We are proud to offer silky soft, Italian suede in a variety of colors and sizes. Our suede is tanned with premium anilines dyes that penetrate through the entire leather. Each piece has been carefully finished through a fine sanding process resulting in an even surface with a superb, velvety touch. Please note, our suede is "single sided" with only the top side being fully buffed and polished.
Suede leather, also referred to as simply “suede,” is the bottom layer of a cow hide. After a cow hide is tanned, the hide is split into a top and bottom layer. The top layer will become full and top grain leather (our specialty) and is most often used for upholstery. The bottom layer will become suede or finished into a variety of leather products often referred to as “genuine leather.” The diagram and video below illustrates the splitting process.
Leather hides being split at the tannery
The next diagram is a cross section of the hide before splitting. Notice the top & full grain includes features of the skin and is made up of the grain and some corium - while suede is mostly just the corium. The fibers of the corium are notably looser than the fibers of the grain which is why suede is not as strong a material as top and full grain leather.
Because these fibers are looser, the bottom layer of a cow hide is perfect for making suede. These looser fibers help give suede the unique, “fuzzy” feel which is also known as the “nap.” To create that unmistakably luxurious feel, the nap is lightly sanded to give suede a uniform look and extra soft touch. As suede does not have any skin features or natural markings, a premium suede leather will be entirely usable. Also, all premium suedes will be colored with aniline dyes that fully penetrate through the entire hide, and provide a rich, lasting color. While both sides of a piece of suede can be fully sanded and brushed to create “double-sided suede,” most often, only one side is given this level of finishing. Single-sided suedes, like we offer here, are typically favored and are ideal for a variety of applications like shoes, handbags, luggage, furniture and more.
How to Clean Suede Material
It is important to note that suede leather is a porous material, and requires some simple care and protection to keep it looking new. A suede protectant is always recommended, and can be applied before use to help prevent staining. We prefer non-aerosol, solvent-free products that can be sprayed evenly onto the surface, like Uniter’s Eco-Protector. Which protects against oil, water, and alcohol based stains. When using any protectant, be sure to test a small, inconspicuous spot before applying to a large area.
If needed, suede can be spot cleaned with a soft, moist, lint-free cloth, or suede friendly sponge- using either water, or a suitable cleaner. It is imperative that the cleaner, and cloth or sponge, are safe for suede. Kits like the Uniter’s Nubuck Cleaning Kit that have been vigorously tested and come with clear instructions can simplify the cleaning process.
You may find that a damp cloth or sponge temporarily darkens your suede, don’t worry! As long as appropriate products were used, your suede should return to its original color once dried. A soft, suede-safe leather brush can also help restore the look and feel of your suede, especially after cleaning.
Keeping your suede clean, and protected, ensures you will be enjoying it for years to come!