Friday 2 August 2013

Save Our Buttons

Famous for providing tunic buttons for both Confederate and Unionist soldiers in the American Civil War, the last remaining traditional button manufacturer in the UK had to close its doors in December 2012 after 155 years and 5 generations of Grove family trading. Founded in 1857 by James Grove with his wife, Ann Elizabeth, James sold buttons from his hotel room as he travelled across Europe. Buttons were made mainly of horn or hoof. Records from 1917 show that around 600 men and women were making and polishing buttons by hand for the company. It was a highly labour-intensive industry - which was also high cost. Although horn buttons continued to be made, turned on power lathes, other buttons were made by the injection moulding process and were lately laser-engraved with personalized designer names and logos.
The Groves were proud of their heritage and the fact that, in their field, they were the largest manufacturer of buttons in the United Kingdom and one of the largest manufacturers of real norn buttons in the world. However, this came to an end when the Company had to cease trading in December 2012. It was not due to lack of product demand or uncompetitive pricing, rather the company was overtaken by events attributable to the global recession and could not afford to continue trading. Now David Valentine is hoping to crowd source investment to relaunch the company, they have already raised 10% of the target to keep the company and its unique button pattern mould employed. Click here for more details.


  1. Keeping this company going does interest me, but I was not sure where I was when I clicked on your link.

    I do love buttons! Tender Buttons is one of my favorite NYC shops.

    Best wishes.