One look at buttons of tweed jacket is enough, to understand, if it was sewed in Great Britain or in the USA.
English tweed jacket is usually fastened with two, most of all leather or bone buttons. Pockets are made diagonally, sometimes with flaps, there are generally two slits (vents) behind on each side. Often leather elbow pads are used, what gives jacket something special.
American tweed jacket has also two buttons and, generally, one slit behind. Pockets are straight, fabric is softer and lighter than the fabric used for Harris Tweed jackets.
Fabric for Harris Tweed products is made manually of wool of sheep from the far north islands of Scotland. Requirements to the Harris Tweed products (even to buttons) are more severe than to American analogues.
What can be said about Harris Tweed buttons?
It seems that buttons are insignificant part of a jacket. But English tweed jacket does not have any unreasoned elements. While making-up Harris Tweed jackets traditions are observed very carefully without leaving aside even the smallest details.
Buttons are usually made of ram’s horn or covered with thick natural leather. In combination with leather elbow pads it looks especially stylish. And how can it be different, if fabric for Harris Tweed jackets is made manually? Is it possible, just to think about sewing cheap buttons on such a noble fabric? Therefore pay attention to buttons, when you buy classical English tweed jacket. If they are made of artificial materials or usual metal, it is more likely, that it is a fake. The modern models only allow some familiarities.
Shape of buttons for Harris tweed jackets is usually big, prominent and reminds of semi spheres. Sometimes it has crucial grooves. This tradition appeared since the 1930s, when tweed jackets were often worn to attend sport arrangements in the open air. Maybe a joker and football fan ordered his tailor buttons in shape of halfs of ovals. The idea was approved by his friends, then became general fashion and then a standard for every tweed jacket.
Buttons on sleeves of Harris Tweed jacket are just a scroll element. Only English farmers of the last centuries were needed to button and unbutton sleeves. Because of physical labour in the open air it was not always possible, to keep hands clean. And, not to spoil and not to make jacket’s sleeves dirty, they were pulled up.
The colour of buttons for tweed jacket is chosen according to the whole colour grade.
Black buttons are used for jackets in cold iron grey tints.
Jacket made of traditional for Harris Tweed fabric in brownish green colour will be decorated with brown buttons.