The history of Dorset buttons goes back to 1700, when this craft was brought to England by ex-soldier Abraham Case. When in the army, he was stationed in Belgium and France, where he probably saw lace and buttons being made.
On his return he settled in Shaftesbury, Dorset and set up the Dorset button cottage industry. Dorset buttons were used on court dress and also exported to North America and Europe. At the peak of the production there were about 1,000 employed by the industry.
In 1859 the Ashton's Button machine was invented, which was the end of the cottage industry and livelihood of many people.
There had been attempts to revive the craft in the past and lets hope it will not be forgotten.
I made may first Dorset buttons a few years ago, but like so often, I moved on to other things.
So it was nice to be able to attend another workshop and refresh what I had learned before, specially as Dorset is local to us. This time the buttons were part of a stitching sample.
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