While leather is a distinct material, suede is simply a finish rather than to a specific type of leather. Its signature soft feel sets it apart from other leather finishes. Its velvety softness comes from the fact that suede is from the inside of the hide while leather is made from the outside of the hide. Due to the delicate nature of suede, it is even more susceptible to environmental damage than leather and takes extra care to maintain its supple feel. Like leather, not all suede materials are the same quality; thus not all suede can be treated the same way – or with the same cleaning products. Even a few drops of water can permanently stain suede clothes. Suede fabric also cracks as it ages when not properly cared for. This is why it’s so important to entrust your suede garments to a professional suede clothes cleaner. Professional tailors and garment makers recommend suede jackets, coats and other suede apparel be professionally cleaned at least once a year.
Difference Between Real and Faux Suede
Other than the fact that real suede comes from animal skins and faux suede is a synthetic material, there are several differences between suede and imitation suede. Authentic suede is generally more delicate than fake suede and synthetic “suede” is designed to stand up to water without staining better than real suede ever would, thus making fake suede easier to care for. Even though there are chemicals sold to improve the water resistance of suede jackets, the reality is people experience mixed results when applying these products. The best bet is to limit wearing suede clothes to indoors or sunny days (hard to predict in Minnesota!) and have them cleaned by a professional suede clothes cleaner once a year.
Another difference is how the materials change as they age. True suede tends to crack and discolor as it gets older; even more-so than leather since it is made from the delicate underside of the animal’ skin while leather is made from the outer layer of the animal. Over time, different parts of a suede jacket will react differently to sunlight and environmental elements. Fake suede ages much more uniformly and consistently.
Lastly, the biggest difference between real suede and fake suede is the price; something you have likely already experienced.
Difference Between Suede and Nubuck
Nubuck is a finishing treatment of leather; usually top-grain leather, which is made from the outer part of animal hide while suede is made from the underside of the animal hide. Nubuck has a velvety texture similar to suede due to the buffing treatment of the leather. However, it tends to have natural markings more akin to a leather jacket than a suede jacket. The hide used to make a suede jacket is buffed to remove the impurities, thus creating a more refined look and eliminating any natural markings that are considered part of the beauty in a leather jacket. A suede jacket is also softer and more flexible than a nubuck jacket, but it is not as tough as nubuck.
As with leather jackets and suede jackets, professionals recommend that you have your nubuck jacket cleaned once a year by an expert leather clothes cleaner such as Village Cleaners in St. Louis Park.
Don’t Risk Ruining Your Suede Clothes By Trying To Clean Them At Home
There are many tips online as to how to clean your suede clothes at home, but why would you pay top dollar for luxurious, soft suede garments only to risk ruining them to save a couple of dollars by trying to clean it at home? With a combined 100 years experience in specialty clothes cleaning, the Ramsey family [owners of Village Cleaners] has been cleaning, treating and caring for suede coats and jackets at the same location in St. Louis Park since 1951. No other specialty garment cleaner in St Louis Park, Edina, Hopkins, Minnetonka or any other nearby suburb can provide you with this level of experience or expertise.