types of buttons

What is Ligne? 6 key points that you should know when you choose buttons for your clothes!

What is Ligne?

Buttons are generally measured in Ligne, a French word “Line” which means the diameter size of the button.  It is still used by French and Swiss watch manufacturers to measure the size of the watch movement. The standardized conversion for a ligne is 0.635mm while 1 inch (25mm) equal to 40 ligne.


6 key points that you should know when you choose buttons for your clothes!

1. Size of button

The following button size table helps designers in the apparel industry quickly determine the size of the button.

Button size chart

< Button Size Table >

Button caliper

Using tools to measure buttons quickly!

There are now simple button calipers on the market to help you quickly measure button sizes. There are two units of measurement on one button caliper, Ligne on one side and millimeter on the other.  When measuring, place the button on a flat tabletop, zero the button caliper, and then open the caliper to the same length as the button, press the button tightly, and see the Ligne length on the caliper to get the correct size of the button.

Button caliper

< button caliper >


In addition to measuring the button size correctly, these are also important!

2. Thickness of button

The thickness of the buttons will affect the price. Also, different thickness of the buttons presented in fashion clothes feel different. It’s not recommended to measure the thickness of a button with a regular ruler because button is usually curving. The thickness of button is only a few millimeters. Measuring button with a regular ruler will have a visual illusion. It is better to use a caliper to measure a button.

3. Final treatment of button

Plastic buttons can be electroplated in Gold, silver, anti-copper or any colors.  Metal buttons can be made with or without nickel plating. Common plating colors for metal buttons are blue copper, black bronze, red bronze, black, bright silver, dumb silver, gold and so on.

Some plastic buttons look like metal buttons very much, but they are actually plated in metal colors.

Plated plastic button

4. Shape of button

Whether it’s plastic or metal button, you can make a variety of shapes, such as round, oval, heart, star, multi-angle, etc. The use of special shape buttons can make clothing more eye-catching. The only drawback is that you may not be able to use automatic sewing machine to sew buttons. Sewing buttons by hand may cause a relatively high labor cost.

Customized plastic button

5. Select qualified suppliers of button

Experienced suppliers can correctly determine the material of the sample and provide the sample quickly. Price and fast delivery are not the only factors that a purchaser should consider when choosing a qualified supplier. It’s also important whether the factory passes international certification. ILLUME’s factories are ISO9001 certified and Oekotex compliant, providing customers with peace of mind.





6. Check quality of buttons

  • Check color, appearance, weight, size to ensure consistency with the sample.
  • Check the button surface for cracks, notches, uneven bumps, and visible scratches.
  • Check the button for bubbles, bristles, uneven thickness or any defects.
  • Check whether the pattern is the same as the sample.
  • The button eye should be sleek with no hair edges, symmetrical and same sizes of eyes.
  • Make sure that the effect of plating or other post-processing is even.
  • Check the color difference between different batches. Color difference of the same batch of button should not be lower than grade 4 according to GB250 (international standard for determining the degree of discoloration).

ILLUME provides all kinds of buttons.  Contact us for more details!


~The end~

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