Sunday, September 27, 2009

More Fun With String--Chinese Buttons

The Byzantine himation, like the Byzantine shirt I've already made, will need a small button to close the neckline, just . Instead of using a small bell as a button, I decided to make a Chinese string button for the purpose.

To make the button, I began by making thread loops of strong, bright blue (and probably synthetic) string and fingerloop-braided them into a six-strand cord. It went quickly, proving that I hadn't forgotten the technique I had taught myself with the aid of my readers. :-)

Then I started looking on the Internet for instructions on how to knot a Chinese button. I quickly learned that there are an amazing number of instructions on the Internet showing how to knot the most basic style of Chinese button, and each one of them is different. Very different. Some of them I found too confusing to follow. Moreover, many of them require about 20 to 30 inches of cord. My little bit of six-strand cord was less than a foot long. Oops.

Eventually, I found this page, courtesy of Google Books, from a book called "The Complete Book of Decorative Knots". I can't explain why I was able to use this set of instructions, when the web pages with careful step-by-step instructions mystified me. The result of my efforts is shown in the accompanying photograph. (The photo is a closeup--the actual size of the button is about 1 cm in diameter.) It's not perfect, but it will do well enough. I plan to wrap the strings together to form a shank, and use some of the remaining cord to make a loop that will go around the button to fasten the neckline.

So, now I have a button for the neck, and the entire rest of the himation to make. Progress!

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