As you all know, we love leather – it’s pretty obvious! But one of our favourites is our range of Horween Leather. You could in fact argue that Horween leather is the world’s best leather!

Horween Leather is named after the tannery where it is produced- The Horween Leather Company. It was founded in 1905 and for more than 100 years and five generations their goal has been to make the world’s best leather.

They use native hides for the best grains and yields, premium grade oils, dyes and retaining agents and they are one of the only tanneries in the US that still processes hides from their raw, cured state to finished leather. Today, their leathers are still made by hand, the same way as generations ago.

One of the most popular and well know Horween Leathers is Chromexcel.


Chromexcel is the original pull-up leather; using time honored techniques and formulas that were developed nearly 100 years ago.  Chromexcel is a combination tanned leather that undergoes at least 89 separate processes taking 28 working days and utilising all 5 floors of our facility – a complicated process! It’s produced using a bark retannage from a proprietary recipe, and then genuine hot stuffed with their secret blend of natural oils and greases. Chromexcel is characterised 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 amazingly supple, and molds itself easily to anything you keep in it. It’s never stiff or uncomfortable. A case made of Chromexcel will accommodate what it’s meant to hold without binding or sticking, and it feels great under your hands too. Soft yet resilient, it’s pleasant to hold in any temperature and won’t turn slippery in the rain – the hot-stuffing process gives it excellent water shedding properties. If you want leather you’ll be happy to use every day it’s hard to beat Chromexcel.


Our newest addition to our Horween range is Essex which is essentially a “new” leather.
One of the challenges for Horween as tanners is to keep coming up with “new” leathers.  Essex was developed from the thought “what if we take a top quality cowhide and tan it with the same liquor we use to tan shell cordovan?”
Like any development it almost never works out perfectly the first time through.  But, after a solid 2 – 3 years of trials and production runs, Horween Leather Company nailed it.  The leather already has a handful of iterations, but the base tannage is called Essex.  It’s a rich, full grain leather that utilises the same blends of extracts that they use in their shell cordovan.
It’s very versatile – ideal for leather craftsmen, artisans and hobbyists and perfect for wide a variety of uses including notebooks, journals, wallets, bags, shoes, belts & straps, purses, falconry, satchels and re-enactment.

We have a wide range of Horween available in our shop from Chromexcel horse fronts to Derby and Football. Each are of the highest quality and perfect for many projects. If you would like any advice about our Horween Products please do give us a call on +44 (0)1273 514444 or email

About Horween Leather Company

Horween Leather Company is an American company specializing in the manufacturing and refining of leather and related products. It is one of the oldest continuously running tanneries in the United States of America. Since its founding in the early 20th century it has been located in Chicago.
Isadore Horween founded the company in 1905, and worked in it until 1949. His two sons, Arnold Horween (Chairman and President; 1949–84) and Ralph Horween, became executives of the company and worked in it after their careers as All American football players for the Harvard Crimson, and playing in the National Football League.
Arnold’s son Arnold Horween Jr. worked with it from 1953–2003, and his son Arnold “Skip” Horween III has worked with it since 1972. The fifth generation of Horweens, Nicholas (Nick) Arnold Horween, has worked at the company since 2009.
Horween Leather Company offers an array of tannages using primarily cowhide and horsehide, and also using smaller quantities of calf and bison hides. Its leather is used in a number of products including sports equipment, sports and casual footwear, bags, wallets, briefcases, belts, coats, jackets, and other apparel and accessories. It is known for its production of Shell Cordovan (the Chicago Tribune called it the “Cordovan capital of the world”), professional football leather, and Chromexcel, among other leathers It is the exclusive supplier of leather for National Football League footballs, and also supplies the leather that is used for National Basketball Association basketballs.
Horween Leather Company is located in a five-story block-long factory in Chicago.