In July 2016, I visited Horween Leather Company. The Horween leather is well known, often used and appreciated by a lot of leather craftsmen worldwide.
Seeing a company movie once on the internet it was my nr. 1 wishes to visit them once and to see it with my own eyes. Dropped by my host Thomas, I bumped into Josh who was so kind to bring me to my appointment. Josh his dad was working in the tannery for his whole life and also Josh joint Horween and that is another great value I found. Not only within the family Horween you find generations but also at the employees. That is always a good sign.
Horween Leather company was founded in 1905. For more than 100 years and five generations, their goal has been to make the world's best leather. The formulas they use are more than 100 years old but updated to the modern times. Though everything is still made by very skilled workers and still by hand.
I got a tour from Arnold 'Skip' Horween III, president of Horween Leather Company since 2003 and it was a great privilege to visit their tannery, hear his story and see and feel their outstanding products*.
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 re-tannage 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.
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.
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.
I put some extra comment at the pictures.
(*product description is from the Horween Corporate website: http://www.horween.com, to provide you with correct product information)
raw, salted hides
30 days of tanning
the boiling kettles
we can experience the softness of the oil
the special oil for the Shell Cordovan, rubbed in by hand
1.000 butts, piled for 90 days
secure skived by skilled hands
Thank you Skip