Saturday, March 28, 2009

Buttons : Toggles

As a child I had a winter sweater with hood knitted by my mother which had a "houtje touwtje" closure under my chin to keep the hood on my head. Later as a teen I had an Afghan "houtje touwtje" jas which was very popular in that time. So how do I explain what's a "houtje touwtje" ? Well, "houtje touwtje" is dutch and literally it means "bit of wood - bit of string", and it represents an elongated button or toggle button with 2 holes, that closes with a piece of string. The "houtje touwtje" is an ancient button closure which became immensely popular after the second world war because of general Montgomery. The allied hero was always seen in his military duffle coat with toggle closure. On the photograph below of 1946 the royal dutch family poses in those duffle coats with the "houtje touwtje" closure.

Dutch royal family in 1946 (from MADE-BY; Hall of fame)

I did a search on the internet for modern toggle buttons and found some great specimens:

1. Deer antler from AntlerQLWear
2. Polymer clay from mightbekatrina
3. Oak branches from thebuttonshop
4. Wood from LovingLeeCrafted
5. Wood veneer from rippleriverstudio
6. Ceramics from BranchDesigns
7. Bamboo from SpinBlessing
8. Plastic from ButtonJars
9. Metal from ButtonJars
10. Wood from shopangelico
11. Wood from mgi1289
12. Plastic from vinpapa
13. Plastic from Buttonsgalore
14. Plastic from azsolla
15. Bone from wiccked
16. Ceramics from Lisa Peters Art


ingermaaike said...

I think they are my favorite kind of button!

Ravenhill said...

These are marvelous!

ArtMind said...

Ohhh, I love duffel coats and their buttons! Fab post, Petronella! :)

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, I love them! My mother in law gave a few of them too. :) Love seeing this post, P8. Great!

Dawn said...

Another great post! I love buttons too. Sometimes I could look at them for hours...well, minutes!!

Amanda Yu said...

It is fabulous! the #14 is creative. ;P

fleurfatale said...

jaja, ik ken de houtje touwtjes, en wat een grappige foto!!

Star of the East said...

I love the houtje touwtje system, it always opens and closes very easily and looks great!

melanie said...

thanks for including mr wicckeds bone toggles! There are some lovely toggles you've found here :)

lisa peters ART said...

Thank you for mentioning me in your blog! I am making buttons all day today - I love making them!

Haven't made any toggle buttons in a while, will have to add them to the to-do-list!

loved reading your blog
Thanks again!
lisa peters

Eve said...

Thanks for including my toggles in your post!

My favorites are these chopstick toggles:

dawn said...

Great collection! I heart toggles! I recently used a couple (purchased at for a sweater I recently hand-knitted.

Veerle said...

Pure nostalgie! Ben er ook mee opgegroeid!

La Marquise des anges said...

nice collection !!!the Plastic buttons from ButtonJars really remind mme of my childhood. my beloved grand mother , who was a "serial -knitter" , make me dozen of cardigans adorned with the very same kind of button, they were her very favorites and she put them everywhere ;). as she was the proud grand mother of more than 24 grand child, we were a "flock" wearint this family button signature with PRIDE :)
love them :)

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