The Horween Leather Company has set the standard for the highest quality leathers since 1905. We offer a wide range of tannages from our vegetable tanned Genuine Shell Cordovan to Sport Leathers and Footwear Leathers, such as Chromexcel. As always, all of our leather is processed at our location on the corner of Elston and Ashland in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Chromexcel is the original pull-up leather; using time honored techniques and formulas that were developed nearly 100 years ago. Chromexcel is still produced in the United States using a bark retannage from a proprietary recipe, and then genuine hot stuffed with our secret blend of natural oils and greases. Chromexcel is characterized by a rich pull-up in full aniline, hand rubbed finishes. Made to this day with old world craftsmanship, modern Chromexcel carries on a long history of superior comfort and durability.
Chromexcel is available in a full range of weights – including 2 – 3 oz (0.8 – 1.2 mm) horsefronts and side (cowhide) leather from 3.5 – 4 oz (1.4 – 1.6 mm) up to 9 – 10 oz (3.6 – 4.0 mm). There are many variations of Chromexcel, including versions that are cementable and waterproof. Click here to read more about Chromexcel.
This specialized leather is treated with our own proprietary tannage and extracts, giving it the high performance characteristics demanded by professionals and amateurs alike. The unique “Tanned in Tack” provides excellent grip in all conditions, and can be revived by simply brushing the ball.
Official Football leather is a very important leather to us. This leather was developed and produced by Arnold Horween Sr. after playing football professionally and head coaching the Harvard football team. We’ve produced football leather continuously for more than 70 years.
We’re proud to produce the finest football, basketball, and ball glove leathers. We extend to this line the tradition of excellence and quality that all of our products are founded upon. We have had the opportunity to work with top sporting goods manufacturers to develop these leathers. Our philosophy that the best leather is part of the best product translates very well into a market where skilled athletes view their equipment as precision tools. We’ve been diligent and thorough in producing these special leathers where no detail has been overlooked.
GENUINE SHELL CORDOVAN
Genuine Shell Cordovan is the art of tanning at its finest. More than just a color, it is a very specific leather, from a particular part of a horsehide. The irregular oval shaped shells are tanned, stuffed, shaved, and then polished – a process taking at least six months. Each shell is slowly steeped in gentle vegetable liquors. The shells are genuine hot stuffed then slicked onto glass frames to dry. Each shell is hand curried and shaved by highly skilled artisans to expose the shell. Dyes are hand rubbed on for a deep aniline finish. Finally, the shells are hand glazed to achieve the rich, glossy look and feel prized by fine craftsmen.
Essex is a vegetable tanned side leather that utilizes the same traditional tanning extracts as our Genuine Shell Cordovan. Essex, and its waxed versions, Dublin and Derby, took us nearly three years to develop and perfect. This tannage is marked by a high oil content and ages beautifully over time. The Essex family of leather is very versatile and can be used in a wide variety of products.
Our ball glove leather is a straight chrome tannage and is designed to meet the demanding expectations of professional athletes. This tannage is specifically formulated to yield the strength, durability, and temper that are ideal for repetitive use. Only the very finest full grain hides are selected for this fully aniline, oiled leather.