This weekend we braved the blizzards to get to our local TK Maxx, in search of a costume for my husband’s gig next weekend (don’t ask). Anyway, while we were there I found a fabulous tartan coat in the Clearance section and snapped it up. The coat was a snip at £12, but it was also damaged: half its buttons were missing.
That was fine with me though: not only was the coat still a bargain with replacement buttons, but it gave me a good excuse to drop in at Duttons for Buttons (left).
The first shop opened in 1906 and there are now three Duttons for Buttons in Yorkshire, in Harrogate, Ilkley and York. They are little shops, but they are stuffed floor to ceiling, wall to wall with trays of buttons in more shapes, sizes and colours than you could possibly imagine. In all, more than 12,000 different types of button are stocked. There are 1930s mother of pearl buttons, Venetian glass buttons, art deco buttons, silk buttons from Portugal, horn buttons, shell buttons, crystal buttons and lots of early and modern plastic buttons.
I was after large black coat buttons, which are probably the least exciting of the buttons on sale there, but the Duttons ladies are happy for you to browse and coo over the prettiest of their wares. Although it isn’t the same, they also run a sweetly old-fashioned mail order service: you send them a sample of your fabric or wool, along with details about your desired button quantity, size and usage, and they will send you a selection of buttons to choose from. Further information available at the Duttons for Buttons website.
Duttons didn’t have identical buttons to those missing from my new coat, but they found some even nicer ones for me, so I’m going to replace all the buttons on that coat. I ended up buying eight large black buttons along with some super-strong black thread for just under £12. That brings the total cost of my new winter coat, with its shiny new buttons, to less than £25. Not bad!
Now I just have to sew the bloomin’ things on…