Last week, we talked about the joyful work of taking threads off all of the buttons in the button box. I normally take the threads off while I am sorting. I pick up a button, decide on the composition, take the threads off and deposit it in the right pile of buttons.
There is no wrong or right way to sort. Liz and I sort by composition but even then, we sort a bit different. For example, I do a broad sort first combining all natural materials like Vegetable Ivory, leather, coconut and wood into one pile, glass and china in another. Later, I will sort them down into more exact classifications. If I am lucky, I might find a button so intriguing that I set it aside for further research. Liz sorts once and has piles for each and it could be because she is better at identifying buttons that I. Others who use buttons for crafts will often sort by color or size based on how they will use the buttons they collect.
The other thing that I like to do is put a towel down while sorting. I think I conveyed last week how dirty buttons can be and it is nice at the end of the session to shake the threads off the towel and throw it in the wash.
One thing that I have found invaluable are compartmental containers to aid in the sorting process. My favorite are the old Tupperware taco trays but you can use muffin tins, small plastic containers or even glass jars. Sometimes, if it is a small batch, you can simply sort on the towel itself.
The next step is to clean the buttons. Next week, Liz will talk about how to clean your buttons.