Press buttons for clothes are fundamental closures for many types of clothing. They allow seams, collars, cuffs, and other openings to be neatly fastened with a simple press or tug. One of the most common and versatile button types is the snap button, which closes with a satisfying click when its two metal halves are pressed together. Snap buttons offer convenience and durability, making them a staple fastening for everything from jeans and shirts to coats and jackets. However, beneath the simple outer appearance of snap buttons lies an ingenious multi-part system that allows them to securely yet easily fasten and unfasten garments. In this post, we will explore snap buttons in more depth, identifying their key internal parts and discussing their construction and function.
A snap button consists of two pieces:
At its most basic level, parts of a snap button are one is a stud and another as a socket. The stud half is typically round or disk-shaped and has a post or protrusion extending out from its center. This post fits securely into the round cavity or socket half. To fasten the button, the post of the stud is pressed or “snapped” into the socket until it clicks into place. Small barbs or indentations on the post prevent it from sliding back out once fastened. Releasing the button simply requires pressing the two sides together to disengage the post from the socket’s grip.
Looking more closely inside the snap button
Several additional parts come into view. The stud contains a coil spring that provides the “snapping” action when the button closes. As the post is pressed into the socket, the spring compresses; when fully inserted, the spring’s releasing pressure holds the button securely fastened. Surrounding the spring on the stud is a retaining cap, which acts to contain the spring and prevent it from flying off during fastening or wear over time. The socket half contains internal slots, grooves or pockets that accept and grip the widened barbs on the post as it clicks shut. Together, these precisely engineered internal mechanisms allow the button to fasten and release smoothly with just finger pressure.
Snap buttons can be crafted from a variety of metal materials
Traditional styles are often made of brass for its gold color and resistance to corrosion, while contemporary styles may utilize metals like nickel silver, chrome, or zinc alloys. The choice of metal affects both aesthetics and durability. Brass exhibits a traditional look but is prone to tarnishing over time without plating. Chrome and nickel silver have sleek, shiny appearances but may wear or discolor with heavy use. Zinc alloys offer affordability but lack luster. To maximize longevity, quality snap buttons undergo protective metal finishing like plating in copper, nickel or other coatingsafter fabrication. This shields the base metal and helps maintain an as-new appearance.
When assembling a snap button, the individual internal parts – spring, cap, stud post – are precisely fitted together, then encased within the rounded stud and socket halves. The two pieces are finally attached to fabric or garment components with a sewing machine or specialized heavy-duty press. Proper assembly is crucial, as excessive stresses during wear could cause poorly constructed snaps to fail prematurely. Top manufacturers employ strict quality control to test button closure, strength, and durability. They may even design specialized setting tools to help home sewers cleanly and securely affix snaps without risk of damaging the garment.
Once installed, metal snap buttons can withstand hundreds or even thousands of open-close cycles before showing wear, far surpassing other fastener types like zippers or hooks-and-eyes. Their metal construction stands up to regular washing and drying as well. However, certain conditions can impact snap button longevity over time. Excessive twisting or flexing of the fastened area can cause internal parts to fracture. Exposure to harsh chemicals, abrasive environments, or heavy impacts may damage plating or weaken metal integrity. Proper care like avoiding vigorous rubbing and machine washing in delicate bags helps preserve button function. Replacement is usually simple thanks to their modular internal design.