Under the spotlight: crafting covered buttons.
Sitting on what looks to be an old wooden school desk in the corner of the sewing section of the workshop, is an ancient-looking button press. No one knows exactly how old it is; it’s been there for as long as anyone can remember. Vuong turns a wheel that’s bound with ragged material for grip, working through the sea of buttons that lies beside him.
Atop of the table rest the components used to create our buttons – two types of metal discs, shell-like in shape, perfectly cut circles of fabric for the Felix armchairs and Mimi sofas, as well as other fabrics in shiny, textured, spotted, bright and muted tones. It’s like a miniature haberdashery.
The artisans move quickly with the manual button press and we have to ask them to slow right down to be able to understand how the button is put together; even then, the machine is so quick. We watch closely as Vuong puts a piece of fabric and two shells together in the machine, turning the wheel and pressing them all together until they’re a fabric-covered button.
It takes Vuong an hour to produce around 300 buttons from a fabric that’s thin and soft and 200, from something that’s thicker like the wool we use on some of our designs. “Only one in 2000 go wrong,” he tells us.
Take a closer look at our mid century-style Felix and Mimi collections