According to its etymology, “suede” is derived from the French phrase “gants de Suede,” which means “gloves of Sweden.” Swedish leather was often imported by the nobles of France during the Romantic era. Swedish leather artists had figured out a method to employ the animals’ delicate inner skin to create extraordinarily soft gloves for ladies, as opposed to utilizing the animals’ hard outer hide.
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For many years, the use of suede was restricted to gloves; nevertheless, throughout time, European and Swedish artisans realized that suede had far more uses than only making gloves. Production of suede grew over time to include the creation of purses, shoes, coats, and other modern-day suede products.
Although the manufacture of suede is a relatively new development in human history, animal skins have been used by humans for thousands of years to construct clothes and accessories. Prehistoric evidence suggests that the Neolithic peoples mostly derived their textiles from animal skins, and this practice of using hides and leather to make fabrics is still practiced today. The range of leather goods accessible now and the technological know-how used to create contemporary leather materials are the main distinctions between leather from prehistoric times and leather from today.
Qualities of Suede
The fuzzy finish of suede is frequently described as “napped.” Suede feels more like cotton or another sort of plant-based fabric than animal skin, even though the majority of leather varieties are smooth. Suede seems matte, but regular leather is shiny. Additionally, whereas regular leather is waterproof, suede is very porous and has a tendency to stain.
Suede is often thinner than regular leather, which adds to its appeal for delicate textile applications. Normal leather is typically very thick. Due to its famously difficult cleaning properties, suede cannot be properly cleaned by machine washing; nevertheless, because suede stains readily, owners of suede clothing, accessories, or shoes must have their suede goods professionally cleaned on a regular basis in order to maintain their good condition.
How Is Fabric Made of Suede?
Suede fabric finds its use in a wide range of garment and accessory designs. This cloth is not suitable for industrial usage due to its relative delicateness.
Suede is a common fabric used in the manufacture of shoes, since Elvis Presley’s performance of “Blue Suede Shoes” is indelibly ingrained in our collective consciousness. Suede’s natural color is either light brown or gray, but it may be dyed any desired color—blue, red, yellow, green, or any other color—by using different techniques.
Suede should only be used for formal shoes. This fabric is not appropriate for any outdoor shoe applications since it is sensitive, absorbs water, and is prone to stains. Actually, constant maintenance is required to keep suede shoes looking acceptable, which has caused many fans of this fabric to switch to machine-washable, low-maintenance synthetic substitutes.
Suede is frequently utilized in jackets and other outerwear items in addition to shoes. Suede, however, works best for cool-season outerwear applications; wet or snowy weather will not do justice to this fabric’s sodden nature and susceptibility to stains.
Furthermore, suede is a common material for designer purses. The softness and distinct texture of this fabric make it appealing in this use, and like other high-end clothing and accessory pieces, suede purses aren’t meant to be worn frequently or for demanding purposes. The quality of these upscale items is preserved by using suede purses sparingly.
Although suede is still occasionally used to make gloves, alternative fabrics now often outperform suede in terms of desirable qualities. Additional uses for suede fabric include car seat coverings, designer caps, belts, and jacket interior linings. However, because they are more resilient and stain-resistant, synthetic substitutes for suede are seen to be more appealing for car seat coverings.