Suede vs Leather: A Simple Guide for 2024

Front and angled view of a natural colored suede bag showing front buckle and shoulder strap

Suede and leather, although both come from animal hides, have distinct characteristics that make them suitable for different uses. Below is our easy to read 2024 guide to help you decide which is best for you:


Suede vs. Leather: Look and Feel

  • Suede: Known for its soft, fuzzy texture with a nap (raised fibers). It has a matte finish and a nice luxurious feel.

A front view and angled view of a biege suede bag against a white background

  • Leather: Offers a smooth, polished surface that can range from matte to shiny. It feels much more substantial and structured.
Tan Leather crossbody bag with adjustable strap and gold fastenings set against a white background

    Suede vs. Leather: Durability

    • Suede: More delicate due to its exposed nap. It's prone to scratches, stains, and water damage. Suede often requires more care and maintenance to keep clean.
    • Leather: Generally more durable. The tough exterior can withstand wear and tear better and is easier to clean. For more information on how to clean genuine leather why not check out our post here.

      Suede vs Leather: Suitability

      • Suede: Perfect for casual wear like jackets, shoes, bags, and upholstery where a soft, luxurious feel is desired. Due to maintenance needs, we recommend avoiding frequent outdoor use, especially during bad weather.
      • Leather: A versatile material for clothing, shoes, bags, wallets, and furniture. Its durability makes it suitable for everyday use and various weather conditions. While its generally fine for both indoor and outdoor environments, we recommend soft leather in particular is kept away from any moisture as it can stain.

        Here's a quick table to summarize:

        Table comparing suede with leather

        We hope our guide to the key differences between Suede and Leather was useful. The choice you make ultimately comes down to personal preference; if you prefer softness and a luxurious feel, suede might be the way to go. Alternatively, if you value durability and ease of care, leather could be a better option. If the ethics of what you wear are important to you, then maybe a more sustainable choice such as vegan leather or PU leather might be more appropriate.

        Either way, we wish you an enjoyable shopping experience!


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