Best Buttons, August 2010
Visit the Button Store on 3rd Street, and Faye Moattar, a onetime dress designer, will show you buttons new (mostly European) and old (from early-18th-century Persia). At the downtown fabric institution Michael Levine, the button department carries everyday staples from wood to shell. F&S Fabrics is a standout, though, for its personal service and inventory that numbers in the millions (!). Nearly every material can be found—bamboo, horn, amber, abalone, mother-of-pearl, glass, metal—in sizes ranging from an eighth of an inch to two inches and from locales like Bali, France, Italy, and Russia. Grandma’s sewing room this isn’t (pinup girls and rhinestones adorn some buttons), but the spread of trinkets—we’ll call it “controlled clutter”—reminds us of home.