Suede Fabric: Benefits, Uses, and Cleaning Tips | Everything You Need to Know

Suede fabric is a popular material known for its soft, luxurious feel and unique texture. It is often used in fashion and home decor, and has been around for centuries.

Suede fabric is made from the underside of animal skins, such as deer, lamb, or goat. It is different from leather because it has a napped surface, which means it has a raised, fuzzy texture. This texture is what gives suede its distinct look and feel.

Suede fabric has a rich history, dating back to the 1800s when it was first used for gloves and other clothing items. Today, suede is used in a variety of ways, from clothing and footwear to home decor and accessories.

In this article, we will explore the characteristics of suede fabric, its types, uses, and pros and cons. We will also provide tips for buying and caring for suede fabric.

Characteristics of suede fabric



Appearance and Texture

Suede fabric has a soft, velvety feel and a napped surface that gives it a unique texture. It comes in a variety of colors and can be easily dyed.


Suede fabric is durable but requires proper care to maintain its quality. It can be prone to stains, water damage, and wear and tear if not cared for properly.


Suede fabric has a soft and luxurious feel that makes it a popular choice for clothing and accessories.


Suede fabric is breathable, which means it allows air to circulate and keeps the skin cool and comfortable.


Suede fabric has the ability to absorb liquids, which can make it susceptible to staining and damage from water.

Types of suede fabric



Genuine Suede

Genuine suede is made from the underside of animal hides, such as deer, lamb, or goat. It has a soft, velvety texture and is a durable and high-quality material.

Synthetic Suede

Synthetic suede is made from synthetic materials, such as polyester or nylon, and is designed to mimic the look and feel of genuine suede. It is often more affordable and easier to care for than genuine suede.


Microsuede is a type of synthetic suede that is made from ultra-fine polyester fibers. It has a soft, suede-like feel and is often used in furniture upholstery and home decor. It is also easy to clean and maintain.


Uses of Suede Fabric

It has many uses in fashion, footwear, accessories, and home decor. Here are some common ways suede fabric is used:

  • Clothing - Suede fabric is often used in clothing such as jackets, pants, skirts, and dresses. It adds a unique texture and softness to clothing, and is often used in fall and winter collections.
  • Footwear - Suede fabric is commonly used in footwear such as boots, loafers, and sneakers. It adds a luxurious and stylish touch to footwear, and can be found in a variety of colors and styles.
  • Accessories - It is also used in accessories such as bags, belts, hats, and gloves. It can add a unique texture and interest to accessories, and is often used in high-end fashion accessories.
  • Home Decor - It is often used in home decor such as furniture upholstery, curtains, and pillows. It adds a cozy and warm touch to home decor, and can be found in a variety of colors and textures.
  • Automotive Upholstery - This fabric is sometimes used in the interiors of high-end sports cars and luxury vehicles. Its soft texture and unique appearance can add a touch of luxury to a car's interior.
  • Musical Instruments - Suede fabric is sometimes used as a covering for musical instruments such as guitar cases or drumsticks. It can add a stylish touch to an instrument's appearance.
  • Bookbinding - This can be used in bookbinding to create a unique texture and appearance for books or journals. It is often used in high-end or handmade bookbinding projects.
  • Jewelry - Suede fabric can be used in the creation of unique and stylish jewelry pieces. It can be wrapped around beads or used as a backing for pendants or earrings.
  • Artwork - Suede fabric can be used as a canvas for artwork such as paintings or prints. Its unique texture can add depth and interest to the artwork.

Pros and Cons of Suede Fabric

Suede fabric has many advantages and disadvantages to consider before purchasing or using it in a project.


  • Softness: Suede fabric is known for its soft texture, which makes it comfortable to wear or use.
  • Unique Appearance: Suede fabric has a unique appearance and texture that adds interest and depth to fashion and home decor.
  • Versatility: Suede fabric can be used in a variety of ways, including clothing, footwear, accessories, and home decor.
  • Durability: Suede fabric is generally durable and can last for a long time with proper care.


  • Stain-prone: Suede fabric is prone to staining and can be difficult to clean.
  • Water Damage: Suede fabric can be damaged by water and should be kept away from moisture.
  • Expensive: Genuine suede fabric can be expensive, which can make it less accessible to some consumers.
  • High Maintenance: Suede fabric requires special care and maintenance to keep it looking its best, which can be time-consuming and costly.

Buying and Caring for Suede Fabric 

Tips for Buying Suede Fabric

  • Check the quality: Look for high-quality suede fabric that is thick, soft, and uniform in color. Check for any flaws, such as scratches or discoloration.
  • Choose the right type: Decide on the type of suede fabric you need for your project, whether it be genuine, synthetic, or microsuede.
  • Consider the color: Suede fabric comes in a variety of colors, so choose a color that complements your project and personal style. 

General Cleaning Techniques

  • Avoid water: Water can damage suede fabric, so avoid washing it with water or exposing it to moisture.
  • Use a suede brush: A soft-bristled suede brush can help remove dirt and stains from the surface of the fabric.
  • Brushing and Spot Cleaning
  • Brush regularly: Brush suede fabric regularly to prevent dirt and dust from building up and to maintain its texture and appearance.
  • Spot clean with a suede eraser or vinegar: For small stains or marks, use a suede eraser or a solution of vinegar and water to gently clean the affected area.

Dry Cleaning and Professional Care

  • Consider professional cleaning: For more stubborn stains or extensive damage, consider taking your suede fabric to a professional cleaner 
  • Use a dry cleaning kit: If you choose to clean suede fabric at home, use a dry cleaning kit specifically designed for suede.

Specialized Cleaning Tips

  • Removing Stains and Odors: Use a suede-specific stain remover to remove stubborn stains, and apply a suede deodorizer to eliminate any unwanted odors.
  • Water Damage and Molding: If suede fabric becomes wet or moldy, take it to a professional cleaner or use specialized cleaning products to prevent further damage.

Final Word 

Suede fabric is a beautiful and versatile material that can add texture and depth to any outfit or home decor. With proper care, it can last for many years and continue to be a staple in fashion and design.

When purchasing suede fabric, it's important to consider factors such as quality, color, and texture. It's also important to know how to properly clean and maintain suede fabric to ensure its long life.


Q1: What is suede fabric used for?

 Suede fabric is used for various purposes such as clothing, footwear, accessories, and home decor. Its soft texture and unique appearance make it a popular choice for fashion and design.

Q2: How do you clean suede fabric?

 To clean suede fabric, it's important to use a soft-bristled brush to remove dirt and debris. For stains, spot clean with a suede cleaner or a mixture of white vinegar and water. It's important to avoid water as it can cause water stains on suede fabric.

Q3: Is suede fabric better than leather?

Whether suede fabric is better than leather depends on the intended use. Suede is softer and has a unique texture, while leather is more durable and versatile. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, and it ultimately comes down to personal preference.

Q4: Can suede fabric be used for upholstery?

Yes, suede fabric can be used for upholstery. However, it's important to consider factors such as durability and maintenance when using suede for furniture. Suede is more susceptible to stains and water damage, so it may not be the best choice for high-traffic areas.