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Horn buttons vs. plastic buttons

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Looking to improve, Jun 21, 2004.

  1. Looking to improve

    Looking to improve Senior member

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    I found a thread teaching me how to tell the difference between plastic and m-o-p buttons. But that doesn't answer the question I have...

    So... how do I tell the difference between a plastic and a horn button on a suit/jacket?

    MtB
     


  2. apropos

    apropos Senior member

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    Horn - shine a light onto the button at an angle, you will see surface markings (may be very subtle). Will feel cooler against your face than plastic. Every button will be different. Less commonly polished, more commonly matte finish. Corozo - from a Brazilian nut. will look perfectly flat at first, but a closer inspection reveals a fine grain, almost like wood. Polyester - most 'plastic' buttons are polyester. buttons are perfectly 'smooth' finished all over. May have a seam on the edge or underside, which you can most reliable feel by scratching with a fingernail. Will not feel cold against your face. Better ones are very hard to distinguish from horn by appearances alone. Mother of pearl - will feel cold on your face. If you're able to rub one against your teeth, it will be rough, not perfectly smooth like plastic. If the button is thin, there back will have red/brown flecks on a white/cream background.
     


  3. izlat

    izlat Senior member

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    If you really want to know - you can do the hot pin test (on the back of the button)

    Horn and organics will have a recognizable smell, as will plastic when it melts [​IMG] . MOP won't melt

    Cheers
     


  4. apropos

    apropos Senior member

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    Horn and organics will have a recognizable smell, as will plastic when it melts [​IMG] . MOP won't melt
    Horn will smell exactly like burning hair. Not a nice smell. And HOLY THREAD RESURRECTION, BATMAN!! [​IMG]
     


  5. izlat

    izlat Senior member

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    LOL - where did you dig this???

    Anyway - yup, horn will smell like burning hair, which may not be the greatest of scents - but melting plastic won't be better [​IMG]

    Cheers
     


  6. Looking to improve

    Looking to improve Senior member

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    HOLY THREAD RESURRECTION, BATMAN!! [​IMG]

    Just when I was starting to think I'd never know.

    Thanks!

    MtB
     


  7. upnorth

    upnorth Senior member

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    Since this thread was resurrected only 6 months ago, I felt it was safe to continue here.

    I know many here prefer horn buttons and for good reason, they are thought of as strong and have subtle natural markings that make them unique and complements bespoke suit.

    However, I just want to put it on record that I recently ordered a set of horn buttons and I received them with a single broken button. [​IMG]

    This is the first time I've seen any button shattered, possibly due to my very limited experience in handling them. I've had plastic buttons that feel more sturdy and perform much better.
     


  8. LeonM

    LeonM Senior member

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    That's a pity. Horn buttons can break. Did you order spares?

    Leon
     


  9. Mild Mannered

    Mild Mannered Senior member

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    coconut shells are used to make buttons too. very strong material and nice texture and color
     


  10. upnorth

    upnorth Senior member

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    I bought it off ebay and made sure the seller also had a physical store in case things like that happen. Based on the seller's pictures, I should be getting 8 small buttons and 3 large ones. The seller shipped them with one spare button of each size without me prompting so I decided not pursue the matter.

    The buttons are quite nice and not all all thin. I examined them closely and found them rather tough, so I was disappointed that they broke.
     


  11. ThinkDerm

    ThinkDerm Senior member

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    I bought it off ebay and made sure the seller also had a physical store in case things like that happen. Based on the seller's pictures, I should be getting 8 small buttons and 3 large ones. The seller shipped them with one spare button of each size without me prompting so I decided not pursue the matter.

    The buttons are quite nice and not all all thin. I examined them closely and found them rather tough, so I was disappointed that they broke.

    share the ebay store with us :)
     


  12. AndrewRogers

    AndrewRogers Senior member

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    coconut shells are used to make buttons too. very strong material and nice texture and color

    They might make for a good snack, too.
     


  13. Icehawk

    Icehawk Senior member

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    I bought it off ebay and made sure the seller also had a physical store in case things like that happen. Based on the seller's pictures, I should be getting 8 small buttons and 3 large ones. The seller shipped them with one spare button of each size without me prompting so I decided not pursue the matter.

    The buttons are quite nice and not all all thin. I examined them closely and found them rather tough, so I was disappointed that they broke.


    I just got some off eBay and one of the 4 large buttons had severe cracking out of the bag and looking at the remaining 3 two of them have 3 cracks on the face and reverse (ie, go all the way through) and one has 1 crack. Is this common with horn buttons? I'd rather return or buy some hand selected buttons if this just seems to be bad luck but if this is common then I'm not sure I should use them. The sleeve buttons all look perfect.
     


  14. apropos

    apropos Senior member

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    Yeah, that's pretty common with horn buttons.

    Another thing I've noticed is that glossy horn buttons can become matte when ironed or drycleaned.
     


  15. bigbris1

    bigbris1 Senior member

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    And I have found that matte/dry horn buttons can come back to life if you gently rub them with your fingers. The oils come off onto the buttons & voila!
     


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