When it comes to closures for clothing and fabrics, snap buttons offer a fast, secure method for easy fastening and release. The characteristic “snap” sound when closed makes them a recognizable and satisfying closure style. Beyond their classic role on baby onesies, snap buttons for clothing have expanded as a creative decorative accent and fastener for fashion.
How Do Snap Buttons Work?
The common four part snap buttons consist of two halves that connect via a “socket” and “stud” mechanism. The socket half has a protruding hollow rivet that the stud half inserts into when snapped together.
Inside the socket, small stainless steel balls surround the hollow rivet. When the stud inserts, the balls depress and allow the stud to enter the socket. Grooves on the stud then align with the steel balls, allowing them to expand outward again and grip the stud for secure closure.
Durable snap buttons withstand repeated snapping and unsnapping without losing function. Just avoid exceeding the weight capacity and avoid extreme lateral pulling forces. For most clothing uses, standard plastic or metal snap buttons provide reliable performance.
Getting Creative with Custom Snap Buttons
Beyond basic white plastic snaps, custom snap buttons allow incorporating decorative touches into garment designs. Replace plain white sockets with colorful enameled or patterned sockets. Or choose metal base materials like black nickel, copper, gunmetal or brass for shiny distinct looks.
Customize individual snaps or full sets to match with special fabric prints. Customer logos or icons can also be imprinted on custom snap button faces. This takes personalized fasteners to the next level for brands.
For children’s clothing like onesies, customize snaps with fun shapes like stars, hearts, or animals. Make fastening changes a game! Adds whimsy to any kids’ outfit.
Sew-On vs. Rivet Snaps
Sew-on snap buttons attach directly to the fabric with machine stitching. Four holes allow the sewn threads to pass through for secure adhesion. Sew-on snaps offer adjustable placement but are best for light to medium weight fabrics.
Rivet style snap buttons contain a hollow tubular rivet that pierces the fabric. Special pliers flatten and flare the rivet ends to clinch the button permanently to the material. Better suited for heavier weight fabrics and tailored finishing.
Mixing both sewn-on and rivet snaps lets designers combine the decorative flexibility of sewn snaps with the durability of rivet snaps on high-stress closure points. This creative pairing gives the best of both snap button types.
Using Snaps For Garment Closures
The most common use for snap buttons on clothing is fastening together overlapping placket openings. The dual linear rows of snaps neatly conceal the underlying opening. This provides a clean finish compared to basic center buttons and buttonholes.
Placket snaps securely close coats, shirts, bibs, and leather accessories. The audible snap ensures positive fastening. For activewear, choose lightweight plastic snaps to minimize added mass.
Snaps also substitute for time-intensive buttonholes on culottes and athletic wear. The two removable halves speed changing. Adapt sewn-on snaps for necklines or side seam accents as well.
Next time you’re designing a garment, consider how creative mixing of snap button types, positioning, and customization can take it to the next level. Let snap buttons add convenient closure and character to your clothing pieces.