To be or knot to be

Ever wondered why buttons keep falling off your clothes? Esther Freeman explains why it happens, and how to stop it.

Yellow buttons

Mr Wanda held out his shirt to me. “Have you seen this?” he said, a button hanging precariously by a thread. “I just fixed one and now another has come off.”

He pulled a couple more threads, and with wide eyes watched as one by one each button fell to the floor.

I wasn’t surprised. This happens all the time, and for one simple reason – knots.

In order to speed up production, most garment workers making clothes for the High Street are told not to bother with knotting the end of their thread. This means buttons, belt loops or any other ornaments attached to your clothing will eventually fall off.

The waste conscious, sewing skilled of you might sit down with a sigh and sew them back on. The rest might very well throw said item in the bin.

What to do about it?

The easiest way to avoid this problem is to avoid fast fashion outlets like H&M, Primark…oh you know who they are. Put simply, they want you to buy their clothes, but they can’t be bothered to make them properly. Knots get in the way of profit margins.

So instead invest your money in those who can be bothered with decent craftsmanship. Support ethical fashion brands and retailers, or buy vintage fashion from an era where tailoring was designed to last.

But if you really MUST have that new frock from Zara, then when you get home make yourself a cup of tea, and get out your sewing kit. If you spend a few minutes putting an extra couple of stitches in your buttons, you’ll save a lot more hassle and frustration in the long term.

Have you had any lost button disasters? Share your tales of button woe in the comment section below.

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