May 27, 2009

The Lustrous Beauty of Czech Glass

When did I fall in love with Czech Glass buttons? Actually it was during my search for Bakelite Buttons about three or more years ago. I discovered these buttons in sets of six, which was the perfect number for a bracelet because of their size; three-quarters of an inch. I was knocked off my feet by their beauty, iridescence, variety of patterns and lustrous color. They were gorgeous!

I knew that the Czech Republic was known for their manufacturing of glass high-fire polish beads, but was unaware at the time of their button manufacturing. Through my research, I found that they had a large number of factories producing the buttons for over 100 years. While purchasing these buttons I learned from the vendors that most of the factories had closed once WWII began. I assumed that the buttons that they were selling were coming from the stock left abandoned once the factory was closed. I thought the availability of these buttons was limited. Just recently in doing research for this post, I happily found that there are one or two factories still in operation, and that the 100- year old molds and the techniques for making these buttons are being used today. In a sense, these are vintage buttons that are being created today.

Only the Czechs make them. The quality is superb and even if they are a bit pricey it is well worth having them to incorporate them into your bracelet and necklace designs.

I found that these buttons come from a specific area called North Bohemia and is known as the "Glass Capital of The World", with a glass-making history dating back as far as 1376.

To make the bracelets and necklaces with these buttons, I use the same techniques to create my Bakelite button bracelets (please check previous post ). I can incorporate the buttons into necklaces using the same technique, also, explained in the post titled “The Joy of Vintage”.

With these buttons, because they are uniform in size, you can use the simpler technique using the elastic called Stretch Magic made by Pepperell Braiding Company. I use the .7 mm size. It is lighter, but just as strong as the next size up…but I am sure that it will go through all holes. For the connecting beads, I use a flat bead. Please check the photos for a view of the bead.

I have, for your convenience, added some sources for these magnificent buttons:,,,,


Designing Hilary said...

Great! I've always appreciate the beauty and sparkle of the fire-polished beads, and I've found some vintage czech beads of various floral shapes, but I've never seen these buttons. I'll be bookmarking the sources you've listed.

BTW - just so you know, I found your blog because you started to follow me on Twitter. I'm beginning to seriously appreciate what Twitter has to offer!

BeadsForever said...

I'm one of several Etsy Beadweavers who love Czech glass buttons!