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    News & Information — Nokona

    Nokona Leather Guide

    Experts Since 1926

    Since Nokona first started making leather goods in 1926, the importance of leather quality has always been a top priority. Our constant pursuit of excellence is shown in working with tanneries, both in the United States and globally, to obtain their highest quality hides. Choose from our signature full-grain Steerhides, to Bison, Kangaroo, and exotics, we have a wide selection of high-performing leathers to suit your preferences.

    In ninety-three years, we have seen a lot of leather.  All leathers are unique and we have always strived to fit the right leather with the intended use.  Some players prefer “broken-in”, softer leathers, like our kangaroo hides, while others want a stiffer leather like our Kips, which the player can mold to their hand over an extended time.  One of the things that sets Nokona apart from other manufacturers is the goal of finding the right leather for the job, not just accepting “so called” glove leather from tanneries.

    Nokona management and craftsmen have studied at the University of Cincinnati Leather Research Laboratory to learn about how leather is tanned and tested for top performance.

    Leather Uniqueness

    As a natural product, all of our proprietary leathers have unique characteristics.  Different leathers can be combined to bring certain qualities to a glove.  An example of this would be our use of lightweight and supple, but tough kangaroo skin, with more, fuller-bodied steerhides, for a great performance combination.

    There are many types and tannages of leather.

    CHROME TANNING – This is the most preferred method for ball glove leather, as it yields a manageable temper leather that is best suited for ballgloves.

    VEGETABLE TANNING –  More normally used for saddles and belts, this process can sometimes be combined with Chrome Tanning to make a very unique feeling leather.

    ALUM TANNING – This process has long been used to make ball glove laces with less stretch.  A more recent development has been the combining of Alum and Chrome tanning to make a supple and tough lace.

    FULL GRAIN LEATHER – The strongest. Full grain leather is the topmost part of the hide, where the animal’s hair existed.  Because it still has the epidermis layer, it is the strongest type of leather.

    TOP GRAIN LEATHER – This is a hide that has had the top layer mechanically manipulated to hide defects.  Top coats can be added to “even out” the finish and make a very nice looking leather, but with not as much strength as full grain.

    SPLITS – Suede or “sueded split” is the back layer of a hide, being mechanically cut from the full grain side at the tannery, so that both sides have a rougher feel.  This can be used in linings, but would not be used for the outside shell of the glove.  Typically, tanneries use splits to sell the remainder of a hide, when their top grain customer does not want the full weight of a hide.

     

    Nokona Leathers

    Nokona is the only glove manufacturer to offer 7 different leathers in over 30 colors. Each leather is unique and offers different characteristics. Players should take time to study the qualities of the leather to ensure a good match to their break-in preference and playing styles. Choose from our signature full-grain Steerhides, to Bison, Kangaroo, and exotics; we have a wide selection of high-performing leathers, each with unique characteristics to suit your preferences.

     

    Full Grain Steerhide

    • Sourced from American ranchers Walnut™ – our signature Steerhide, known for its classic “crunch” look and feel

    • Buckskin Stampede™ – infused with proprietary oils and waxes for a soft, pliable, dense feel

    • Generation™ – our pro-grade Steerhide, with a vintage, golden finish

    Full Grain AmericanKIP

    • The finest American Steerhide
    • Durable with a buttery feel
    • Light-weight
    • High-performing
    • Top choice among pro players

    Nokona Supersoft

    • A specialty-tanned Steerhide, made with an organic tanning method
    • Great flexibility and softness

    American Bison

    • Flexible and soft for easy break-in, with a distinct grain
    • Durable and light-weight
    • Ideal for Select and Adult gloves

    Japanese Calfskin

    • Sourced from specialty-tanned Japanese calfskin
    • Tight fibers and fine pores, for a very smooth appearance
    • Holds vibrant colors very well
    • Extremely light-weight
    • High-performing

    Australian Kangaroo

    • Sourced from wild-range Australian kangaroos
    • High-performing, specialized leather that is stronger and lighter-weight than any other ballglove leather at same thickness
    • Fibers interlock for greater strength and durability
    • Soft and flexible
    • When combined with our Steerhides, we call it Buckaroo™

     

    Shop Nokona Gloves & Mitts

    America’s Pastime. American Made. Nokona.

    WHERE HERITAGE INSPIRES INNOVATION

    Since 1934, in Nocona, Texas, premium ball gloves have been handcrafted by skilled American workers, using the world’s highest quality leathers. Many of these people have dedicated their lives to producing the finest baseball and softball gloves, so that each glove can be used with confidence and pride. Nokona gloves are individually cut, stamped, stitched, laced, and embroidered, which gives each one its own unique identity and feel. Today, Nokona is focused on the future, applying many of the same principles that have guided our past – quality, craftsmanship, innovation, integrity, and a commitment to our employees, suppliers, customers, and our country. We continue to put classic American workmanship into every glove, using techniques developed over the past 85+ years.

    Made in America

    All Nokona items are designed in the U.S., and our ‘Made N USA’ marking shows that your Nokona is made entirely or almost entirely in the U.S., with the highest quality and performance leathers from around the world. This includes gloves and belts made in our American facilities using specialty leathers such as American Steerhide, American Bison, Kangaroo from Australia and Japanese CalfSKNT™.

    Assembled in America

    We also offer products marked with ‘Assembly N USA’, which signifies that at least 50% of the labor and leather combined are American.

    AMERICAN HERITAGE

    Our products marked as ‘American Heritage’ are all made with our famous American leathers, and are produced to the same high-quality standards Nokona is known for, in countries other than the United States. The synergy between these American-made categories gives you a wide range of options, as you can select your preference in our custom product sections, and all Nokona items can be sent directly to our Texas facility for service or repairs. We are proud to put classic American workmanship into all Nokona products, using techniques that we have developed for almost 100 years.

    Honored at the White House

    In a tribute to American workers, President Donald J. Trump invited one company from each of the 50 states to participate in the Great American-Made Product Showcase at the White House. Nokona was honored to represent the great state of Texas at the 2019 event.