If you share our enthusiasm for fine leathers, we recommend you visit Chicago's legendary Horween Leather Co. While touring the tannery, Nick Horween spoke of the company's long history and allowed us a glance at the process of producing Horween Shell Cordovan, the finest leather in the world. We left educated and thoroughly impressed.
Color 8 is one of the original colors. We used to name all of the colors with numbers. The color was definitely developed by my great, great grandfather, Isadore. I've come across hand written formulas from 1911 and re-typed copies from the 50's. The color is almost certainly older, and was probably around in some form since 1905.
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 six months. Each shell is slowly steeped in gentle vegetable liquors. The shells are genuine hot stuffed 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. - Horween Leather