Info Horween Leather

Published on June 15th, 2013 | by makesupply


A Brief Guide to Buying Horween Leather

Ahh sweet, sweet Horween leather. From the waxy Chromexcel to the flawless grain of Shell Cordovan. No where else in the world can you source such a wide variety of unique leather for projects of all types. Getting started with Horween leathers can seem a little daunting but today we will try to set you on the right path by showing you some options for buying your first batch.

Horween Leather Company – USA Born and Bred

Horween Leather Company has been tanning some of the best leather in the world for over a century in Chicago, Illinois. Started by Isadore Horween in 1905, Horween Leather Company has evolved into an industry leader but still stays true to their old world tannages and techniques developed years ago. The remain one of the oldest continually running tannery in the USA.

“I’m on the Horween website, where do I go to buy test pieces of leather!?”

Hold your horses, cowboy. You aren’t going to find a lot of ordering information on the Horween website because that is directed towards the big leather companies. The small potatoes like you and I have to use a different means of purchasing. So unless you are ready to buy at least a couple grand worth of leather, continue reading this guide.

“I just want to try out some small pieces of Chromexcel, where can I buy that?”

Lucky for you there are a few options available for getting your feet wet with Chromexcel. At the following websites you can purchase Horween leather in small quantities:


  • Springfield Leather – Great source for smaller portions of Chromexcel and a variety of other Horween tannages.
  • Fine Leatherworking – Fine Leatherworking is a great online shop for top quality tools as well as small quantities of premium Chromexcel.
  • EBAY – The amount of Chromexcel available on EBAY is always growing. Search for “Chromexcel piece” and it should give you some good results.

“I’m still practicing but need larger pieces, do I have any options?”

As a matter of fact you do. If you are still practicing or just looking to save a bit of money you can always purchase Chromexcel Seconds from Maverick Leather Company. Chromexcel Seconds are just cuts that didnt pass Horween’s rigorous final inspection. Maverick Leather Company sells a full line of standard Chromexcel, Chromexcel Seconds, and pages full of Horween specials which can be Chromexcel, Dublin, or Latigo. You do have to order by the side but the discounted prices make it more than worth the investment.

“I want to order specific colors of Chromexcel, Dublin, Shell Cordovan, Latigo, etc., how do I get that?”

When you are looking for specific colors, tannage, or source type (horse, cow, bison, calf) and are ready to buy at least 1 side you can contact Horween’s direct-to-consumer wing called Tannery Row. Be advised that there are usually substantial lead times. Anywhere from a few weeks for standard Chromexcel to 6-9 months for Shell Cordovan. Make sure you ask about the lead time on your order so you can plan accordingly.

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