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Lozio ® Metal Buttons

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Manufacture of buttons and fashion accessories

A History of Buttons

If we ask a button historian to date the birth of the button, the answer will almost certainly be that the button was created in 13th-century France. This is surely the truth, naturally, if by button we mean a small round or similarly shaped item in a more or less resistant material, sewn to fabric and used to close two parts of a garment.


If by button we mean any accessory to embellish, built mainly on a pin and suitable for holding and keeping two pieces of fabric together, then we need to go back in time, a long way back, as far as prehistory, to discover that from the time that people began covering their bodies, they immediately used accessories to hold skins, cloaks and tunics in place, so as to have freedom of movement without their primitive clothing sliding off their bodies.


These grandparents, ancestors and parents of modern buttons are a fascinating part of the history of clothing, as creativity, left free to express itself in thousands of types of material and shapes and the increasingly refined techniques with which the primitive closures and fastenings were conceived, give us the opportunity to understand just how important the role of the button has been in the history of humankind and its social status.

When looking to understand in depth the way in which the political, social and economic life of a people has been structured, it is sufficient to look at its cooking utensils, work tools, clothing and buttons. Thus we can learn that as far back as 3000 BC, the harder parts of fish bones were used to pierce through fabric and fasten parts together; that buckles were already in use in China in 2000 BC, and that along the banks of the Indus River, in an area that is in modern-day Pakistan, items similar to buttons have been found, which date back to several thousand years before the birth of Christ.

The ancient Greeks and Romans were skilled in the elegant use of laces and belts to fasten clothing, but both civilisations made great use of ornamental brooches (known as fibule in Latin), which almost always took the shape of a large, precious button. Even the Byzantines of the same period used hooks and pins in the shape of buttons.

All the while that people continued to dress in tunics and cloaks, there were no great developments in ornaments that could be used to join together two parts of a garment, unless we count the skilled craftsmanship in making it, the use of more or less precious materials and the extraordinary ability to embellish the item used to hold clothing together with artistic decorations.

It is with the arrival of the Middle Ages and a revolutionary concept in clothing that begins to follow the shape of the body to enhance it, that we see the need to join together two pieces of fabric becoming more complex and articulate. Buckles, hooks, pins and belts are no longer enough to support all of the folds and shapes of an outfit, which means the invention of the first buttons, used mostly at first to fasten to the garment accessories such as feathers and veils, and gradually going on to perform the function for which they are used today.

France was the first nation to use the button, closely followed by Italy and other European countries. There are paintings from the period that, better than anything else, faithfully show us the details, the shapes, the materials and the importance of buttons, which were increasingly becoming a mark of social standing.

The largest and most important development of the button occurred in the 18th century, when both buttons conceived for their utility and for ornamental purposes began to be used to enrich and embellish the jackets worn by French officers and officers in the Hussars, on servants' liveries and ladies' camisoles.

It was the 18th century when the button became a protagonist on garments, when the nobility of half of Europe would engage artists and jewellers to create unique and expensive jewelled buttons. Silver, gold, coral, amber, pearl and precious stone buttons were used to fasten clothes but more than anything, to show off lineage, wealth and power.

Gradually as we move closer to our time, new materials arrived to further enhance the panorama of the multiform world of the button: shell, corozo, horn, brass, casein and finally, polyester.

With the arrival of the industrial age, the button too, as of the latter half of the 1800s, became a commonly used, mass-produced accessory, gradually undergoing transformations dictated by fashion or circumstance. For example, in 1940s Europe, devastated by the Second World War, there was widespread use of poorer materials such as wood to make buttons.

As of the post-war period, the use of materials was rationalised as a function of the overall cost of a garment: first tailors and dressmakers, then designers opted for buttons as a mean to customise garments, making them items with which to identify a company, part of its image. Thus buttons soon took their rightful place in fashion history, giving clothing items their own market value.

Lozio ® became part of the history of buttons in Palazzolo sull'Oglio, during the last quarter of the 19th century and more than half a century has passed since the opening of its current works, in the early1950s.

When Battista Lozio ® decided to set up his button factory, he had already outlined what for him would be the conditions for the company: commitment, passion, research, assistance and high quality production and service standards. These are the same conditions for which Lozio ® continues to stand out today, setting it in the spotlight for some of the most important professionals in fashion, clothing and leather goods in Italy and the rest of the world.

Contact us for dedicated samples to suit your needs

Our fashion items: shell, polyester, metal jeans rivets, corozo, metal cover buttons, casein, metal press studs, metal hooks and eyes, horn, metal buttons, metal snap fasteners, tag pins, manual and automatic riveting machines. 

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