Best 10 Types Of

Metal Jeans Buttons

That You Can Use

For Your Vintage Denim

Guide 2021

by | Nov 3, 2021

One of the rarest thoughts to cross an average person’s mind is in any way regarding the buttons securing their denim jeans at the waist. If you were to ask a person if there were differences between these buttons, let alone what those differences are, they would unlikely be able even to begin to explain it to you. But if you are curious about the best five types of metal jeans buttons, you have come to the right place. After reading this piece, you will possess the information you never thought you needed or wanted to know about metal jeans buttons but will find it quite interesting and helpful.

denim with orange color jeans buttons

What Are Jeans Buttons?


Some denim products (jeans, jackets, etc.) utilize a zipper to fasten the separate parts of denim together. Others utilize buttons, from a jeans buttons manufacturer‘s perspective, these are just methods by which denim products are secured in conjunction with one another. However, denim buttons are also unique in that, unlike one-piece buttons used to fasten pieces of fabric, jeans buttons are dual-pieced. The two parts are the button’s body and its back nail. Unlike standard buttons, which are sewed on, jeans buttons are pressed by a pneumatic fixing machine or hand press machine, ensuring their strength and durability.

What Is The Standard Size Of Jeans Buttons?


Jeans buttons do not have a standard size, which allows them to be versatile in their customization. However, any sized buttons cannot be appended to any denim product randomly, but rather chosen and attached based on suitable size. Therefore, the denim industry uses specific sizes as a general rule for particular products. These include:


  • 22mm & 20mm (35L & 32L) jeans buttons for male denim clothing
  • 20mm & 17mm (32L & 27L) jeans buttons for female denim clothing
  • 17mm & 15mm (27L & 24L) jeans buttons for children’s denim clothing


The sizes of the rivets for womens’ and mens’ apparel don’t have any particular standard size parameters. Typically, the size ranges from 6mm to 9.5 mm, with specific clothing not utilizing rivets at all.

5 Types of Metal Jeans Buttons Based On Different Materials


While it is a common belief that jeans buttons are all the same, but there are five primary types of buttons used based on different materials, each having its specific makeup and appearance:

● Zamak Jeans Buttons:

zamak jeans button on a denim

They are made from Zamak alloy, affording the buttons a rugged, vintage appearance, generally thicker composition, and heavier weight. Because the buttons are so solid and sturdy, the embossment of any design on them stands out as being exceptionally crisp and vivid. These buttons are more expensive than most of their counterparts, as the weight is a significant factor in the cost. Therefore, the brands that utilize Zamak buttons pay more for their inclusion on their products and pass that price on to the consumers.

● Brass Jeans Buttons:

brass jeans button attached on denim

 Brass buttons weigh and cost less than Zamak buttons, making them far more commonly used by brands that produce denim products. Essentially, their color resembles Zamak but can be produced at a fraction of the cost. The downside is that their sturdiness falls far soft than Zamak button, which significantly limits the ability to issue designs on these buttons.

● Iron Jeans Buttons: 

iron jeans buttons attached on a denim

Many places worldwide are looking for less budget denim product options than those adorned with brass or Zamak buttons. To meet the needs of this market, certain brands prioritize making the lowest price available. One way this is achieved is by using iron for the composition of buttons. Not only are iron buttons far cheaper to manufacture, they resemble the color of brass. Where the downside comes in is that after a few washes and exposure to water, iron rusts. People looking for budget denim products have a minor issue with rusty buttons overall. Still, the rusting attributes are a significant factor in why most big brands avoid using iron for their buttons.

● Stainless Steel Jeans Buttons:

stainless steel jeans buttons on a denim

Stainless steel buttons do not rust like iron buttons due to repeated water exposure in the wash, yet are comparable in the production cost. While it doesn’t rust and is quite durable, stainless steel has two distinct downsides, which reduce it to material that prime-market brands opt not to use. The material is very tough, so imprinting designs on it isn’t easy, and when done, does not look the best. Additionally, it is resistant to fusion with most colors, limiting the amount of chemical manipulation that can be done to manipulate its appearance.

