A lot has changed since then, but the basis of our work has remained the same. To this day, we producefrom Czech materials, in a Czech workshop, with a large contribution of handwork.
We supplied Czech nobility as well as Parisian salons – today we are here for everyone who can appreciate taste and quality. We manufactured buttons for gendarmes – today it is for the police.
Read our story and follow it up with your own button from North Bohemia..
The first button tinkled on the table 250 years ago
It was around 1770, when the first tin button was created here on the Czech-German border. It tinkled on the table, as if to symbolically start the era of the famous North Bohemian buttons.
The first producer of tin goods in our country was Christian Hieke from Petrovice, while the first button-making factory was built by Winkler brothers in 1783. Surely they had no idea at the time that they had started a production industry that would make us famous all over the world.
From Petrovice, the production gradually moved to Tisá (in German, Tyssa). And this is where our story begins.
Button-making Tisá adorns the whole world
Prague, Berlin, Paris, or Milan – at the beginning of the 19th century, you would meet decorative buttons from Tisá at all these places.
The disciples of the first button-making companies gradually grew into skilled craftsmen. Thanks to them, Czech buttons began to flood Europe.
By the end of the 19th century, you would find 68 minor manufacturers and craftsmen here – amounting to 800 workers – producing beautiful buttons. Most of them were family manufactories.
Foreign investors could not omit such a potential – it was them who brought together traditional practices with modern impulses in the Tisá region. Production was modernized, expanding the product range: besides fastening buttons, cuff, collar and chest buttons have become popular.
War is coming
Buttons from the Tisá were gaining in popularity. But war does not spare anyone.
The First World War brought with it a market decline and unemployment. But the button-makers adapted. In Tisá, they started producing glove buttons, staples, hooks, loops, screws, umbrella fittings etc. The product range was so ample that it was confusing. It was not until World War II that production suffered a painful blow. In 1938, production was forced to cease, and after the war, factories only recovered with difficulties. Deeply disrupted production process, lack of material… Instead of the original German owners, production was taken over by the “national administrators”. By the end of 1945, 15 companies were in operation again. Experts who were not relocated and had experience in the jewellery production in Jablonec came to Tisá. At that time, there were more than 250 button manufacturers around the world but buttons from Tisá were seen as attractive in dozens of countries.
The KOH-I-NOOR era
Individual companies were gradually merged under the Central National Administration. Some of them were disbanded, while the rest was incorporated into newly established KOH-I-NOOR Děčín in 1950.
Tisá produced not only buttons but also metal accessories for uniforms or chains, which had been originally produced in Jablonec nad Nisou.
There was a huge demand for buttons from Tisá at that time around the world. The plant was one of the few ones in Europe specializing in fashion and filigree buttons, which travelled from Tisá to Germany, England, America, but also Japan and Saudi Arabia.
Under the KOH-I-NOOR Děčín brand, you could buy products from Tisá until 1993. After privatization, the plants were divided into several companies again. Some of them ceased to exist, but others decided to continue their tradition. And these include today’s TYSSA METAL.
Handmade buttons have their right to exist in 2020 as well
And so we are here: in North Bohemia of the 21st century. 250 years since the first tin button.
What has changed?
We have sped up the production, expanding our range of surface treatments and modernizing our products to meet the highest standards in the field of health safety.
If you held a button from 1920 in one hand and this year’s button in the other, maybe you could not tell the difference of a century. At TYSSA, we know well that a beautiful metal button is always worth producing as thoroughly as it had been produced by the generations of button makers before us.