Fabric and Shirting Accessories
Posted on: 27th Mar, 2014
Since the acorn website went live in the summer of 2012, many of our customers have asked about the possibility of buying accessories from us, such as buttons and collar stays.
Over the past few months, we have been working hard on finding a good, strong, reliable source of high quality buttons from a company with a similar ethos to us. We are pleased to say that we found a British, family business that has been producing shell buttons for 3 generations. We are very excited about the relationship as our two companies have a great deal in common and a certain degree of synergy.
On our visit to the Industrial North of England, we were cordially received and gladly shown round the inner workings of the business. We were given a potted history of the origins of the company and an insight into working with shell since the 1920’s. Large quantities of shells from the warm seas of the East were imported and worked into a variety of items to meet the new demand for quality products. As tastes changed, demand came from the direction of apparel and for buttons.
Today, although shell buttons in their natural state are still in great demand, the fashion industry is all about colour and finish. Customers submit their colour palette for the season and the buttons are dyed, by hand, to match.The buttons, either dyed or not, then need to be polished – this is done in wooden drums. Following this process, the buttons are inspected, once again by hand, and carefully packaged.
Despite the vast array of shells that can be used to cut buttons from, not to mention the various sizes and colours from which to choose, we have decided to launch our accessories by offering three very classical items.
Firstly, we are now able to supply a Trocas shell button in sizes, 14, 16 and 18 line. The term “line” is a measurement of the diameter of the button and the three sizes are generally considered to be the most common in the shirtmaking industry. Trocas shell buttons, although similar in appearance to mother of pearl, are more readily available and are easier to cultivate and harvest and so are a little cheaper than mother of pearl buttons. Although they have a smooth, plain, off-white face – the backs are usually patterned.
Our Mother of Pearl buttons are also available in the three sizes. MOP takes longer to cultivate and is much rarer than other forms of shell hence the relative expense of products incorporating mother of pearl. The buttons have a unique iridescence and are extremely resilient and strong. Our MOP buttons are finished with a double ring edge on the face and a plain back.
Finally we are now also able to offer some beautiful mother of pearl collar stiffeners or stays. These solid MOP stays are 70mm long and are 8mm wide. They make a perfect gift for someone special – even if that person is yourself!