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Suede Liner Care

Suede Liner Care

Posted by Daniel Sutton on Jan 11th 2015

Suede's a pretty common base for leather liners. Not only is it actually made from leather - allowing it to seamlessly blend in with your aesthetics - it's also a lot easier to maintain than leather, with an extra soft, fuzzy texture. It's got a few shortfalls, but if your leather whatever comes with a suede liner, get with the smiles. You've found yourself in a pretty good situation.



At the risk of repeating myself, suede feels really great. It's got a fine nap to it, making smooth and comfortable against the skin, not to mention whatever exposed screens or other fragile appliances you might carry around with you. This nap also offers a bit of protection, as the naps can catch surface contaminants rather than allow them to be absorbed at the surface. Low maintenance.


Carrying on, suede's just your average dream machine. A dusting here, and damp cloth there, maybe a waterproofer, and bam. You're good to go. It won't require much effort, considering this is a liner you're working with, which probably won't get much exposure to dust and contaminants anyway. All the same, try to keep open candy bars and soft drinks out of the pouch - suede's got a bit of a compulsive streak.



When I say compulsive, I mean that it will gobble up pretty much anything it can get its hands on. Come to think of it, suede's a lot like a baby. Cute, fuzzy, and you have to watch it very closely around the ink cartridges (especially red!). Due to suede's porous nature, contaminants penetrate it quickly and very permanently. You'll want to care for any spills or accidents quickly. We've got a page dedicated to suede you can check out for more details on that: "Suede Leather Care." Just keep in mind - if you plan to be around a lot of water, maybe go with vinyl or pigskin, or a waterproofer, to fend off internal leakage or absorption.

Less Tough than Leather

In addition to its relatively low resistance to the elements, suede's also not as much of a heavy hitter as its older brother, regular leather (or full grain leather). What happens is that when a strip of leather hide is tanned, strips that contain ugly patterns on the surface (say, where the cow had a disagreement with a barbed wire fence, and scars were left) will get shaved to hide the imperfections. Normally, you want these marks. They look beautiful in most cases. But if you have to shave, know that - there's no delicate way to put this - you're getting inferior leather. The outermost layer is the toughest, and without it, it can't hold together as well. Suede stands a stronger chance of falling apart than most leathers, which honestly isn't saying much since leather's pretty durable anyway.

How to Care For It

Reiterating, not too much involved. Suede tends to flow in directions, like a cat's fur. Grab a soft suede brush, and ride the fur. Try to stroke in the natural direction, but for more involved cleaning, brush multiple ways to pick up debris hiding under the nap. A slightly damp cloth can be used, just try not to get the suede too wet. Water will absorb quickly and can leave marks if there's too much. To prevent against water damage, a waterproofer designed for suede leather is the best way to go.

That's the basics. Suede's a pretty smooth ride, but it has its quirks. As with all leather, get to know what you have, and don't be afraid to experiment. Well, be a little afraid. Cautious is the better term. Test any treatment first in a discreet area is all I'm saying. And refer to any manufacturer instructions if you have them. You'll get the hang of it. Tune in next time for a vinyl liner primer!

Daniel Sutton