If you are a fashion freak, you might have heard about a suede or have read it in the magazines. But, what does it mean and what is the exact purpose of using it? Completing it in a nutshell, a suede fabric is a high-quality leather that comes with finishing soft and fibrous touch. Just like the normal leather, it is also derived from the skin of animals. Normal leather is derived from the upper layer of the animal’s hide whereas the suede fabric is made up of from the under-side of the animal skin.
As compared to the upper layer, the underside of the animal hide is soft to touch and gives a comfortable feel. Generally, the cow skin is used for producing leathers. However, the lambskin is majorly used for producing suede fabric. Even, the skin of deer, goat, and calf is also used for producing such quality of leathers. As the stress on animals is increasing, to safeguard their life and habitat and eliminate the limiting factors of it, synthetic suede is produced that has relatively achieved greater success.
Few Common Uses of Suede Fabric
- One of the most common applications of suede is in manufacturing apparel and its different accessories. It is not used in industrial production because the fabric is too delicate. It is the most preferred material for making jackets, winter garments and alike.
- The most common use of suede fabric is the production of leather shoes. Naturally, it is grey or light brown in color. However, with a successful dyeing process, the color of the fabric can be changed to green, blue, red, yellow or black. The material is highly permeable and absorbs the stains quite easily. Although being the most popular shoe fabric, it is still not used for making shoes for outdoor activities.
- Suede is also used for making designer handbags. It is the unique and soft texture of the suede fabric that makes it the popular material for producing accessories. However, these are generally used for sparing use without adding enough load to it.
A Quick Insight into The Common Types of Suede Fabric
- Suede: The raw or genuine fabric which is derived from the animal skin is known as suede. It is the only type of nappy leather made purely from the animal skin.
- Ultrasuede: The very first alternative of suede fabric introduced in the market was Ultrasuede. It was, at first, introduced in 1970 by a Japanese scientist Miyoshi Okamoto. The fabric is composed of 20% polyurethane plastic and 80% polyester microfibre. It can be washed in washing machines and are tumble-dried.
- Alcantara: It is the trade form of Ultrasuede which is similar to the latter one and it is mostly machine-washed. On one hand, this fabric is used for general and industrial applications while Alcantara is used in developing vehicular interiors and in the lining of designer handbags.
- Sueded cotton: This type of suede fabric is chemically treated to make the exterior surface rough just to make it look like suede. This type of material can also be washed with the help of machines.
- Sueded Silk: When the silk fabric is chemically treated and rendered to make the texture similar to suede, it is known as Seeded silk. It has all the complete features of silk and can be washed in machines.
Although the suede fabric cannot be used for regular use due to its delicate nature, however, in the end, it is one of the highly comfortable fabrics out there in the market. However, synthetic suede is manufactured today so that people can roughly use it without compromising the comforting feel. It lasts longer and is quite affordable as compared to the original animal-based suede.