For those that have found crazy horse leather - many boots are made from it - they love the contrasting pull up, soft texture, and matte finish. But what is it? Is it made from horses?
What is Crazy Horse (and What It's Not)
Crazy Horse is similar to Horween Chromexcel...except its totally different. Horween Chromexcel is a proprietary type of leather sold by Horween. It's made Chicago. Its a re-tanned leather with a signature smell, shiny surface and medium soft hand.
Crazy Horse is a leather industry term. It can vary between companies that produce it, but is typically a chrome tanned leather, with a medium soft hand. It doesn't have a signature smell. It typically smells like what you think leather should smell like. It has various amounts of waxes and oils added to it, so it usually have nice pull up. It can sometimes even be on the waxy side.
The REAL cool part of Crazy Horse is the finished side. During finishing, its LIGHTLY sanded. So it is still a full grain leather, with most of the character left on the top, but is has a very slight matte fuzz to it. It makes for a velvety, soft texture that is a great feature for all leather goods, especially straps.
Why We Use Crazy Horse Leather
When we choose leathers to make our straps out of, we have a certain set of criteria we use.
- Strong - we don't make our straps under 5oz leather. This help with the leather keeping its shape and not overly stretching during use
- Soft - this is the reason we don't use veg tanned leather. We like chrome tanned or re-tanned leather so our straps have a great soft feel to them. Veg tanned, including bridle and harness has its place (and we may occasionally make straps from those leathers), but we almost always choose a vintage style soft leather.
- Looks Amazing - this is subjective, but we love pull up leathers. Contrasting light and dark, records of how its been used, every strap unique.
Crazy Horse checks all these boxes and more!
Check out these listings these products that use crazy horse leather!
Also in All About Leather
We use several standard types of leather for all of our camera and guitar straps, including Horween Chromexcel and Crazy Horse style leather from several great tanneries. The following is a brief summary of the types of leather we offer and the colors currently available.
Tasman Leather Group is a tannery located in Heartland, ME in the USA. They make a variety of leather, specializing in chrome tanned and vegetable tanned (Thoroughbred Leather in Louisville, KY). Tasman is a family owned company that was started in 1947 making it 71 years old! Tasman produces 160,000 sides of leather a week...that means that 25% of ALL US cattle comes ends up coming through a Tasman facility.
Many people's first exposure to Horween is via Chromexcel which is used in several brands of men's boots including Wolverine 1000 Miles and Oak Street Bootmakers boots. Another common introduction to Horween is via the highly coveted Shell Cordovan leather.