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Metallic Buttons & Buckles


1.         Product Description:  Metallic buttons, buckles, cuff-links, tie-pins and other metallic products used for dressing are used mostly for men dressing.  Metallic dress buttons and buckles are pressed by blanking and piercing of mild steel sheet and formed to shape and finally nickel plated.  Tiepins and cuff-links are made from anodized aluminum with different designs and shapes.  Of the four metallic products, the buttons and buckles have more demand in the market.  Tie-pins and cufflinks are products used by high income groups and they are subject to fashion changes.


2.         Rationale:  While metallic buttons face competitions from plastic and horn buttons, metallic buckles so far do not have any substitution.  Metallic buttons are mostly used in overcoats and the buckles are used for belts.  There are small buckle making units in Addis Ababa, but there are none in the Amhara Region.  Hence metallic buckles, buttons and the other two products are either imported from Addis Ababa or from abroad.  Producing the buttons and the buckles requires simple machines and conventional technology.  These products can be fabricated in the Amhara Region for the Regional market and if possible for the market in neighboring regions.


3.         Market Potential:  The four products under consideration are used for men’s dressing.  The male population of the Amhara Region is roughly 9.6 million of whom more than 8.5 million are children and adults who use belts; to which buckles are attached.  If ten percent of all belts are replaced every year for a variety of reason, the demand for replacing old buckles is about 850,000 per year.  This shows the magnitude of demand for buckles in the Region and this can absorb the production of a plant which will produce buckles.


4.         Process and Technology:   The metal which will be brass, will be imported.


5.         Process and Technology:  Dress buttons and buckles are pressed by blanking and piercing of mild steel sheet and formed to shape and nickel plated.  Tie pins are made in pressed metal anodized aluminum pieces which are engraved, turned, plated and polished.  Cuff-links are made in flowery designs and gilded faces on anodized aluminum pressed and brass pressed pieces.  Machinery required for the plant include hand press, vertical type precision engraving machine, single lip tool grinding machine, universal faceting machine, straight line engine turning machine, hand tools, measuring tools, jigs and fixtures, and electroplating, gilding and anodizing unit.


6.         Estimated Investment:  For a plant which will produce about 50 gross of buckles, 30,000 buttons, 30,000 cuff-links and 36,000 tie pins per year the estimated investment will be:-

§        Building/shade 150m2 at Birr 1500/m2 = Birr 225,000

§        Machinery                                                   = Birr 350,000

§        Working capital                                           = Birr 300,000



7.         Benefits: Save foreign exchange to the country and financial resources to the Region, introduces new skills and technology, promotes self-sufficiency.


8.         Location: Any urban center in the Region where the investor prefers.