Knots, ties and laces were among the earliest forms of fabric and fur fastener styles. These evolved into pins, such as Roman fibulas (brooch), chains, lacing and hooks. Loops tied or sewn to fabric were fastened around metal or bone knobs, hooks or pins. With the evolution of buttons, loop fasteners continued to develop. Among the most common loop fastener styles are fabric or fibre loops, metal hooks and eyes, knots or frog fasteners and toggle buttons.
Fibre or Fabric Loop and Fastener
The fibre loop is the simplest of all loop fasteners. The loop can be made of yarn, twine, metal chain, hide or leather strips, sinew or fabric. The loop is then fastened around a button of some sort, be it wood, porcelain, metal, bone or plastic. Modern clothing and fabric household articles often feature fibre or fabric loops as a way of securing something to something else or around something, such as a sleeping bag tie. Clothing often features same or contrasting fabric loops that fasten over buttons. Crocheted or braided yarn or cord is also used to create fibre loops for fastening over buttons or for use with a tie that is fed through the loop and then tied in a bow or knot.
Metal Hook and Eye
Metal hooks and eyes are components of a two-part fastener system that is sewn to clothing and fabric articles. The hook is sewn to one half of an opening, such as a skirt waistband, and the eye, which is a metal loop, is sewn to the other side of the opening. The hook is inserted into the eye in order to close the garment or article. The hook and eye both feature small loops through which the fasteners are sewn to fabric. Modern garments may feature plastic hooks and eyes. Hooks and eyes are often seen on lingerie, such as bras and corsets, and as finishing fasteners on fine clothing at the tops of zippers or button closures, such as above a zipper on a wedding dress.
Frog fasteners are sometimes referred to as Chinese frog fasteners or Chinese knots. A decorative knot is attached to an equally decorative base. A loop is connected to a decorative base. The bases are sewn to each side of an opening, such as a coat or jacket, leaving the loop to be fastened over and around the knot. To unfastened the frog, the knot is pushed out of the loop and the opening springs free. Frog fasteners are often made of cord, silk and various fibres and are often seen on East Asian-influenced or East Asian clothing, such as the silk Cheongsam dress, also called the Mandarin gown.
Toggle buttons evolved from earlier forms of bone, wood or metal secured to fabric over which a loop or tie was affixed to fasten clothing, bags and other articles. Toggle buttons, today, are seen on coats, jackets, and other clothing items. A toggle button is a larger, longer, stick-like button that is sewn to the end of a loop. The other side of the fastener features a loop only. The toggle button is inserted into the loop and pulled tight. The loop holds the button and keeps the article fastened. Toggle buttons are typically made of wood and plastics.