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Leather and Suede

We all know about and use leather products in our daily lives. However, there is another product called suede which is confusing to some people as they think it is a kind of leather. Despite that they come from same source, animal hide, they both are different products. Let’s find out the difference between leather and suede in this article.

Difference between Leather and Suede


The leather is a natural product which is derived from animal hide. It is considered a very common ingredient for making ladies and gents accessories like wallets, bags, and shoes etc. Leather is made from the outside of the animal skin. Leather is obtained by processing and tanning the outer surface of the skin. The skin of animals is processed and tanned to make the final product called leather which is then used to make accessories like handbags, belts, jackets, purses etc. Cowskin and sheepskin are considered best due to their softness. After getting the animal hide, first of all, the hair on the hide is removed manually before their mechanical processing in the tannery to remove blood, meat, fat, and hair to make the skin and hide clean and smooth. By processing and tanning, the animal skin is converted into a durable product called leather. Leather is shinier than suede.


Suede is a velvety textured and matte finish product wich is also made from the animal skin. The difference is that suede is made from the underside of the animal skin and leather is made from the outer side. Both of them are treated and tanned before use as if not properly processed they are prone to rotting or becoming too hard or too soft at temperature extremes. As suede is made from the dermis of the skin, it is thinner and more delicate than leather. Suede cannot be cleaned with materials used for cleaning leather. It must be cleaned with specialized materials. Suede tends to have a soft velvety appearance.

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