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.
The solution to the problem came from Wolverine Shoe & Tanning, as the company was known at the time. During the early 1950’s, the US military needed pigskin leather for gloves. At the time, it took one man, one hour to skin a pig. After years of investment and development, the company patented a machine that made pigskin economically feasible.
Availability of pigskin opened the door to a range of possibilities in shoemaking. The introduction of Scotchgard Protector for Leather, made the company’s leather the first performance leather on the market. The year was 1958 and it was when the Hush Puppies brand was born. This leather featured the breathability, durability, water, oil and stain repellency, and easy care maintenance that is still the company’s platform.
Today Wolverine Leathers contracts tanning and coloring with tanneries in the USA, Vietnam and China in an effort to meet our customer’s global sourcing requirements.
The experience of Wolverine Leathers key staff and long standing position in the industry allows customers to take advantage of its unique knowledge and strengths. Wolverine Leathers is an expert in pigskin and the requirements needed to yield a quality material to create a quality product.