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"Retan - To impregnate and condition preserved hides with tanning liquors and extracts. Retan formulations at Horween Leather Company are proprietary and developed in house."
From the definition page of the Horween Website
The ‘retan’ is a crucial step in the tanning process, one that separates good from great leather. When leather is initially tanned it is stabilized, the hide can now be treated a number of different ways. The retan takes the leather in a new direction with the addition of oils, waxes and other extracts. These additions have a tremendous impact on the textural, visual and aromatic quality of the leather.
Our friends at Horween put a great deal of energy into this process. All tanning formulations (the fat liquor) have been developed in house over the 100 years they’ve been in business. We love that Horween is a Chicago based company but this is not the reason we buy our leather from them. We buy from Horween because we feel the make the best leather leathers and the retan is a big part of the reason that they are our exclusive leather supplier.