We have 14 colours of suede leather in our belt range and we use suede in many of our bag and glove ranges too, but what is it and why do we love it so much?
Suede (pronounced SWAYD) is the type of leather that has a napped surface finish which can be described as velvety. Suede can be made from the hides of many animals including sheep, deer, goat and calf.
How is it made?
The soft surface is formed from the fibrous interior of the skin. Sometimes the leather is simply used by reversing it. Turning the skin side underneath gives the leather strength but also a certain stiffness. Most suede is made from leather that has been split, with the outer skin layer removed, to reveal the fibrous under-layers which are milled to velvety perfection. The surface texture depends on the animal that it was derived from and more mature cows will produce a more fibrous surface compared to calves or goats.
Why did we choose Suede leather for our range?
The surface of suede leather is very smooth and tactile. The soft peach-skin texture looks and feels very luxurious. The velvety surface also diffuses the light which allows the richness of the colour to shine through. We use calf suede for our bags and belts for the richness of the colour and the thicker quality of the suede gives a bag a certain weight and finish that we like. We use the same suede for our belt range but back it with a nabuk style leather to give it strength. For our gloves range we use a traditional goat suede (kid suede) because the leather is very fine, strong and flexible.
Why don't we use it for straps or zip pulls or the insides of belts?
The open fibrous nature of suede means that it is not as hard wearing as a leather which has the top skin layer attached. We therefore prefer to trim our bags with dollaro leather (see the previous blog post for the lowdown on Dollaro leather) or a similar type of leather called 'Palmellato'. In addition, because of the nature of suede leather, some dye particles will sit between the fibres and may migrate onto nearby fabrics when they are constantly rubbed. This is more obvious with darker colours.
How to care for your suede bag
As we have discussed, suede leather has a more open fibrous surface compared to other leathers. This means that suede is more likely to absorb water, dirt and stains. By giving your suede items a good spray with a standard water repellent leather protector, you will prolong the beautiful look of your suede item.
Did you know?
The word 'suede' is derived from the french word 'Suède' meaning Sweden. The French prized the rich soft quality of the leather used in the gloves that they imported from Sweden and the name was adopted!
Links below are to items in our current range made from suede: