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Join Gab (@StFerdinandIII) Western Civilisation was and is superior to anything Islam has developed.  Islam has not aided in the development of the modern world; in fact civilisation has only been created in spite of Islam.  Raising the alarm about the fascism called Submission since 2000.  

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Saturday, May 3, 2014

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Buttons and Medieval Capitalism

An explosion in textiles birthed a need for the mighty button.

by Ferdinand III





Imagine a world without Buttons, or Underwear. It is hard to imagine jackets or shirts being closed with 'clasps' or some crude mechanism of affixing the sides together. Both buttons and underwear were developed in Medieval Europe. Regarding buttons Encyclopaedia Britannica states [link]:


In medieval Europe, garments were laced together or fastened with brooches or clasps and points, until buttonholes were invented in the 13th century. Then buttons became so prominent that in some places sumptuary laws were passed putting limits on their use.


By the 14th century buttons were worn as ornaments and fastenings from the elbow to the wrist and from the neckline to the waist. The wearing of gold, silver, and ivory buttons was an indication of wealth and rank. Expensive buttons were also made of copper and its alloys. The metalsmith frequently embellished such buttons with insets of ivorytortoiseshell, and jewels. More commonly, buttons were made of bone or wood. Button forms of these materials were also used as foundations for fabric-covered buttons. Thread buttons were made by wrapping the thread over a wire ring.”


Margaret Schaus in her book, 'Women and Gender in Medieval Europe' [warning, feminist cross-dressing fetishes do apply in this book]; comments that Saint Birgitta of Sweden was wearing plain wooden buttons in the early 14th century [link]. Tim McNeese writes in 'The Middle Ages' [link] that the button was pervasive by the 14th century, a fact born out by the incredible output of woollen and textile manufacture which drenched Europe in clothing and outer, as well as, under-wear.


What created the need for the button ? In a single word – capitalism. Wealth had been invested in the development of wool, clothing and textiles since before 900 AD. Mechanization of the process of clothing manufacture which developed mainly in England during the high middle ages, abetted by Italian capital, spread throughout the Continent. By 1300 Europe was awash in textiles which appealed to all tastes and budgets. It is no wonder that some genius, name now unknown, created a proper method to fasten clothes together to allow better form and fit. This could only have happened in Medieval Europe.



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