Is Suede Leather Durable? 9 Things That Dermines It & Hacks

Is Suede Leather Durable

When you buy suede leather items like shoes, jackets, wallets, etc, you want to know that they will last. Hence the question if suede is durable is one of the most commonly asked questions. In today’s article, I’m going to help you answer this question and also share simple but effective hacks to help made your suede leather items a lot more durable.

So is suede leather durable? Suede leather is generally porous, softer, thinner, than standard leather. This makes suede leather susceptible to damages. However, how durable suede leather is will generally depend on the type of animal the suede leather is sourced from, treatments it goes through, and how its cared for, maintained, and used.

To learn more about the factors that influence how durable suede leather is and 20 hacks to make your suede leather items durable, keep reading this article.

Factors That Determine The Durability Of Suede Leather

There are a few factors that help to determine or influence how durable a suede leather item could be. If you answer yes, or affirmative to most of the factors I’m going to list below, then I would say that your suede leather items will probably last.

Meaning there will be no point in worrying about how durable your suede leather material is because they’re already very durable or will be durable!

But what happens when not everything checks out with these factors? Well, don’t worry, I will tell you more about this later. But first, let’s take a look at the factors that influence how durable suede leather is.

1. Is The Suede Leather Real Animal Skin Or Synthetic?

One of the very first things that determine if suede leather is durable or not is whether or not it is actually animal skin.

Animal suede leather will last longer than synthetic because the latter has to be made from a material that can replicate the look and feel of an animal’s hide.

Indeed this is one of the very first reasons why suede items are durable due to the fact that they’re made with natural materials so there’s no need for artificial treatments like preservatives or dyes.

Synthetic suede leather may have some benefits over real animal hides, but if you want your items to last, I recommend steering clear of this variety as much as possible.

Suede leather is made from the skins of real animals and their makeup makes them very durable when compared to other types of leather.

“There are many types of suede leathers such as lamb or calfskin but most people will recognize “genuine” suede which comes from goatskin”.

One of the most important reasons real animal suede leather is so durable because it only has one side that can get damaged, unlike other kinds where both sides are exposed and susceptible to wearing out easily.

2. Is The Suede Leather A Top-Quality, Premium Suede, Or Low-Grade Suede Leather?

Just like any other thing, there are different grades of quality and the same thing applies to suede. This is to say not all suede leather is the same. This is also another important factor that determines how durable a particular suede leather is.

One thing you should know about suede leather is that it can come in different qualities. Premium quality suede leather requires more time to make and will last longer than the low-grade variety.

Low-grade suede leather items use fewer quality materials and processes and often have a rough texture or feel which wears out fast. The higher grades of suede are softer with an even finish throughout.

These, however, come with a hefty price as they tend to cost more money. This is because they’re made from better hides that last longer when properly cared for.

Synthetic suede leather may have some benefits over the ones made from real animal hides but if you want your suede leather items to last long, I recommend steering clear of the synthetic variety as much as possible.

Real animal skins and their makeup make them very durable when compared to other types of suede leather.

3. How Is The Assembly, Stitching, And Finish Of The Suede Leather Item Like?

Another factor that determines how durable your suede leather item is going to be, is the assembly and stitching of it.

This includes whether or not it’s stitched with synthetic thread that can easily break due to its weaker composition than natural fibers like silk or cotton.

It also has a lot to do with how well finished the product is. The better the finish on your suede leather article, the means less wear-and-tear will occur over time.

Leather items are generally hardwearing items and will see a lot of wear and tear. Having a suede leather item that is properly finished will go a long way to preserve its look and feel, as well as the integrity of the item.

4. How The Suede Leather Item Is Worn Or Used

As mentioned, suede leather items can be worn in many ways. How the item is handled and styled will really determine how much wear-and-tear it’ll receive over time.

For example: if there’s a lot of rubbing against clothing or accessories, then that could cause some breaking down during normal use.

Suede leather items should always be kept clean, dry, and protected to avoid any scuffs that may cause the suede leather to deteriorate quickly.

Another good example is if you want to make your suede articles like boots more durable then wearing them with socks will not cause a lot of damage and prevent friction between your skin and shoe.

5. How The Suede Leather Item Is Stored

How suede leather items are stored can also influence how durable it is overtime. The suede leather item should always be kept clean, dry, and protected to avoid any scuffs that may cause the suede leather to deteriorate quickly.

Suede leather is highly porous so you do not want to store your suede leather item in a place that is damp and humid because it can cause the suede leather to absorb moisture. When that happens, they will not be as durable as you would like.

Boots made from suede should always stay in their dust bags with shoe trees otherwise dirt and moisture may accumulate on them which will make your boots less durable.

In addition, if you want to maintain a suede bag or purse then inside of it put an old newspaper so that any stain or moisture do not have time to set into the material.

If there are some spots of stain, blot with mild soap and use a sponge soaked in cold water before patting dry with paper towels. More on this later.

6. How Suede Leather Is Made

How a particular suede leather material is manufactured also influences how durable the suede leather is.

Generally, manufacturers will take animal skins (typically calves) and shave off all hair follicles and then rub the material with a heavy ointment that is made of chemicals.

Sometimes, they will also use waxes and resins to further enhance its durability before it’s sewn into an article for sale.

