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Why The Horween Tannery produces such great bag leather?

Is Horween leather really all its cracked up to be?

Horween Leather Company, located in Chicago, Illinois, is known for producing some of the world's finest leather. The tannery has been operating for over 100 years and has a reputation for dedication to quality and craftsmanship that makes it a favorite among bag makers and leather enthusiasts. Anvil Hide is one such bag maker that has had great success using Horween leather. Selling out of the famous Anvil Duffle, year after year.

More about the Hoween leather used in Anvil Hide bags like the duffle or the Anvil Tote:


Chromexcel leather is steeped in tradition, utilizing time-honored techniques and formulas developed almost a century ago. To this day, it is produced in the United States using a proprietary bark retannage process and is then hot stuffed with a secret blend of natural oils and greases. This results in a luxurious, full aniline pull-up leather that boasts hand-rubbed finishes. The leather is crafted with old-world techniques that have been passed down through generations, ensuring superior comfort and durability.

Chromexcel leather is versatile and available in a range of weights, from 2-3 oz (0.8-1.2 mm) horsefronts to 3.5-4 oz (1.4-1.6 mm) cowhide leather and up to 9-10 oz (3.6-4.0 mm). There are also variations of Chromexcel that are waterproof and cementable.

There are several reasons why Horween Chromexcel leather is highly regarded for bag-making:

  1. High-quality hides: Horween uses only the highest quality hides, sourced from some of the best tanneries in the world. This ensures that only the best raw materials are used to make the leather.

  2. Time-tested tanning process: Horween uses a time-tested tanning process that has been refined over many decades. The process involves a combination of vegetable and chrome tanning, which produces leather that is durable, flexible, and beautiful.

  3. Skilled craftsmen: The tannery employs skilled craftsmen who have a deep understanding of leather and how to work with it. They carefully hand-select each hide and oversee every step of the tanning process, ensuring that each piece of leather is of the highest quality.

  4. Consistency: Horween leather is known for its consistency in color, texture, and thickness. This is due to the tannery's strict quality control standards, which ensure that each piece of leather meets the same high standards.

  5. Durability: Horween leather is extremely durable and can withstand years of use without showing signs of wear and tear. This makes it an excellent choice for bags that are meant to last a lifetime.

Anvil Hide has had success using Horween leather because it shares the tannery's dedication to craftsmanship and quality. The company's bags are made with great attention to detail and using only the best materials, including Horween leather.