In the Fall of 2011 we began production on our new collection of men’s belts, wallets and bags made from some of the finest leathers available in the world today. Aside from their superior leather qualities, these hides are 100% tanned and finished in USA by a five-generation, family run American company that started and still is in Chicago, IL. Founded in 1905, Horween Leather Company is one of the oldest continuously running tanneries in the United States, and the only one still located in Chicago, Illinois. Horween Leather Company has become sort of a “famous tannery” in recent years (deservedly so). They provide the leather for both the NFL footballs, NBA basketballs and they are the only tannery in the US that can produce and tan Genuine Shell Cordovan leather (horsehide butts), a true old-world, artisan tanning process that they have perfected and become known for world-wide.
What really drew us to Horween leathers is their passion for excellence and their philosophy to make the absolute finest leathers they can, making the cost secondary to quality. Teaching us that leather is NOT just a commodity but a luxury too. If you think about how often you put a wallet in your hands DAILY, why would you want to hold a cheap piece of leather, tanned in China and made in India that is bound to wear-out in less than a year? It feels really good to pull out your wallet that was made better, designed better and 100% American built and sourced.
We will be using both Horween Chromexcel® leather along with a limited amount of their "Shell Cordovan" leather for wallets. Chromexcel is unique in every aspect as is the tanning process (read more about this at www.horween.com). Aside from their Genuine Shell Cordovan Leather, you will not find a better hide for wallets, belts and small leather goods as Horween Chromexcel®. Much like a great steak, you don’t need to over-season the meat. Chromexcel® is at it’s finest with minimal seams, trims and linings. The leather, hardware and edge-finishing is what makes the product look fantastic. Less is definitely more when building products with Horween Leathers.
As a leather connoisseur of sorts, I have never worked with a leather that is as perfect as Chromexcel® is for belts, wallets and bags. It is unique in every aspect as is the tanning process. It is essentially a waterproof, full-grain aniline leather that is hand glazed and oil-tanned. The tanning process for the Horween Chromexcel® leather spans over 28 working days and 89 separate processes to complete. It is complex and sophisticated but creates an amazing hide of leather that is like no other. One thing I have noticed is that the beauty of these products truly surface as the leather ages and is worked-in a bit. It really does look and feel even better with time, this is not usually the case with most leathers.
If you If you are not familiar with Genuine Shell Cordovan leather, it is a very interesting leather in many aspects. First of all it is probably the most expensive leather in the world today. It is about 10x more expensive than any hides we have ever purchased. The shell is the hindquarter or butt of the horsehide. It is the toughest part of the hide and has unique grain characteristics. I would say that about 90% of Shell Cordovan is used in very high-end men's dress shoes. Horween's Shell Cordovan is still tanned using a six-month-long process and formulas that date back to its founder, Isadore Horween, in the early 1900's. By using this artisan-like approach to the tanning and finishing process, Horween Leather achieves the rich, glossy look and feel prized by generations of shoemakers worldwide. There is really no leather like Genuine Cordovan. The way in which it wears, polishes and patinas over time is truly one of a kind. I can comfortably guarantee you that whether a wallet or a pair of shoes, whatever you buy in Shell Cordovan will last a lifetime and some.
A detailed blog from Horween about their Shell Cordovan: http://horween.wordpress.com/2009/05/28/horween-leather-company-only-producer-of-genuine-shell-cordovan-in-north-america/
If you really have an interest and about 15-minutes, watch this video from Horween Leather about Genuine Shell Cordovan: http://vimeo.com/4814754
Call our offices and speak with Brent if you are interested in ordering or simply inquiring about Shell Cordovan (1-800-283-9509). Everything we cut from HORWEEN Leather will be made exclusively in our new San Diego leather shop. The products will essentially be 100% USA Tanned and Handcrafted. The only part of these items that will come from outside the US would be any hardware buckles and snaps. As much as I want to make these products 100% American Made and sourced, it is near impossible today to get good brass hardware and trim parts that are made in the US. The Horween leathers are not always easy to get and supplies will be limited at times. If you can allow for extra lead-times on these products, it would be recommended. We will try to keep some of the CXL hides in-stock most of the time, but I cannot guarantee this. Give us a little extra time on these leathers please.
I can't wait to see the new products! The leather sounds wonderful, and I am in the market for a new briefcase or messenger bag, CC ready of course. Perfect timing!
I just recieved my wallets made with this awesome leather!!!! Everyone who seen it asks questions, I have never ever seen leather like this, and again the craftsmanship put into all of the products are remarkable. These products are what America is all about.
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