Horween Leather is one of the most revered leathers in the world, with a rich history and heritage that spans over a century. It's renowned for its superior quality, durability, and subtle beauty. In this article, we explore all the facets of Horween Leather: from its origins to its distinctive features, unique manufacturing process, and long-lasting appeal.
Horween Leather and its Rich History
The Horween Leather Company has been making high-quality leather since 1905. Founded by Isadore Horween Jr., an immigrant from Poland who settled in Chicago, the company originally focused on tanning equine hides before eventually moving into other types of leather production. The company’s philosophy was to craft each hide to its fullest potential and use only the best raw materials available. This commitment to excellence has earned Horween a worldwide reputation as one of the finest leather makers in the industry.
Isadore has long since passed on but the company remains firmly in the family. Now owned by Isadore’s great-grandsons, the Horween Leather Company continues to use its original formulas and practices to craft some of the world’s most sought-after leather.
What makes Horween Leather Special?
Horween Leather stands out from the pack due to its unique tanning process, which is what gives it its distinctive look and feel. One of their most popular leathers is Chromexcel, which is tanned using a combination of vegetable and chromium salts. This process produces leather that’s supple yet strong, and it’s notable for its deep shades and rich pull-up, which darkens when flexed.
Horween is one of the last remaining tanneries in the US that still uses traditional vegetable tanning methods. This gives their leather a unique look and feel that can't be replicated with modern processes. The hides also undergo an extensive hand-finishing process, which adds depth and character to the leather’s surface.
Horween's leathers are designed to last for generations, and they’ve become the leather of choice for many high-end luxury brands. The leather is also popular with artisans who craft handmade items such as wallets, bags, and shoes from the material.
Overview of the Different Types of Horween Leather
Horween offers a wide variety of full-grain leathers that each have distinctive characteristics. These include Chromexcel, Dublin, Latigo, Shell Cordovan, and Essex.
Chromexcel is one of Horween’s most popular leathers and it's the basis for their renowned Chromexcel boots. It has a soft feel with a waxy pull-up that darkens dramatically when flexed.
Dublin Leather is a full-grain leather that's vegetable tanned, hot stuffed and aniline dyed. It has a soft hand and is designed to develop a beautiful patina with age.
Latigo Leather is known for its durability and strength, making it ideal for items such as saddles and straps. It's vegetable-tanned and features a tight grain that gives the leather an attractive, pebbled appearance.
Shell Cordovan Leather is a unique material made from the fibrous flat muscle beneath the skin of horses’ rumps. Its high shine and distinctive texture make it perfect for shoes, wallets, and more.
Essex Leather is a lightweight leather that's perfect for bags, wallets, and cases. It has a smooth finish with subtle pull-up and it ages well over time.
Horween is also the exclusive supplier of leather used in the footballs produced by the NFL and NCAA. This leather is tanned using a proprietary combination of oils, waxes, and dyes to create an incredibly durable material that holds its shape and feel game after game. Additionally, NBA basketballs are made with Horween leather as well.
Where is Horween Leather Used?
The different types of leather produced by Horween can be used to create a wide variety of products, from shoes and boots to wallets and belts. Chromexcel is especially popular for footwear due to its strength and flexibility; Dublin is often used for wallets; Essex is great for bags and belts; Latigo is perfect for luggage and harnesses; and Shell Cordovan is the premier choice for shoes and boots along with high-end wallets and watch straps. Each type of Horween leather has its unique characteristics that make it ideal for specific applications.
Horween is a cut above the rest when it comes to tanneries. Their commitment to quality and craftsmanship ensures that each hide they produce is of the highest standard; their methods result in leathers with an unmistakable look and feel that you won’t find anywhere else. It’s no surprise, then, that Horween leathers are prized by discerning consumers who appreciate the beauty and longevity of this unique material. They’re also a favorite among professional craftsmen, as their leathers can withstand the rigors of daily use without compromising quality or style.
The Company is committed to Quality Craftsmanship
At Horween, quality is paramount. Every hide that leaves their tannery has been crafted with care and attention to detail, from the selection of the best raw materials to the preservation of natural characteristics. Their commitment to excellence ensures that each piece of leather they produce will stand the test of time and look beautiful for years to come. This dedication to quality craftsmanship is what makes Horween leathers so sought after by professional makers and discerning consumers alike.
It is a testament to their quality that many craftsmen like to leave the Horween mark visible on their products, as it is a sign of a job well done.
Horween Leather is the perfect choice for anyone looking for a long-lasting and stylish leather product. With their commitment to quality craftsmanship and their use of only the best raw materials, Horween produces some of the finest hides in the industry. From shoes to wallets to belts, these leathers are sure to look beautiful and last for years to come. So, if you’re looking for leather that will stand the test of time and make your products look their best, Horween is an excellent choice.
At Cheekoo's we use Horween Dublin Leather in many products including bags, backpacks and some wallets and other accessories. Horween is the only American tannery we use today, and it remains a giant in the field dominated by premium Italian tanneries.