Black House Academy:
Horn & Bone Buttons

Black House Academy

was born from a desire to create something with substance. To build a brand that champions the people involved and to celebrate the traditions and craftsmanship of the artisans who create it. The manufacturers we work with are chosen with purpose. They are regarded. And we are honored to call them friends.


After looking

at thousands of button cards over the years, a decision was made early to use genuine horn and bone buttons on our launch BHA collections. As humans, we are an imaginative and resourceful species by nature. There is a connection to heritage, craftsmanship and process in utilizing natural materials such as horn and bone. The earliest known reference to horn buttons was in 1759 in the United States and the first shank-style bone buttons date back as early as 12th century France. From utilitarian needs to the highest decorative fashion, natural horn and bone have been a highly-regarded trim for quality garments for centuries.

There are seemingly

endless button options available from manufacturers all over the world. Plastics are the most abundant and affordable options. There are also imitation horn and bone which display nicely until you compare them next to the genuine material. Because of the more labor intensive process, natural horn and bone buttons tend to be 10-20 times more expensive than their imitation counterpart. The pure “blonde” colored horn buttons are a premium because you can typically only get them from the tip of a bull horn. From there it goes in an 8-step gradation with varying amounts of blonde, red, black, brown, and white “swirls” and ending in a solid black finish. Both horn and bone can be painted, stained and polished along with laser-etched to add even more dimension and personalization. The price variance between imitation and genuine horn and bone is a huge consideration when going to market with a style. But, for BHA, these details speak of a subtle luxury that adds to the limited run, made by hand, quality of our shirts.


there are many beautiful bone buttons, the darker tones of the horn buttons worked well for our woven shirt styles. The only place we utilized bone buttons were on our BHA pant styles which we had prototyped. You will see these prototypes on the models throughout our website. These particular buttons were stained, aged, and polished with deep blues and greens which are stunning up close. We hope to bring BHA bottoms to market in the coming years.

All the buttons

from our launch woven styles are manufactured in Portugal at the prestigious Louropel. Their manufacturing capabilities are infinite and they produce for some of the finest brands in the world. We have visited their factory multiple times and it never ceases to amaze, excite, and inspire. We also developed a custom laser-etched 17L shank style horn button with our “BH” logo. This button is located on the bottom most placket closure and adorns every woven shirt.


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