Unbleached Linen Thread Shirt Buttons


Made in the USA


Thread buttons were used on the collars of men’s shirts and other undergarments from the late 17th into the early 19th century. Not only were thread buttons less expensive than bone, wood or metal but they would not break during the strenuous beating and scrubbing used by the laundresses which is described in the book The Laundress. Unlike buttons made of other materials, thread buttons are soft and comfortable to lay against while sleeping.

Thread buttons (in more recent times called Dorset buttons after the area that produced many) are individually hand made from strong unbleached 16/2 linen thread & are approximately 1/2″ in size as are buttons measured on original shirts. There is a small thread shank at the back to sew to your undergarment (right). In 1757 a criminal trial was recorded in The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London in which a man “was indicted for stealing . . .  twelve dozen of thread buttons for shirts” among other things. You can learn to make your own thread buttons like these with The Lady’s Guide to Plain Sewing Book 1 or by watching  How to Make Thread Buttons with William Booth, Draper. To make your own thread buttons you’ll need linen thread 16/2 in whiteoff white, or unbleached,  bee’s wax & a blunt tapestry needle.

71 in stock

SKU: 616 Category: