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Last Updated 01/20/02




Devoted to China Calico Buttons of the

19th Century


This site is all about the charming buttons that were once commonly used on everyday clothing.We have been researching these buttons continuously since 1996, and began making reproductions in 1997.

We hope you enjoy learning about them.



We call them calico today, but they were known as agate or mineral in the 19th century.The clay is known as china or porcelain and was made in many shapes from the 1840ís through the 1890ís.The most commonly found shape is decorated with a printed transfer, permanently fired onto the glazed surface of the button.We also find many with a handpainted solid ring of color around the outer edge of the button. We provide some of the details here, and encourage you to visit the links for more.


Calico buttons have been found on printed cotton garments, the daily wear for working people, and on undergarments.Plain china buttons and ringers are also often found on this type of clothing.


We make reproductions available for re-enactors who desire to have an authentic style of button on their carefully researched & painstakingly recreated period dress.




You can see antique garments for Ladies & Children that still have their original buttons on them.Weíll describe the rare menís garments we have seen, and speculate about why we havenít found more.



You can order sewing patterns made from our originals.


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