Good Morning Fellow Wet Shavers,
At the end of last year I reached out to Fromm International (the parent company) with some questions about the history of the Illinois Strop Company. I mentioned the interview on the “Wet Shaving News Podcast” but never here.
A couple of years ago I purchased a new Illinois Strop from a credible wet shaving vendor. I found it very difficult to find information on the company, both past and present. Other than a few reviews from wet shavers, there really wasn’t much out there.
I decided to contact Fromm International to find out more. Below is the exact email (copy and paste) that I received. I have received full permission from Fromm International to disclose this interview.
I’m so sorry this has taken you so long! Please see below for the answers to the questions you had. These can be credited to Sara Pirok, Chief Marketing Officer at Fromm.
1. Where are Illinois Strops currently made?
a. The Illinois Strops have been created in the U.S. since 1907 and continue to be produced locally to this day. As the founding product of our business, the Illinois Strops are a very important part of the Fromm brand, past and present.
2. Has there been an increase in production/interest in the past few years?
a. The Illinois Strops are a classic and useful tool essential to hair professionals; therefore, a steady demand necessitates ongoing and constant production.
3. Are there any pictures/videos available involving the making /production of these strops?
a. Please see attached for an image of James Simon of the Illinois Razor Strop company in 1907.
4. What types of leather are used?
a. In order to ensure the highest quality product, we source the best materials possible. For our Illinois Strops, we use full grain cowhide, which will keep razor edges straight and sharp.
5. Any new items coming out in the near future?
a. Fromm is dedicated to finding better ways to create beauty. Our team is always innovating to ensure that our products are of the highest quality and serve a unique purpose.
6. How is the linen component produced?
a. Like the product as a whole, our linen is handmade to ensure quality and durability. The linen component is produced with makers who weave fire hose.
7. Does the company still use similar procedures as they did in years past?
a. Handmade since 1907, our Illinois Strops are still composed in a similar fashion to years past. Fromm is dedicated to creating coveted products and we often look to our heritage for inspiration to do so.
While this interview may not be as detailed as I liked, it’s still much appreciated!
Thanks Guys and Happy Thursday!