Definition of Suede

Suede is a type of leather obtained from the inner layer of an animal's hide, specifically from lamb, goat, or calf. It has a unique texture and softness that finds use in the making of shoes, jackets, upholstery, and accessories.

Suede is created by sanding the top layer of leather to produce a napped or fuzzy texture. This texture makes it incredibly soft to the touch and gives it a distinct look that many people find appealing.

One of the primary advantages of suede is its softness and flexibility which makes it very comfortable to wear. Suede is also lightweight so it’s ideal for use in products that require flexibility and ease of movement. 

Its unique texture and appearance make it a favorite material for fashion items due to its luxurious feel.

However, suede does have some drawbacks. One of the biggest disadvantages is that it's not as durable as other types of leather. It’s prone to staining, which is difficult to remove. 

While suede has many advantages, it does require some special care and attention. Due to its open pores and texture, suede absorbs liquids fast and therefore gets dirty easily. 

Here are some tips for caring for suede:

  • Use a suede brush to gently remove dirt and stains.
  • Avoid getting suede wet, as it can cause discoloration and damage to the material. If it does get wet, blot it with a clean, dry cloth and let it air dry.
  • Store suede in a cool, dry place to prevent moisture and mildew.
  • Consider using a suede protector spray to prevent stains and water damage.

The table below outlines additional care instructions and tips when using suede:

Care Instruction Additional Tips Special Considerations Recommended Frequency
Use a suede brush Avoid excessive pressure to prevent damage Brush regularly to maintain a clean appearance Weekly
Avoid water exposure Use a dry cloth to blot and absorb any spills Allow the suede to air dry naturally As needed
Blot stains Avoid rubbing the stain, as it may spread Test any cleaning products on a small area first As soon as stains occur
Use suede protector Follow the instructions on the product label Reapply the protector periodically for best results Every few months
Proper storage Use a breathable storage bag or box Avoid storing suede in plastic or airtight containers Before and after each use

When it comes to choosing between suede and other types of leather, there are a few things to consider. Full grain leather, for example, is more durable than suede and offers better protection against water damage and staining.

Even so, it requires care, and to make your full grain leather items last even longer, we recommend using our Leather Balm—made of natural ingredients—to protect, restore and waterproof your leather to make it last longer.

before and after of a shoe after using leather balm

However, suede is softer and more flexible than full grain leather, which makes it a more comfortable material to wear. 

Ultimately, the choice between suede and full grain leather depends on your specific needs.

Example of Suede in a sentence

“My new belt is made of high-quality suede that adds sophistication to my outfits.”


Brushed leather, nubuck.

Related terms for Suede