Isadore Horween (whose surname was originally Horwitz) was born in 1868 just outside of Kiev, had learned the leather business in his native Ukraine. He was a razor strop maker, immigrated to the United States in 1893 and founded I. Horween and Co. in 1905. Horween Leather Company is located in Chicago, Illinois.
Isadore Horween and his family.
The company's original focus was the production of razor strops, to sharpen razors used in shaving. With the advent of the safety razor by K.C. Gilette, the need for razor strops waned, and the company shifted its focus to other products. In 1911, Isadore Horween developed and produced Aniline Chromexcel, one of the company's most traditional tannages.
Chromexcel is a combination tanned leather that undergoes at least 89 separate processes taking 28 working days and utilizing all 5 floors of our facility.
Using time honored techniques and formulas that were developed nearly 100 years ago, Chromexcel is still produced in the United States using a bark retannage from a proprietary recipe, and then genuine hot stuffed with secret blend of natural oils and greases. Chromexcel is characterized by a rich pull-up in full aniline, hand rubbed finishes. Made to this day with old world craftsmanship by fifth generation of the family.
Bridle Leather has both the Flesh and Grain side of the leather stuffed with greases and finished with wax. This is generally a labour intensive process, thus expensive! Only the best grades of leather are treated like this, it would be uneconomic to treat poor quality leather in this way.
We use bridle leathers from Hermann Oak tannery. Handsome and richly colored, oil superbly without additional dyeing. Medium oil content from the tannery eases cutting, stitching, rolling, and insures strength and durability. These leathers will maintain their body throughout their life.
The Hermann Oak Leather company has been making leather since 1881 when Louis Charles Hermann started the business to accommodate the local harness trade and to supply wagon loads of settlers on their way West.
Since 1881 the Hermann Oak Leather company has earned the reputation of being the premier leather manufacturer in the United States. Their specialty is vegetable tanning, a type of tanning used to make leather for many uses, including saddle making.
Full-grain leather refers to hides that have not been sanded, buffed, or snuffed (as opposed to top-grain or corrected leather) to remove imperfections (or natural marks) on the surface of the hide, so the grain has not been altered. Thats why it is made from the highest quality raw. The grain remains allowing the fiber strength and durability. Full-grain leather is considered among the best quality leather available.
All our leather goods are stitched by hands using a saddle stitch. This is a special strong type of stitch that cannot be done by machine.
We use high quality solid brass hardware from respectable manufacturer in USA. Buckles, rings, snaps, etc. are made in Boston, Massachusetts since 1946 year.