Suede Finish

Leather Terminology / Leather Finishes


Definition of Suede Finish

When dry tanned hides are buffed on the flesh side to produce an even and short fiber or nap, the surface is called a suede finish.

Suede finish is unique because unlike other finishes like nubuck sanded on the outside, it uses the flesh side of the leather. The innermost layer of the animal’s hide or skin is sanded to achieve a soft and fuzzy quality.

difference between suede and nubuck leather finishes

Interestingly, suede’s quality is determined by the age of the animal’s hide or skin from which it’s derived. Most manufacturers opt for sheepskin suede leather obtained from a lambskin because it's softer and lightweight than older sheep.

Cowhide leather derived from calves is another desirable option because it provides the softness and nap needed for a suede finish.

A second way to determine suede’s quality is from the leather grade used. Split leather makes excellent suede leather because it’s easier to manipulate and achieve the soft and supple surface finish needed.

Example of Suede Finish in a Sentence

"I spotted Peter’s dog from afar because its leather collar has a unique suede finish."

Synonyms: velour finish, velvet finish

Related Terms for Suede

Written by Ryan Popoff

Ryan Popoff is the creative mind behind Popov Leather wallets, iPhone cases, belts, watch bands and journals since 2013. With a Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts, my leatherworking journey began at home. I wanted to create a simple leather wallet that could fit into my front pocket and — to my delight — it was a hit with family and friends. Hopefully you love our honest, quality leather goods too! Read more