Some real horn buttons

Most garments here feature horn buttons of one size or another. Some corozo too, but, on the whole, horn is the button material of choice. And, with five or so generations of experience, our supplier, based in the Midlands, sure knows a thing or two about manufacturing them.

There are a great many excellent button suppliers across the British Isles. Buttons manufactured on these shores, though, is another story, while natural buttons — no imitations or cheap synthetics — are fewer and further between still. In fact, the real horn buttons used at S.E.H Kelly come from one of the last remaining suppliers in England — an establishment that has gone about the button business since the 1800s.

Though no longer cut and polished by hand — a practice given up in the ’50s — the buttons are of tremendous quality and durability, being as they are a product of the sturdiest raw horn and the most unstinting quality control. And, because they are composed of entirely natural materials, each button has its own unique colour configuration. It is for these reasons — along with the distinct weight and texture, naturally occurring flaws, and the very particular sound when you give them a tap — that as far as buttons from the British Isles go, there’s no such thing as a substitute.