button into a flatback by snipping off the eyelet after the button has been made.
Making fabric covered buttons is easy but does require a little more thought regarding what type of fabric you want to use. If you have any questions regarding fabric buttons please call the office at 972-985-5074 and one of our friendly, knowledgeable button experts will be happy to help you!