When you’re browsing clothes, shoes, or handbags, suede often stands out thanks to its soft texture and visual appeal. What is suede? What makes it a top choice for clothing and accessories? Let’s explore this superior material in more depth, including what it’s made of, how it’s made, and the benefits that suede bags and garments offer.

What Is Suede?

Suede is a kind of leather that comes from the underside or inner layer of skin from certain animals, such as lambs. This type of material has been used for clothing and other items for many decades. During the 20th century, the demand for suede grew due to its luxurious qualities.

What is Suede Made of

Many wonder, “what is suede made of?” Typically, suede can be made from the skin of different animals, although it’s often made from lambskin. Cows, pigs, goats, and even deer are a few of the other animal skins that are used to make this type of leather. Making suede involves separating the underside and top of animal skin. This results in a napped, velvety texture that’s soft to the touch.

In some cases, the animal skin is turned over to the underside to make suede instead of splitting it. This results in a sturdier material that’s not as soft. High-quality suede products are typically made using the split leather technique.

Types of Suede

Suede varies in terms of its texture and weight, depending on the animal skin it’s made from. What can you expect from different types of suede?

Sheepskin Suede

Sheepskin suede provides the softest feel and the lightest weight. This kind of suede is smoother than other types. What is suede from sheep used for? Sheepskin suede is a great option for gloves, coats, and similar items. It’s also used as cushioning for shoes, seat covers, and other products.

Pigskin Suede

Pigskin suede has a shorter nap with a rougher texture than sheepskin suede. It tends to be thicker and offers greater durability, making it a good choice for shoes and other items that need to withstand regular wear and tear.

Cowhide Suede

Cowhide suede is a versatile type of suede that can be used for bags, wallets, garments, and many other items. The softness and weight of this suede depends on the age of the cow it comes from. Animal skin from younger cows produces softer, more lightweight suede. Animal skin from older cows results in rougher, thicker suede with a heavier weight.

Suede vs. Traditional Leather

Is suede leather? Yes, it’s a type of leather, but it’s different from full-grain or traditional leather. Suede has a velvet-like or fuzzy, napped surface, while traditional leather has a smoother surface that’s not as soft. Suede also has more of a matte-like appearance. Traditional leather tends to have more of a sheen.

What is suede quality compared to leather? Suede is softer and less durable than leather. It’s thinner than traditional leather and requires care to prevent damage from moisture and dirt. Traditional leather is typically more durable, but it doesn’t have as much flexibility as suede. Keep in mind that high-quality suede does offer better durability compared to lower quality suede products.

What Makes Suede a Great Choice for Bags?

Comfortable Touch 

When you’re looking for a new tote bag or satchel, suede is a top choice. What makes a suede bag such a good purchase? This material offers a super soft texture that feels comfortable against your skin. Whether you have a suede purse hanging off your shoulder or you’re holding a suede tote bag handle, you’ll love the smooth feel of this fabric.

Classic Appearance

Suede’s velvety, napped texture also makes it a visually striking material for purses and bags. This type of leather purse adds a timeless, high-end look to both casual and dressy outfits. With a suede bag or purse, you can head to work, the local grocery store, your favorite restaurant, or a party looking stylish.

Durable Design

The durability of high-quality suede means it holds up well, even with regular use. With proper care, you can count on having suede bags or purses for a long time. Keep them dry, use a suede brush to keep the nap in good condition, and you can enjoy using these bags again and again.

Ready to add a suede bag to your collection? Browse our selection of leather purses made from high-quality suede to find the perfect bag, whether you want a tote bag for everyday use or a weekender for special trips and other occasions. At American Leather Co., we offer a wide range of suede and leather bags in varying styles and colors. 

January 26, 2024 — Christopher Leogrande