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Machine Washing Natural Button Issues?


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#1 Todd Hudson

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 09:02 AM

I was wondering if any shirtmakers and shirt owners have had wear and tear issues with machine washing either river shell, wasibodo or agoya shell buttons.

thank you,
Todd

#2 Sator

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 10:12 AM

I have had these sorts of buttons crack from handwashing them. This never happens with mother of pearl ones.

#3 jcsprowls

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 02:20 PM

MOP buttons are typically thicker and cut from select areas of the shell. As a result, they're typically more durable. It's the trade off for higher quality/price.

I typically recommend against machine washing for garments with shell or horn buttons.

Does the garment need to endure machine washing? If so, there are several polyester options that resemble the heft, density and sheen of MOP.
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#4 Todd Hudson

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 05:27 AM

QUOTE (jcsprowls @ Jul 21 2009, 08:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Does the garment need to endure machine washing? If so, there are several polyester options that resemble the heft, density and sheen of MOP.


Ya these customers just want to throw it in the wash with the rest of their stuff. I wanted to offer either nicer synthetic, MOP or something close to MOP. I just ordered some poly "cake" (5mm thick) button samples from a supplier in LA. I'm still looking for a resource that might specialize in men's shirt buttons for either MOP or poly. I talked to a shirting supplier in NYC too and they're sending me a sample of some Italian cake buttons.

Some of the nice shirt buttons I have from old shirts have a white or cream backing which might be desirable.

Do you know some keywords I should quote when talking to reps to get the kind you are describing?

#5 jcsprowls

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 04:29 PM

I'm not sure what 'cake' buttons are. I presume these are dry powder pressed into a heated die?

I mostly buy rod cut buttons from my primary RTW supplier (I shared their information with you, previously). I buy a style that is quite thick and in a shade very close to MOP. For most of your projects - because I know a teensie bit about your customer base and pricepoints - I think theirs is the right fit for you, too.

I should tell you: I have brands producing shirts that MSRP from $80 all the way up to $260. We're using poly rod cut buttons from that supplier for all of those brands & styles.

Nylon buttons never tripped my trigger from a design or business point of view. Cheap (i.e. mid-quality) rod cut buttons appeal more to me than injection molded nylon buttons. And, when the price difference is only a matter of 1 or 2 cents per button (20-40 cts per shirt) I'm just not compelled to chintz.

I have bought Gritti buttons from Nicole @ American Sember. They're quite nice. I still have about 3 gr sitting in a drawer collecting dust. For me, I have a hard time slapping $40 worth of buttons onto an ordinary shirt. The value proposition seems out-of-balance to me.

Said another way, every $1 you invest in the garment at wholesale needs to worth $3-4 to the end consumer. If you invest $40 worth of buttons into a shirt, the opening MSRP for that shirt needs to be $120 before you add fabric, thread, buttonholes and labor behind the buttons. IOW: it can't be "all about the buttons"
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