Horn buttons are exactly that- buttons made out of animal horn. Horns (and in some cases, hooves- which are made from similar material) from water buffaloes, cattle, sheep, and deer are commonly used in commercially produced horn buttons. A horn is a permanent pointed projection on the head of various animals consisting of a covering of keratin and other proteins surrounding a core of live bone. Horns are distinct from antlers, which are not permanent. In mammals, true horns are found mainly among the ruminant artiodactyls[not verified in body], in the families Antilocapridae (pronghorn) and Bovidae (cattle, goats, antelope etc.)
Buttons made out of bone and horn were the first kinds of buttons that were used in human fashion history. These kinds of buttons were very popular as clothing ornaments in the 14th century, and they continued to enjoy widespread use up until the early 20th century- even when buttons had shifted in their purely ornamental role in clothes to functional ones. The craze for horn buttons eventually receded when newer and cheaper materials like plastics were seeing widespread use among the public.
Why go for horn buttons?
1. Each button is unique.
No two horn buttons are exactly the same. Each horn is unique and its unique qualities are also imparted to the buttons that are made from it. Such visual qualities like the thickness, structure, coloring, and pattern of the horn buttons are different.
2. Horn buttons are excellent conversation starters.
Not everyone knows how horn buttons are made. They'll probably be amazed when they find out that your suit's buttons are made out real horn. Chances are- they might also be handmade! A lot of horn buttons are made the traditional hard way- by heating the material (to soften it a bit), cutting, and molding it into a metal die. Once formed, the horn button might be further finished off by hand or through a lathe.
3. They are incredibly durable.
Horn is made out of keratin, a fibrous structural protein that makes up human hair and the horns, claws, and hooves of animals. This material is very strong as it is naturally designed to withstand wear and tear, even extreme force and pressure. You'll be able to use your horn buttons for a long time.
4. They're simply stylish.
If you want the most stylish suit buttons out there, go for horn buttons. They're unique subtlety will make sure that you suit will stand out from the rest of the pack.