Dorset buttons

By Coralie, in How to How to: knitting Knitting4 Comments

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across a very traditional and cool technique too make buttons: Dorset buttons!

Dorset buttons

This very old British technique is perfect for using small amount of scrap yarn or embroidery thread and produces the most perfect way of finishing a garment, whether knit or sewn! If you were looking for a simple project for this week-end, this is perfect!
If you want to try your hand at it, here’s how!

First, gather your supplies.
You’ll need plastic rings the size you want your button to be (often found in the curtain section), a needle, some pretty scrap yarn and scissors.


Using your fingers, fix the end of the thread along the plastic ring.

Step 1

Pass your needle through the ring, from the back, this will form a loop.

Step 2
Go into the loop from front to back, and pull. You’ve just made a small knot around your plastic ring

Step 3

Continue in this manner. You should see a small ridge appearing around your ring.

Step 4

When you reach the end, remember to catch the beginning thread in your knit thus concealing it.

Step 5

After going all around making sure the knots are nice and snug, push your ridge to the center of your ring.

Step 6

Step 7

You are then going to form a sort of star by wrapping the thread around the ring, each wrap one quarter turn to the right of the previous one.

Step 8

Step 9

Step 10

After completing the circle your button should look like this on the front:

Step 11

And like that on the back:

Step 12

Don’t panic if it looks kind of messy, at this stage, it’s supposed too! 🙂

Then going between the wraps, neaten your star.

Step 13

Step 14

It should look like this:

Step 15

Last, the weaving part!
Go under the first star leg to your left then around it.

Step 17

It should look like this:

Step 19

Repeat all around until you’ve fill the button.


On the back your button should ressemble this:


Depending on how your are planning to attach your button, make a thread bar under it to stitch it in place!

Finished buttons

Voilà, you have now beautiful buttons to adorn your creations with.

  • Margaret

    Brilliant site to learn from 5 star rating.Been making Dorset buttons for years,last lots in yellow for a bolero forgot it was the colour of the year in Yorkshire.We had the Grand Depart of the French cycle race(look on internet for how crazy we went).Found a site for Yorkshire buttons have you heard of these?

    • Coralie

      Thanks, glad you enjoyed the blog!
      I just Googled the Yorkshire button. Wow, I’ll have to try making one of them, so cool! Thanks for the tip!

  • Pat

    I’ve only just seen your class on how to make Dorset buttons and thought it was great – first class. I love the buttons and using such a pretty yarn as you did they look really impressive and easy to make even whilst watching TV! They would give a touch of class to any garment and would personalise not only handmade garments but also give that touch of originality to bought clothes too. Fabulous!! Well done!

    • Coralie

      Thanks! 🙂