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.

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.

About 85% of the leather at Horween Leather Company is made from cowhide. The company’s workers take raw hides, which arrive salted to prevent deterioration, trim them, and remove their hair with chemicals in an extremely large washing drum. The leather is then treated with salt and pickled for 24 hours, so that it reaches the desired pH level. It is then bated, tanned, and finished.

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 and 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.

According to horween.com; en.wikipedia.org. Source of photos: internet