Wolverine Leathers is the global leader of Performance Leather derived from pigskin. Wolverine Leathers offers pigskin leathers with an array of performance features, colors, weights, and varieties. Wolverine Leathers specializes in working with designers, developers and sourcing specifiers to determine the best leathers to meet their footwear manufacturing requirements.
100+ Years of Experience
Wolverine Leathers is a division of Wolverine World Wide, Inc., which began in 1883 as the Hirth-Krause Company, a distributor and retailer of quality shoes. Early on, the company quickly saw the importance of vertical integration to ensure a supply of leather. In 1910 the company opened its own tannery on Main Street in Rockford, Michigan making full use of the recently developed chrome tanning.
Horsehide was a primary product of the tannery for over 45 years. In the 1950’s, the US government was entering into the Korean War and needed pigskin leather for gloves to support the US troops. The government turned to Wolverine’s engineers and asked us if we could design a machine to skin pigs faster. At the time, it took 1 man, 1 hour to skin a pig. Not very cost effective for the meat packing plant. Wolverine invented a machine that could skin 400 pigs per hour! This revolutionized the meat packing business and put Wolverine into the pigskin business. Advancements were made to allow pigskin to become a major source of leather for footwear.
Authentic Pigskin Nubuck
WOLVERINE invented pigskin nubuck in 1956 and collaborated with 3M to combine their newly introduced Scotchgard Protector in 1958. Our Shag leather was the first performance leather in the industry that offered water, oil and stain repellency without changing the look and feel of the leather. The first brand to use the leather was Hush Puppies®. Silkee® soon followed as a softer version of Shag for more tailored casual footwear. Wolverine pigskin nubuck is the authority in the leather industry with over 60 years of experience producing it and over 100 years of tanning expertise. Choose Wolverine pigskin nubuck to become radically different from your competition.
Today Wolverine Leathers contracts tanning and coloring with tanneries in the USA, Vietnam, Thailand and China in an effort to meet our customer’s global sourcing requirements. Our Thailand tannery was awarded Tannery of the Year in 2018.
Our focus is on sustainability as we develop new leathers that are metal free, chrome free, Blue Sign and ZDHC compliant. Our facilities are LWG Gold as we work to reduce the environmental impact in our clean and secure manufacturing operations.