VII.) Everything you wanted to know about buttons, but were afraid to ask!!
Measuring a button - When measuring buttons, we generally are referring to the diameter of the button. A one inch diameter is called a 40-ligne, which can also be written as 40 Line or simply 40/. Ligne gauges are found below and additional are available upon request thru our New York or Connecticut offices. To use the ligne gauge simply open the top of the ligne gauge and clamp it on the button. Read the top of the gauge for the correct ligne size, the bottom of the gauge measures in millimeters. Typically shirt buttons range from 13 ligne on the Collar (if button down), 15 on the Sleeve, and 16 thru 20 ligne are generally used on the plackett. Pant buttons generally have a 22 or 24 ligne on the front closure, and either a 24, 27 or 28 ligne.on the back pockets. Mens Tailored Suits generally have a 24 ligne button on the sleeve and pant closure, and a 32 ligne on the Jacket closure, some double breasted suits use a 34 or 36 Ligne. Outerwear garments typically have a 40 or 45 ligne closure. Button Measurement Chart (.pdf)
Ligne Measuring Gauge (Email us to inquire about obtaining a Ligne Gauge)
Button Quantities - Buttons are for the most part priced and sold by the gross. One gross equals 144 individual buttons. Although some high fashion buttons are priced by the piece or by the dozen, the standard unit we use at Emsig is gross. Buttons are generally packaged in box lots, then packed in cartons. We generally require a customer to order a full box lot (6,12,20 or 24 Gross, the size determines the box and carton packing)
Minimum Requirements - Vary per size, material, color. Contact our customer service or your sales representative for specifics.
Button Holes - This is in reference to the number of holes in the button. Buttons can be made with 2 holes, 3- holes, 4-holes and even 5-holes. Menswear items typically are 4-hole, and Women’s clothing typically has 2-holes. The button holes are frequently recessed from the edge, forming a “center well”. This is not just for decoration, but also to slow down thread wear and facilitate automatic sewing on high-speed sewing equipment. Center wells can also have different geometric shapes, as in a fisheye or a slotted button. Some button materials can also be made with shanks. For examples - see below. Also newer technologies allow us to make the button holes square, rectangular, or triangular, go to our Product Line, and select Novelty buttons, for a selection of these interesting new concepts.
Button Shapes - or styles. This refers to the actual geometric shape of the button. All polyester buttons, and carved urea buttons offer an unlimited ability to form shapes as requested by our customers. Emsig stocks a large variety of materials in blank form and we have the ability to match any shape that can be presented. Present an idea to our design team thru your sales or service representative and we will develop or duplicate the look. If you are wanting us to duplicate a style that already exists, please submit a minimum of 1 dozen samples. Molded buttons such as Melamine or nylon or casted metal offer limited shapes. The most common button shapes can be found below.
Button Finishes - This refers to the gloss of the button, just as you would select a gloss in a paint store. Emsig Manufacturing Corporation offers 3 standard button finishes. They are Matte (Dull - no gloss), Satin (Semi Gloss), and Polished, (High Gloss). Standard finish cards can be sent to you upon request.
Button Names - Buttons are commonly named after people, places, objects, or simply assigned a style number. Emsig uses a combination of all of these methods.
Dye to Match Orders - Also referred to as DTM, all polyester buttons can be DTM. Buttons can be dyed at our NYC facility, or at our warehouse in Hong Kong. This process applies an external color to the surface of the material. Although fairly consistent, buttons that are surface dyed are not totally colorfast. This is generally not an issue unless a dark colored button is used on a light fabric. If this is necessary, we suggest a melamine or mottled urea button, or an internally colored Polyester button. When using DTM buttons, we recommend that you send us a fabric swatch (1”x1”), or a button sample (6 pieces). Please allow 3 to 5 days for lead time if buttons in stock. This should be added to the normal delivery cycle. For rush orders, consult your customer service representative or contact your sales representative.
Garment Dye - Many customers may require that a button pass thru a garment dye process. It is important to notify us if you want a button that will accept the dye or resist the dye. Melamine and Mottled Melamine will resist the dye, Mottled Urea will accept light tint of the color, Polyester will absorb the dye to a degree, but not consistently. If you require a button that will dye evenly with the fabric, we offer a cotton button made specifically for this purpose. In all cases we suggest that you test the product, as most garment dye processes vary from manufacture to manufacturer.
Wrinkle Free - Some customers manufacture garments (mostly shirts or pants) that are sold as” Wrinkle Free” or “Wrinkle Resistant”. It is most important that you tell us which process is being used to achieve the wrinkle free effect. Some manufacturers use a post cure process which requires that the garment enter an industrial oven which heat’s to 300 plus degrees F for up to 15 minutes. For this type of process, the button being sold for the garment must be melamine or polyester. Mottled Urea buttons will not pass this particular process. Please take special caution when buying or selecting buttons if you are making garments “Wrinkle Free”.
Order Flow - All orders are placed with our customer service department and entered into our computer system within a six-hour period. If order is in stock and received before 12:00 noon, it will ship same day. If order needs to be made it is scheduled for production the same day it is received. Upon this schedule, delivery dates are assigned to orders. We strive to respond to all delivery inquires within 24 hours. If information is required in less time, please stress that point to your customer service representative.