Guessing Game…FREE FABRIC!!!


Tell me what exactly this is…

Is it a Grommet Press, a Covered Button Press or a Snap Press?  And where do I get “dies” and “blanks” (whether they be grommet parts, button parts or snaps) for it?


It was made by the DEFIANCE Button Machine Company and marked #1920 manufactured in NY.  I did a little internet search to no avail.  All I could find out was the company went out of business a few years ago and there were some trade secret lawsuits.


So whoever figures out what this is, where I can get dies/parts for it and emails me first at will get a yard of FREE FABRIC in the color of their choice.


Looking forward to finally figuring out this puzzle!




  1. aw, this is almost too easy. Sashay over to A lot of the suppliers that advertise in his pub sell dies. Also, you may be going about this the wrong way. Typically, the outfit that sells you the end product (spots, nailheads, snaps, whatever) also sells you the dies to apply them. oh heck, even *I* have a set of dies for this machine lmao (i’d imagine they’d be interchangeable). I will send you a free issue of proleptic’s magazine and you can look through the suppliers.

    Btw, the best way to find parts for this is to look up “kick press”. While this isn’t a kick press (being a tabletop manual one), they use the same parts.

  2. Kathleen…I knew you’d come to the rescue! But is it a GROMMET or Covered Button Press????

    I’ll email you my address if you don’t already have it.

    And if you had your choice, fabric or a new book from your wish list? LOL

    Let me know!

  3. I’m pretty sure it’s a grommet press.


  4. Kathleen posted the answer on Fashion-Incubator:

    Thanks everyone!

  5. I don’t know if that yard of fabric is still in the offing, but if you’re looking for die or replacement parts for Defiance devices, you should get in touch with C & C Metal Products Corporation ( They purchased all of Defiance’s tangible assets when defiance failed in the mid ’80s. And let me know about that fabric–my fiancee’s just gotten into sewing and would be terribly excited.

  6. It’s been almost a year since you posted this, but…

    Your mystery machine is an upholstery button press fitted with a grommet die. The top portion screws in; the bottom portion drops in – yes? A die set will include a cutter, since this type of press does not set self-piercing grommets; you need plain (sheet metal) grommets. It’s difficult to tell from the image what size grommets this particular die will set, though.

    The two major manufacturers of button machines today are CS Osborne and Handy Button Co. Both sell only to distributors, so check upholstery supply wholesalers – prices vary wildly, so definitely shop around. Their actual components are interchangeable (button parts, etc.), but dies are an issue:

    As I understand it, Handy dies will fit in Osborne machines, but Osborne dies will not fit in Handy machines without machine modification. I keep meaning to verify this, but never remember to bring my Osborne dies when I visit my Handy-owning friend. ANYWAY, American standards have been consistent for decades, so dies from one (or both) of these companies WILL fit your machine.

    FYI, Osborne machines are actually Wade, whom Osborne bought maybe 12 years ago.

    These machines will also set snaps, rivets, ventilators, and (of course) make many sizes of covered buttons.

    I just taught a class on this subject at the 2008 Slipcover Summit, so… I have serious information overload!

  7. I also have this exact same machine – model # 1920. My dad and my uncle were furniture upholsterers for 30 years. If interested in purchasing this antique, e-mail me at I am from Virginia.


  1. […] Lastly, speaking of Lisa and nifty hand tools, she bought this unit and not exactly sure what it was, posted to her blog. […]

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