Should Buttonholes Be Vertical or Horizontal?

Last Updated on March 19, 2023

The loops on the straps of knitted blouses, cardigans, or jackets can be made horizontal or vertical. It depends on the product’s design and the bar’s width. And the task is always the same – the loops should be almost invisible but functional.

Regardless of the buttons’ size, most loops are formed in a small size because the knitted fabric tends to stretch well.

Should Buttonholes Be Vertical or Horizontal
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A buttonhole is a hole through which the button goes on any garment. It is generally elongated in shape and finished at the edges.

It can be horizontal or vertical, depending on the garment or what you want to achieve, and can be sewn by hand or by machine.

Believe it or not, the buttonhole is a fundamental part of a garment. It can be the difference between a well-done composition or a scruffy outfit.

In Addition – Know How to Sew 4 Hole Button

Vertical Buttonhole – Why Are Button Holes Vertical?

Vertical Buttonhole
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Vertical buttonholes are used in openings and bands or shirt plackets, and these garments usually have several small buttons to keep the closure secure. It is placed centered on the forward center line. Vertical (shared) loops – are placed parallel to the edge of the product.

They hold buttons worse but fix the details of the product better. (For example, on the slats of a shirt, vertical loops help to fix the slats relative to each other.

Horizontal Buttonhole – Why Are Button Holes Horizontal?

Horizontal Buttonhole
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Horizontal (transverse) loops – are placed perpendicular to the edge of the product. Practical, not deformed, gives more freedom of movement to the details due to its location. (For example, on a shirt collar, a horizontal loop helps the collar fit more comfortably around the neck).

It is the most secure because it prevents the button from slipping out; they absorb any pull on the button with little or no distortion. It is extended 3mm beyond the front center line to allow room for the button foot and allow it to land exactly in the center.

Should Buttonholes Be Vertical or Horizontal?

Buttonholes can be either vertical or horizontal, with each orientation having its own advantages. The orientation of a buttonhole should depend on the type and positioning of the fabric.

Image: BBC

Horizontal buttonholes allow for more expansion, stay buttoned more securely, and are found on vintage patterns. In contrast, vertical ones are easier to sew buttons onto, less fiddly to button up, and commonly used on mass-produced garments. Horizontal buttonholes may be preferable for garments experiencing more stress, such as collars and cuffs, as well as for a more authentic vintage feel.

Generally, it is better to use horizontal buttonholes for loose or heavy fabrics, such as denim or wool. Horizontal buttonholes allow the fabric to move without straining when buttons are fastened. For lightweight fabrics, such as cotton and linen, vertical buttonholes work best as they provide a stronger structure for holding the buttons in place. 

Why Are Some Buttonholes Vertical and Some Horizontal? (Frase)

The orientation of buttonholes is largely determined by function and fashion. Vertical buttonholes are typically used on jackets and other garments that fit snugly to the body, while horizontal buttonholes can be found on garments that hang loosely from the body, such as coats or blazers.

Additionally, certain fashion styles may call for either vertical or horizontal buttonholes to create a particular look or aesthetic.

What Direction Should Buttonholes Go?

Buttonholes should always go from top to bottom and should be angled slightly downward towards the bottom of the item of clothing. This ensures that buttons can easily slip through the holes and remain secure while worn.

Additionally, when sewing buttonholes by machine, you should backstitch at either end and use a cutting tool, such as scissors, to create the opening.

How to Determine the Spacing Between Buttonholes/buttons? (Translate)

When buttoning a garment, both sides’ button placement lines and center lines must match perfectly. If it overlaps more or less, the garment may not fit properly.

The first button is located 1-1.5 cm below the stitching line of the collar. Next, it is important to determine the location of the button in the chest area. Slightly below the chest girth line by 2 cm so that the sides do not diverge. The rest of the buttons are evenly distributed. In light clothing, the interval is 11-13 cm, and in the top – 12-15 cm.

Buttonhole Measurement  

Measure the diameter or width, and the height or thickness of the button, the sum of both measurements will give us the total internal length of the buttonhole.

The finished buttonhole will have reinforcement stitches at each end to give it greater resistance.


Now you know a buttonhole and how to sew it on a garment. These small details are extremely important when making a garment since they will make the difference between a professional quality garment and one made by a beginner.

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