What are corozo buttons?

Written by anaya baker
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What are corozo buttons?
Corozo buttons are commonly used on jackets and shirts. (Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Corozo buttons are manufactured from the nut of the Tagua palm, which create a material called corozo. Considered high-end and eco-friendly, corozo buttons are increasing in popularity among major fashion labels such as Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren Polo and Banana Repbublic. While there is a company called Corozo Buttons, the term commonly refers to any button made from

tagua, no matter the brand name.


Corozo buttons were first manufactured in Germany in the late 1870s. The buttons quickly spread to Italy, and later the United States. By the 1920s, it was estimated that up to a third of U.S. buttons were made from the product. After World War II, plastic began to replace corozo as the main material for buttons. Plastic buttons took over most of the market until the 1980s, when corozo was rediscovered as an inexpensive eco-friendly alternative.

What are corozo buttons?
Corozo was brought to Germany as ballast on trading ships from South America. (Keystone/Valueline/Getty Images)

Tagua Features

Today, corozo is harvested from Ecuador, which has an abundant supply of the Tagua palm. The large Tagua fruit, which is generally a foot across, contains a nut used as the raw material. The nut itself is quite malleable, and able to withstand heating, laser cutting or engraving, dyeing, pressing and bleaching. Because of the texture of the nut's interior, the material takes extremely well to dying, and absorbs colour much more easily than many other natural products.

What are corozo buttons?
The Tagua palm is native to the northwestern portion of South America. (Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)


Because of the unusual texture of corozo buttons, as well as their ability to hold and retain colour, the buttons have been widely among upscale fashion labels. However, recent innovations and technical advances in the production of corozo has allowed a lower retail price, allowing the buttons to further infiltrate the retail market. Today, in addition to German, Italian and American producers of corozo buttons, suppliers in China and Hong Kong have entered the corozo button market.

What are corozo buttons?
Women's blazers often feature corozo buttons. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Advantages to Using Corozo

Corozo buttons have been the industry standard for the past few decades due to their luminosity, sheen, texture and hue. In addition, the buttons are long-lasting, resistant to fading and scratches. Because corozo comes from a naturally growing strain of palm tree, the buttons are made completely from organic material. Many consumers prefer corozo buttons to plastic buttons simply on the basis of environmental impact.

What are corozo buttons?
Corozo, unlike plastic, will not harm the environment. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

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