Horween Leather Company was founded in 1905. For more than 100 years and five generations our goal has been to make the world's best leather. Making the best means doing lots of little things right. It means never mistaking fastest or cheapest with the best. It means always using formulas that do not cut corners, and choosing components strictly for their quality.
Horween Leather offers an unparalleled blend of quality, consistency, responsiveness, and innovation. Through the years, we have cultivated our experience to offer dynamic lines of leathers. Our products include traditional, old world tannages and techniques, carefully updated with modern applications. Today, our leathers are still made by hand, the same way as generations ago.
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. Please contact us for more information or for a full list of tannages.
This specialized leather is treated with our own proprietary tannage and extracts, giving it the high performance characteristics demanded by professionals and amateurs alike. Our 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
Horween 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.
Making the best means doing a lot of little things right. To ensure top quality finished goods, we start with top quality components. That means using native hides for the best grain and yields, premium grade oils, dyes, and retanning agents. Our formulas cut no corners, and we are one of only a handful of tanneries in the United States that still processes hides from their raw, cured state to finished leather.
The Horween Name
2015 North Elston Avenue || Chicago, IL 60614 || Tel. (773) 772 2026 || Fax (773) 772 9235