Did you know the leather for every single NFL football, including the ones that will be used in this Sunday’s Super Bowl, is crafted by members of UFCW Local 1546 who work at the Horween Leather Company? The hard-working men and women of the Horween Leather Company in Chicago, Ill., have been supplying the leather for every Super Bowl football since the very first game in 1967.
The company takes pride in the talented UFCW members whose skills can be seen in the high quality of the final product. Despite the leather’s sheen, which can give the appearance of being slippery, the proprietary “tanned in tack” finish actually means the ball gets stickier after being buffed a few times, making it easier to grip. A 1,000-ton press with special German-made embossing plates gives the leather its distinctive pebbling.
“It doesn’t just take a high-level of skill to throw a football, it takes a lot of talent to make one too,” said Earl Ferguson, a machine operator and UFCW Local 1546 member at Horween Leather Company. “ We’re proud that our hard work contributes value to something as big as the Super Bowl.”
Take a peak inside the historic plant and learn more about how the leather is made in this video: