Flat Sew-Through Buttons

We all know that buttons are used in clothing to secure openings in material. How these buttons work depends on the type of button used. One of the most common typesis the flat, or sew-through, button. This little round button will usually have either two or four holes through which the thread is passed (either with a sewing machine or by hand) to secure it to the clothing. The other part of the opening will have a button hole, a slit in the material just big enough for the button. Pass the button through the button hole to close the opening in the fabric.

Shank Buttons

A shank button is another type of button used in clothing. Instead of having holes in it, like the sew through button, the shank button has a plastic or metal loop at the bottom of the button. Thread is passed through the loop to stitch the button onto the clothing. Like the flat button, the shank button is paired with a button hole to close up and secure the fabric opening.

Mandarin Buttons

Mandarin buttons work differently from the shank and flat buttons. Mandarin buttons are also known as frog buttons. They are typically found on Oriental style clothing. Frog buttons are made from a fabric. The frog consists of a button and a loop instead of a button hole. The frog is made by looping a fabric cord into a decorative design, and then stitching the cord in place. On the other side of the opening, a cord loop is used to create a button hole to fasten the frog button.

Snap Button

Yet another different type is the metal snap button. There are two types of snap buttons, the pronged snaps and the post snaps. Snaps come in four parts. Two of these parts belong to the attaching unit and two to the closure unit. Whether the snap is a prong or post, those parts of the snap belongs to the attaching unit. The two parts of the attaching unit will attach to each side of a piece of fabric. Either the prong or the post will secure the two pieces together, making a button. The closure unit also comes in two parts. One part is a socket and one part is a stud. They will also go on each side of a piece of fabric. The closure unit works like a button hole, except instead of a hole, there is a socket for the attaching unit to snap into place and securing the fabric opening.