Sandra Müller, Trachtenschneiderin und Posamentenknopfmacherin
Buttoned down and sewn up!

Traditional costume seamstress, Sandra Müller, revives a near-forgotten Bavarian craft: she makes “posament buttons”. Things are colourful in her button factory in Bavarian Swabia. We took a closer look

Reading time: 10 minutes

Button Maker Sandra Müller from Bavarian Swabia

Sandra Müller sews the world as she likes it. It has to be colourful. But, of course, she doesn’t just thread in a wild, uncontrolled fashion – Sandra is a traditional costume seamstress and button maker, and in her “Posamentenknopf” button manufactory in Waldstetten in Bavarian Swabia, she has revived an almost forgotten tradition while combining it with contemporary details.

Ein bunter Haufen von Posamentenknöpfen

Uh, What Kind of Buttons Did You Say Again?

Never heard of “posament buttons”? No need to worry, it probably isn’t something you missed at school. “Posament button” maker Sandra Müller explains this as patiently as she also makes each of her unique pieces by hand.

She is an expert in this field, has already written books on the subject of these particular buttons and even gives courses where you can learn and try out the craft of button making. Now then: “Posament buttons” – or buttons that are colourful, intricately wrapped or spun.

“Posament Button” Manufacture

“The profession of button maker died out at the beginning of the 20th century. “Posament buttons” had their heyday back in the 18th century. At that time, they were mainly found on men’s clothing. When other types of buttons became fashionable, the small works of art fell into oblivion and were only preserved on regional costumes,” she explains. With her own manufactory, she is breathing new life into the colourful buttons once more.

The unique pieces can be used as jewellery, as well as buttons. “Posament buttons” can be used for buttoning. For waistcoats and bodices, I also like to make them with a counter button, so you can change them sometimes. Jackets, coats, bags and other accessories can be individualised and spiced up with these special buttons. As earrings, rings, pendants or brooches, they are absolute eye-catchers.”

Sandra bei der Arbeit an einem Posamentenknopf
Bunte Garnfäden für Posamenknöpfe

Bringing Tradition and Modernity Together

Sandra Müller also works as a seamstress for traditional costumes. After studying European ethnology (folklore), she completed an apprenticeship as a seamstress at the “Trachtenberatungsstelle” – an official body specialising in traditional regional dress in the district of Swabia. And so, it was away from the lecture hall and back into the creative realm.

“It was already clear to me in my childhood that my strengths lay in the creative field because I was constantly painting and designing. Thanks to completing internships in a pottery, as well as with a sculptor, in seamstressing businesses and museums, I got a taste of various fields of activity. I always knew I wanted to create things,” she looks back on her career.

“Back to the roots, but up to date”

Today, Sandra creates colourful “posament buttons” and, under the motto “Tracht’s not dead”, she creates traditional costumes and combines them with modern elements. Or, as it says on their website: “Back to the roots, but up to date”. Everyday fashion inspired by regional traditional costumes and historical handicraft techniques.

“I love bringing together supposed opposites and building bridges. Between tradition and rebellion, between home and foreign, between young and old.

Schere, Fäden und Holzrohlinge: Sandra Müllers Werkzeuge für die Knopfherstellung
Sandra Müller ist auch gelernte Trachtenschneiderin

Right on the Button!

Back to the “posament buttons”. Sandra Müller also passes on her knowledge in courses. The demand is there. You can find out about the courses on offer and upcoming dates on the homepage. It tends to be more women who take part, but the proportion of men is also gradually increasing.

Working with the buttons is probably also good for people’s mental health: “Button-making is a good exercise in mindfulness, because you have to be completely concentrated on the task at hand. In the courses, I see time and again that people switch off by ‘buttoning’,” says Sandra.

If you already find yourself infected by Sandra’s passion for such an art form, you can get materials for “buttoning” directly on the website: “On the homepage of the button manufactory, you can find the online shop for button making accessories and the current course and market dates. There’s also some general information on this type of button and a page of inspiration.”

Sandra Müller bei einem Posamtenknopf-Kurs

Regional Fabrics and Materials

Both with her label “Trachtenpunk” and with the “posament buttons”, Sandra Müller is as certain as she can be that the fabrics and accessories come from regional production.

“The lining for the bodices can be made from old bed linen or tablecloths, and the wooden blanks for making the buttons are produced in the district

As short a distance as possible, Sandra says, is important to her when it comes to materials logistics. “For me, sustainability also means fair working conditions, good fabric and workmanship quality, product longevity and preferably high-quality cotton and wool fabrics from Germany. As a seamstress, I learned to sew clothes so that they can be easily altered.”

Boring?! Doubt it! Colour Explosion!

Pink, black, green, yellow, blue, red, orange. Sandra’s buttons are anything but boring and come in what feels like a thousand different patterns. Colour explosion! The same could be said of Sandra’s lovely little workshop. Colourful, playful and with threads, fabrics, yarn and lots and lots of colour absolutely everywhere. A space for creative work, right at Sandra’s home.

“The workshop is small and very colourful. The walls are full of trim, pictures and objects that have been found along the way. The centre is the cutting table. I like to spread out fabrics there for a project and think about what goes together, and get buttons out of the drawers to match them,” Sandra says.

Sandra Müller mit einem fertigen Posamentenknopf
Sandra Müller mit Posamentenknopf-Schmuck

... by Sandra

Günz, Kammel and Mindeltal valleys
There are many lakes and rivers along whose banks there are cycle paths that run with little gradient. I particularly like the Günz, Kammel and Mindeltal valleys, and the sections along the Danube where the cycle path winds through the wild garlic forests. I like to walk around the Grieslesee lake on the “DonAUwald trail”, but I also love the industrial monument at the Vollmer lakes. (only in German)

Wettenhausen Monastery & Roggeburg Monastery
We held button courses at Wettenhausen Monastery for many years, and had some really wonderful times there. It is as if time has stood still there. We like to go hiking around Roggenburg Monastery when we have visitors. (only in German)

My cultural centre is Krumbach. There is a socio-cultural centre, an art association, the town park and an art trail, concerts and several good inns, including the “Kachelofen” on the market square or the “Bistro Jo.” in the Glück health food shop. I also like the small museum in our neighbouring village of Stoffenried, the “Kreisheimatstube” and the “Gelateria Saviane” in Weißenhorn, a really good ice cream parlour. (only in German)

I always find myself drawn to the hills. On a hill in the small village of Balmertshofen in the Osterbach valley stands the church of St. Michael with a very old cemetery, and that’s where I like to spend time.

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