Difference between Nubuck and Suede

Have you ever wondered about the difference between nubuck and suede? These two types of leather are often confused as being the same or not leather at all. But in fact, they are both leathers, and there are distinct differences between the two. Nubuck leather is usually made from a full-grain leather where the top is snuffed, which means it's papered or sanded down to give it a smooth, velvety touch. This process creates a more robust leather that gives a matted finish, which looks a bit more casual. On the other hand, suede leather is created by splitting the top-grain leather to a certain thickness, which makes the bottom part still leather. This bottom part is then used to make suede, which is why suede tends to be hairier than nubuck leather.

Nubuck Hide

Cross-Section of Leather

Finished Nubuck Shoe

Although they're both leathers, nubuck and suede have very different looks. Nubuck is more casual, while suede is a bit more formal. This difference is due to the way the leather is made. Suede has a nice fine nap, especially if it's made from a calf or a smaller animal, which gives it a more polished and refined look.

When it comes to taking care of these two types of leather, it's essential to understand their unique properties. Nubuck leather requires more maintenance and should be regularly brushed to maintain its velvety finish. On the other hand, suede leather should be protected with a water-repellent spray and should be brushed gently to prevent damage to its fine nap. The Repello Suede from our collection is treated for water resistance in the tanning stage making it easier to maintain.

Water Repulsion by Suede

Finished Suede Shoe

Suede Hide

At the end of the day, both nubuck and suede leathers have their unique qualities and are perfect for different types of products. Whatever your preference, these leathers are sure to impress with their quality and texture.

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