This image has been created using old buttons the size and design rarely seen any more except on expensive designer clothes. These buttons come from a time when the button had a functional as well as decorate role. Functional buttons with buttonholes for fastening or closing clothes appeared first in Germany in the 13th century. Many of the buttons used in this image are bakelite. Bakelite was the first completely synthetic plastic invented in 1904 by Leo Baekeland, and was used for making buttons from the 1920s.