Suede Definition for the Textile and Apparel Industries

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Suede is a type of leather with a napped finish. However, it can also refer to a similar napped or brushed finish on many kinds of fabrics. The term comes from the French "gants de Su de", which literally means "gloves of Sweden".

Suede leather is made from the under side of the skin, primarily lamb, although goat, pig, calf and deer are commonly used. Splits from thick hides of cow and deer are also sueded but due to the fiber nature have a shaggy nap. Because suede does not include the tough exterior skin layer, suede is less durable but softer than standard ("full-grain") leather. Its softness, thinness, and pliability make it suitable for clothing and delicate uses; suede was originally used for women's gloves. Suede leather is also popular in upholstery, shoes, bags, and other accessories, and as a lining for other leather products. Due to its textured nature and open pores, suede may become dirty quickly and may adsorb liquids quickly. Suede should be cleaned as per manufacturer's directions. Modern tanning improvements have made waterproof and stain-proof suede leather available.{Fact|date=September 2007}}

Suede fabrics are manufactured with a brushed or napped finish, resembling suede leather. Ultrasuede is a trademarked term for a microfiber plush with a hand resembling the softest suede, but which is more durable, and can be made resistant to liquid, stains, and crushing. It is commonly used in upholstery and fine accessories, or in clothing and shoes. Persons who enjoy suede's texture but who prefer a non-animal product, or an easier-care fabric, find Ultrasuede an expensive but luxurious alternative.

Microsuede is a newly popular microfiber knit blend fabric; it has a soft finish, but is easily distinguishable from actual suede leather. It has a great deal of stretch, and is very popular in upholstery as well as garments. Microsuede is less durable than suede leather but is commonly found in accessories and especially shoes.

Sueded silk, sueded cotton and similar sueded fabrics are brushed, sanded or chemically treated for extra softness. 'Suede' yarns are generally thick and plush, intending to resemble suede leather cord.


American Leather Chemists Association ALC (1906). The Journal of the American Leather Chemists Association. American Leather.

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Churchill, James E. (1983). The Complete Book of Tanning Skins and Furs. Stackpole Books, 197. ISBN 0811717194. 

Goldstein-Lynch, Ellen; Sarah Mullins, Nicole Malone (2004). Making Leather Handbags and Other Stylish Accessories. Quarry Books, 128. ISBN 1592530761. 

Kite, Marion; Roy Thomson (2005). Conservation of Leather and Related Materials. Butterworth-Heinemann, 240. ISBN 0750648813. 

Michigan Historical Reprint Series (2005). The art of Tanning Leather. Scholarly Publishing Office, University of Michigan Library, 266. ISBN 142552365X. 

O'Flaherty, Fred; oddy Lollar (1956). The Chemistry and Technology of Leather. American Chemical Society, ACS Monograph 134, Krieger Publishing Co., 1956, reprint 1978. 

Parker, Sybil P (1992). McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology: an international reference work. New York; St Louis; San Francisco: McGraw-Hill, 508. ISBN 0-07-909206-3.



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The above article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (  Modified by Apparel Search 1/24/08

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