● Aluminum Jeans Buttons:

aluminium jeans button on a denim

Popular in the past, aluminum has been primarily relegated to the button material of a bygone fashion era. These days, aluminum buttons are seldom used on denim products, and when they are, it is only to be covered by fabric to serve as the undercarriage of a button intended to look like a sewn-on button.

Another 5 Types Of Metal Jeans Buttons Based On Different Structures

While all jeans buttons carry out the same primary function, there are various them with structural differences between them. The variance depends on the brand, the style, and the geographical location of where the jeans are marketed and sold. Some are more frequently used than others, but all have some presence in the denim product market. Let’s take a look at these another five types of jeans buttons used with products.

  • Black Nylon Shank Jeans Buttons

black nylon backpart jeans button

The black nylon shank jeans buttons are formed from either brass or iron, making them a lower-cost item to produce. They are paired with screw nails that are constituted from the same material. While they are cheaper to produce, they affix nicely to denim material and sit solidly once attached, without much concern for tearing away or ripping through the material. Brands that use these types of buttons traditionally produce jeans with a classic, traditional look.

  • Non-Swivel Nylon Shank Jeans Buttons

non swivel shank jeans button

The non-swivel shank jeans buttons are some of the most common and widely used button types in production. The lower part of the button is lined with nylon, which makes it both smooth and helps to secure the button in place, keeping it from rotating. The most valuable part of non-swivel shank buttons is that the top can be formed from any material, as can the lower part, as it will ultimately be coated in nylon.

  • Non-Swivel Shank Jeans Buttons

Non-Swivel open center Shank Jeans Buttons

From a functional standpoint, the non-swivel shank button is almost the same as its non-empty counterpart. The primary difference is that inside the nylon of the open shank is empty. Rather than a screw-shaped part inside the nylon outer coating, there resembles a slightly elongated aluminum nail. This is the part which will be used to fasten the button on the jeans.

  • Swivel Jeans Buttons

swivel type jeans buttons

While the non-swivel buttons are stationary once they are affixed to jeans’ fabric, the swivel ones are not. They move (rotate) when attempting to be turned and wiggle around when the jeans move. Like the empty shank jeans button, it also has an aluminum nail-looking protrusion. Because it moves around, it is not generally as stable as the swivel-free button varieties, but it presents a different style. It is still attached firmly to the jeans material.

  • Prong Type Shank Jeans Buttons

prong type shank jeans button

The prong-type shank jeans buttons are more expensive than any of the others described thus far on this list. The backside has a prong, and the underside of the button is completely enclosed. The prong cuts directly through the denim fabric when attached to jeans, locking the button in place. This is a more vintage style button than most, making it an excellent choice for adding to the jeans’ decor. It is sturdy and different looking, which adds to its value. Because using the prong-type button is more expensive, higher-tier brands on their denim products generally use it.

How To Identify The Perfect Metal Trims


For the most part, premium brands will use good metal trims for buttons on their denim products, but this isn’t always the case. Defective and subpar button materials make it on there too. Want to spot them? Here are a few helpful tips to consider:

  • Quality condition buttons and rivets on jeans have no sharp protrusions or burns and are smooth to the touch.
  • The colors on the button should be even rather than stain or spotty. This is an indication of the material being painted or plated, and this paint can not erode in the wash.
  • Iron buttons are typically prominent, so it’s a good idea to avoid those for reasons explained earlier.
  • Quality buttons and rivets are rigidly and solidly affixed to the product’s material they are a part of.

Now that you know which buttons are the highest quality and which ones to avoid, as well as what to avoid in terms of button material, you can reliably continue your denim jeans shopping!


5 Test Standards for  Eco Friendly Metal Buttons

5 Test Standards for Eco Friendly Metal Buttons

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