Raw Materials

Vegetable Tanning

 We use only the finest Italian leather, sourced directly from Tuscan factories in Italy

The vegetable tanned genuine leather absorbs the traces of experience. It ages but does not deteriorate. It is precisely the unique changes that occur over time and with use that testify to the natural nature of the product. The colours of the tannins bring intense tones and multiple shades to the leather, and over time and with use these tend to re-emerge on the surface.

High-quality leather requires very little maintenance. Over time, it will acquire a patina and age more beautifully. As with all leathers, avoid contact with water.





We use this leather only for individual orders. Write to us by mail polkovnikovtanner@gmail.com with your wishes for the product

The Horween Leather Company is proud of the fact that it hasn't updated its techniques past hundred years. Most recent developments in leather tanning are all about cost and efficiency when Horween had other priorities. They've been making high quality, naturally tanned leather since 1905 and they’re quite happy with the way it’s working out for them. When Isadore Horween founded the company back then he had a simple philosophy about quality:

“The price goes on last, and if we cannot sell it for what it is worth, we should not make that leather.”

 He knew what he was saying. Isadore started out in the industry because, shown samples of leather at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, he decided he could do better. After twelve years working for a local tannery he set up his own firm and lived up to his word. Since then five generations of Horweens have been producing leather in Chicago, and that guiding philosophy hasn't changed at all. While competitors have been cutting corners and gone for higher volume at lower prices, Horween have kept right on producing a high quality product the way it’s meant to be done. All their leather is still made in the factory where Horween have been located since 1920, by a unique, skilled team who bring a lot of talent into what they do. It’s a labor of love, and the results speak for themselves. If you need leather you can always rely on nothing else matches up. The NFL agrees; Horween is the exclusive supplier of leather for NFL footballs.

Modern leather is usually tanned with synthetic chemical solutions, most often a solution of chrome salts – up to 80% of all leather uses this process. Chrome tanning can be done in a day - the leather dyes quickly. Higher quality leather is often tanned with aldehydes; automobile upholstery and many expensive shoes are usually made with this type of leather. Unfortunately real vegetable-tanned leather has become scarce and hard to find – but still available at Horween Leather Company.

All Horween leather is still traditionally vegetable-tanned the old-fashioned way. It’s one of the few tanneries in the USA that still does the entire process in-house, starting with raw, cured hides and handling every step from there into excellent quality final product. From selecting flawless, unblemished native hides to delivering a piece of perfectly tanned leather can take two months or more, depending on the exact process used. Horween produce several styles of leather for different types of products but its quality always remained top-notch.