Buttons are made in three parts. A small piece of fabric cut in a circle, a shell, and a back. The back can be a nail, an eye, a threaded nail, or a prong. There are other kinds of backs, but these are the most common ones. Tufting can be done with any of these backs depending on where the tufting is going. For example, if you were to tuft the headboard of a bed, you might want to use a nail button and just pound the nails into the headboard. Eye buttons are the most used type of button, but if you've ever pulled 100 button strings tight and tied them off with a mattress knot you can't imagine how sore your hands will get. That leaves the other two alternatives, the threaded nail and the prong. My personal preference for tufting is the threaded nail held in place with a spring washer, but the spring washers are getting hard to find. The last alternative is the prong button which is shown in the middle of the picture with the red head on it. The round thing in the front is a spring washer, and the button on the left is a nail button with a spring washer attached. The other part in the picture is the round button shell. The sleigh was tufted with eye buttons through a piece of 1/4" plywood shaped to fit the sleigh back. (Santa was really happy with the sleigh, BTW) Threaded nails are as long as a prong buttons and have a shaft that has threads on it. The shaft is not as thick as the nail button. With a threaded nail, you push the button through and slip on a spring washer. You don't have to tighten the tuft by pushing the washer all the way on until the very end of the tufting process. With the prong button, you simply push the button through and bend out the prongs in different directions. There again, you can bend the prongs in the middle instead of all the way up by the button head before the final tufting process. Both the threaded nails and prongs come in a variety of lengths depending on how thick the foam is that you're using.
No one lives forever, the trick is creating something that will.
Last edited by DanTwoLakes; 05-01-2010 at 07:18 AM.