Shell Cordovan Production
The process by which shell cordovan leather is produced is centuries old and so special that it simply cannot be replicated by modern machinery. It is all done by hand, which accounts for the following factors:
- the long time it takes to produce (6 months)
- the high cost (it's true)
- the fine craftsmanship
- the love and care imbued in each shell cordovan product
For shell cordovan leather to be shell cordovan leather, it must be made from the skin of a horse's posterior rather than from a cow. The circular "shells" are then tanned by a natural vegetable treatment process for about six months. This requires know-how, excellent technique, and unbelievable patience.
Shell cordovan is extremely rare. There are only two tanneries in the world that produce shell cordovan leather, one of them being the Horween Leather Company in Chicago.