This means that suede leather items are given multiple treatments just so that they are as durable as regular leather goods as well as water-resistant due to their porous nature.

All in all, the sum of all treatments during tanning of the raw animal hides or skins and the treatments and protectants applied after the suede leather has been made into an article will also influence the overall durability of the suede leather.

7. How The Suede Leather Is Cared For

Some people might think that suede leather is more durable than regular leather. While the suede side of a piece of clothing or accessory may be less susceptible to surface abrasions, it’s not as resilient when faced with moisture and oils from our skin.

The bigger problem though for this type of material lies in its care and maintenance as this is also one of the major contributory factors that influence how durable and how long suede leather lasts.

If suede leather has been treated with protective sprays this can also go a long way to influence how durable it is and how hardwearing it will be throughout its lifespan.

If your suede item has been properly cared for then you can expect it to last anywhere from three-five years depending on how often the product gets wear and tear such as scuffing or ballpoint pen marks (please note: these stains might not come out).

That said, if you’re wearing shoes every day and are leaving sweat residue on the inside of the shoe then this will shorten its lifespan significantly.

8. How Old The Suede Leather Item Is

Another factor in determining whether suede leather is durable or not is how old the item itself is.

The older an item becomes – especially jackets with zipper pockets- the more likely it’ll show signs of wear like rips and tears at seams or discoloration due to dirt build-up.

So take note when buying older items or inquire about how long a particular suede leather item has been shelved before you purchase it.

9. Exposure To The Harsh Weather Elements

Lastly, when it comes to the durability of suede leather items, exposure to harsh weather elements like rain will invariably have an adverse effect on its longevity.

Regardless if you’re wearing your favorite jacket or driving with your car windows down in a storm, water droplets that make contact with your garment will eventually leech out some of the material’s color, essential oils, and texture.

So be mindful about how often you wear or use these types of products during inclement weather conditions.

How To Make Suede Leather Items More Durable

I know I have already mentioned or insinuated a couple of things that you could do to make your suede leather items more durable but here is some additional information on that.

  • Store them in a place where they will not be subject to dust, heat, or humidity.
  • Keep them away from excessive sunlight for prolonged periods of time.
  • Make sure that you are using the right cleaning products on your suede leather items. You don’t want to use something too harsh and have it damage your garment so always make sure that you read instructions before applying any type of cleaner onto these types of fabrics!
  • Don’t wear them during inclement weather! If it is raining outside like crazy and you need to go out then grab an umbrella and put on some rain boots because water droplets can eventually leech out some color, essential oils, and texture from the material which makes this item less durable than you would like.
  • Don’t use any type of bleach on suede items because it can cause them to pill and make this material even less durable than before.
  • Don’t wear suede leather in the wintertime! The cold weather will make your suede leather stiffer. This can make it more susceptible to snags, tears, stains, wrinkles, zippers catching onto the fabric, etc. So just save some room for a different choice until warmer months come around again.
  • If you are going to be wearing suede leather in wintertime, then make sure that the material is lined with a protective layer.
  • Always dry off your suede leather items after use to keep mold and other conditions that can affect the durability of the suede leather item.
  • It’s a good idea to always brush off the dirt and debris that accumulates on your suede leather items.
  • Washing your suede leather item is never a good idea unless it has been specifically designed for machine washing or dry cleaning. This will weaken the fabric, degrade its color, and even make it less durable than before.
  • Suede items can be made more durable by applying a water repellent coating every few months. A water-repellent coating will help your suede leather items resist stains and dirt as well.
  • Apply something like silicone spray over high wearing areas or parts of the suede leather that has become scratch or worn. This makes for added durability in these high wear areas.
  • Buff your suede leather item with a soft cloth or brush. This will help removes small bits of dirt and debris sticking to the surface over time which can otherwise lead to damage.
  • Wash your suede with a gentle detergent and dry it thoroughly.
  • Find the right storage for your items based on their needs. For example, if you have suede leather jackets that are not used often, store them by hanging them in wardrobes where they will be away from light and humidity. This will help maintain their best appearance over time.
  • Clean stains as soon as possible to keep damage at bay. If there is dried dirt or mud on the surface, wet it thoroughly before wiping off any residue with a soft cloth soaked in clean water then patting gently until all traces of moisture disappear from the surface.
  • If your suede leather jacket or shoe has a stain, use a special stain remover for suede leather. No matter what you do, always keep in mind that stains are inevitable but can be prevented by cleaning them promptly as soon as they happen.
  • Maintain its original color with spot treatments of “neutral” shoe cream for suede leather. For light colors like taupe or tan, look for wax finishes specifically made for suede leather.
  • Treat it gently when washing because chemicals may cause permanent damage to suede surface – which will lead to peeled off patches of skin over time if not handled properly.

Final Thoughts

All in all suede, leather is a very durable fabric to use all sorts of items especially if it is natural because it can take quite a bit more wear and tear than synthetic fibers would be able to withstand.

Generally, you should have no problem using your suede items without damaging them unless you’re not taking care of them properly.


Hi! I’m Kwabena, the owner and founder of Favored Leather. I’m a huge Leathercraft enthusiast and I’ve been that for almost 13 years now. I'm excited to share my experiences and all the new stuff I learn each day about leather craft, leather cleaning & care, and everything in-between!

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