Group manager Michelle Horton is a button expert
Group manager Michelle Horton is a button expert

Triple anniversary for specialist button retailer

3 November 2016

A much-loved treasure trove of modern and vintage buttons in Harrogate, York and Ilkley is marking a triple anniversary this year.

Duttons for Buttons is celebrating its 60th year in Harrogate and its 40th in York, as well as 110 years since parent company R Goodman & Sons opened its doors as a trimming merchant in Leeds.

Family-owned haberdashery and specialist button retailer Duttons now has stores in Harrogate, York and Ilkley, and welcomes customers from both the UK and abroad.

They stock the largest selection of buttons in the UK, with more than 12,000 separate designs ranging in price from 12 pence to £25. Their vast collection of authentic period buttons is even in demand from costume designers for film, TV and stage.

Duttons’ buttons have been worn by actors in the likes of Pirates of the Caribbean and Elizabeth R.
But most of their customers are local crafters enticed by the large selection of buttons on offer, alongside an extensive range of ribbons, laces, braids and other haberdashery. Duttons also offers a unique personal button matching service.

Group manager Michelle Horton is a button expert in her own right and has spoken on the subject to local WI groups, Countrywomen’s Association, Harrogate Museum, University of the Third Age, the Embroiderers Guild and the Soroptimists, as well as antiques groups, church groups and lace makers.

Michelle said:

We’re delighted to celebrate the continued success of Duttons for Buttons. Our customers are delightful and are a real inspiration to us in the things that they make and create.

The first Duttons for Buttons was opened in 1956 in Harrogate’s Lowther Arcade by Abe Goodman, grandfather of the current owner, Deborah Richardson. His aim was to provide a service for home dressmakers as an extension to the business his father had started in 1906 for professional tailors in Leeds.


When Abe died in 1968, his daughter Drusilla White took over the business after putting her career as an orthoptist on hold to keep Duttons going. What started out as a temporary measure turned into a lifelong passion.

Drusilla ran the shops with tireless energy and infectious enthusiasm for 48 years. Her daughter Deborah took over the helm earlier this year after Drusilla died at the age of 86.

Deborah said:

Duttons for Buttons has built a remarkable reputation and is held in great affection nationwide by those who sew. Our York branch is currently a finalist in the Best Independent Haberdashery Shop (North of England) category of the 2016 British Sewing Awards, which is fantastic recognition for us during such a special year.

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