What is Suede Leather?
We’ve all heard of suede leather just as much as we’ve seen it, far more times than we may be able to count. Yet as much as we agree to it’s the awesomely luxurious look and feel, not to mention the many colors that they’re available in, we don’t really know much about it. In this blog post, we cover the following few yet important aspects of suede leather that will give us a fresh perspective with greater clarity into one of the most widely known types of leather in history.
- What is Suede?
- The Origins of Suede
- How is Suede Leather Made?
- Levels of Quality Suede
- Types of Suede
- The Jacket Maker’s 5 Best Suede Jackets
- Advantages and Disadvantages of Suede Leather
So What is Suede Anyway?
For those who don’t already know, suede in short, is the soft and fuzzy underside of an animal hide or skin. By turning leather upside-down so that the fuzzy side is face up, suede is what is achieved as the exterior.
The Origins of Suede Leather
Going as far back as the Paleolithic era, animal hides have been used to make clothing and household items pretty commonly. It was only during the Industrial Revolution did leather undergo a big change which was brought on by the introduction of several new kinds of tanning chemicals that have proved to be essential to the creation of leather.
Suede in particular, only became the most popular as it could be during the 20th century. The status symbol that it has become has in part to do with the fashion industry highlighting it’s delicate but luxurious quality. Not only that, suede enjoys another quality that is it’s versatility that many find alluring.
Fun Fact of Suede Leather:
Though the word ‘suede’ originates from France, the phrase ‘gants de Suede’ means gloves of Sweden. This is a reference to a particular type of soft gloves which were imported from Sweden at the time, thus the term. However, over time; this eventually referred to any type of leather based material with a napped finish.
How is Suede Leather Made?
Many suede manufacturers will simply turn over the leather hide to achieve that soft and fuzzy surface that will be used as the exterior of the product, while still maintaining the sturdy interior of leather. However, being a type of split leather, a commonly used approach to making suede leather involves the cutting of the innermost layer of the skin or hide that is mainly taken from sheep but also lamb, calves, goats and deer, to achieve that soft and fuzzy quality. Interestingly, thicker hides are also used and do give similar results in terms of softness but tend to become shaggier in nature as opposed to the napped feel that is preferred.
Levels of Quality Suede
Even though it’s true that suede is a high quality material, it’s quality however isn’t measured or defined the same way as other types of leathers. Interestingly, the level of quality of suede is determined by the age of the animal’s skin or hide from which it is made. On one hand, sheepskin would be an ideal source for suede which is why it’s so widely popular. On the other hand, cowhide too can be used to make suede, yet it isn’t very commonly desired by many.
Another aspect that also determines the level of quality in suede is if the leather is split or not. If full grain leather is intact, it would be durable and tough yet would not make a good suede due to it not being pliable. However, if the leather is split, it contributes to achieving a soft and supple surface that is much desired in suede.
Types of Suede Leather
Similar to the wide range of leathers, suede leather too has a range of types that are based on the skin or hide from which it’s made.
Sheepskin Suede Leather
This type of suede leather for instance is mostly made from lambskin simply due to it’s lighter and softer qualities as opposed to its older counterparts. Sheepskin too can be used to make suede, though with noticeably different finished looks and feels.
Cowhide Suede Leather
Exactly the same as sheepskin and lambskin suede, cowhide suede leather too; reflects the same features. Calves have the tendency of having softer hides as opposed to fully grown cows. While cowhides offer a great durability in leather, it is calves that offer the nap and softness that is desired from suede leather. Again, much like our previous point, cowhide can be used to make suede but with a noticeable difference in appearance and touch.
Pigskin Suede Leather
This type of suede is made by dyeing and sueding the skins of pigs. Technically a heavy skin that is also stiff and having a short nap and pores that resemble the skin of humans. As a suede however, it is tough and durable as well as hardwearing. Pigskin suede leather is typically used in making shoes, bags, wallets and work gloves although it is not restricted to these mentioned products.
The Jacket Maker’s 5 Best Suede Leather Jackets
To exhibit the above mentioned points through examples, there is no better way than to share five of the best suede leather jackets by The Jacket Maker.
1 – Coffner Brown Shearling Fur Jacket
Reflecting an urban contemporary style, this Coffner Brown Shearling Fur Jacket is one suede leather example that highlights the qualities of a soft goatskin leather. A distressed brown, suede finished leather that has a shirt style collar, an impressive faux fur lining as well as buttoned cuff style and a front zipper closure that makes this a truly awesome style essential.
2 – Shane Black Suede Bomber Jacket
This Shane Black Suede Bomber Jacket is an interesting take on the golden years of yesteryear but with a contemporary twist. A soft goatskin suede leather that has been impeccably crafted to fit the style and function of today’s fast-paced lifestyle. A clean-cut, simplistic style that has a quilted viscose lining, a varsity style collar, ribbed knit cuffs as well as two inner and outer pockets.
3 – Allaric Alley Mocha Brown Suede Biker Jacket
Another goatskin suede leather style staple is this Allaric Alley Mocha Brown Biker Jacket that offers you incredible softness and fuzzy features thanks to the goatskin suede combined with cool design and awesome craftsmanship. Add to these, some interesting elements; be it the notch style collar, zippered front and waist-belt or the two inner and three outer pockets that offer functionality.
4 – Kelsee Navy Blue Suede Biker Jacket
The Kelsee Navy Blue Suede Biker Jacket is every girl’s dream come true. From the soft goatskin suede leather to the rich colour, quilted shoulder detail, band style collar and snap button closure. Not only that, the unimaginable softness of the suede to the luxe look that it adds to any outfit. What’s more, is the amazing combination of design and detail as well as quality and craftsmanship.
5 – Eaton Brown Suede Bomber Jacket
Offering an interesting mix of classic style with contemporary features. This Eaton Brown Suede Bomber Jacket is a great must-have for the style conscious. From the rustic rich colour to the soft goatskin suede leather. Add on some ribbed knit collar and cuff style, quilted polyester lining and two inner and outer pockets. A great versatile piece of outerwear that is sure to up your style game.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Suede Leather
As with all materials and fabrics, suede leather too has its share of advantages and disadvantages. Below are the most noteworthy.
- Suede leather has a uniquely brushed face
- It is long lasting
- It has a soft and luxurious touch
- The thicker suede variety can be durable
- Suede is not overly resilient
- It absorbs water easily
- It can become dirty quickly
- It is Expensive
To conclude this topic on suede leather, we now know what suede leather really is. How it is made as well as the types of suede leather. We’ve also had a chance to check out the five best suede leather jackets by The ART as well as list some noteworthy advantages and disadvantages of this world-renowned, timeless type of leather.