Nubuck offers a luxurious feel with its velvety texture and enhanced durability. Suede is known for its softness and ability to create a more casual look.

What is Nubuck?

picture of a nubuck leather shoe

Nubuck is a type of leather with a soft, velvety texture, achieved by sanding or buffing the outer surface of the hide.

This process creates a fine nap and a luxurious feel. Nubuck leather is known for its durability and ability to develop a rich patina over time.

Commonly used in high-quality footwear, accessories, and upholstery, it offers a distinctive look that combines the suppleness of suede with the sturdiness of traditional leather. Regular care is essential to maintain its appearance, making nubuck a sought-after material for those who appreciate both style and resilience in leather products.

What is Suede?

picture of a pair of suede shoes

Suede is a type of leather with a soft, napped surface achieved by sanding the inner side of animal hides.

This process results in a velvety texture, distinct from the smooth outer surface. Renowned for its luxurious feel and appearance, suede is commonly used in fashion items like shoes, jackets, and accessories.

Its supple nature and rich texture make it a popular choice, although it requires careful maintenance to prevent staining and wear. Suede embodies a blend of elegance and comfort, contributing to its widespread use in creating sophisticated and tactile products across the fashion and design industries.

Nubuck Vs. Suede – Key differences

TextureSoft, velvety texture achieved by sanding the outer side of the hide.Soft, napped surface obtained by sanding the inner side of the hide.
AppearanceFine nap with a luxurious feel.Velvety texture, distinct from the smooth outer surface of leather.
DurabilityGenerally more durable than suede.Less durable than nubuck but still resilient.
MaintenanceRequires careful maintenance to preserve appearance.Requires regular care to prevent staining and wear.
UsageCommonly used in high-quality footwear and accessories.Widely used in fashion items like shoes and jackets.
Stain ResistanceGenerally more resistant to stains.More susceptible to staining compared to nubuck.
PriceOften more expensive due to its durability and luxurious feel.Generally less expensive than nubuck.
ApplicationsUsed in upscale products where a refined appearance is desired.Versatile and used in various fashion items for a softer look.

Nubuck Vs. Suede – Durability and Maintenance


  • Durability: Generally more durable than suede, making it suitable for high-use items.
  • Maintenance: Requires careful maintenance to preserve appearance, including protective treatments and stain prevention.


  • Durability: Less durable than nubuck but still resilient, making it suitable for various fashion items.
  • Maintenance: Regular care is essential to prevent staining and wear, involving brushing to restore nap and protective sprays.

Nubuck is known for higher durability, while suede is still resilient but requires more maintenance to prevent staining and wear. Both materials benefit from regular care to preserve their appearance and longevity.

Uses of Nubuck and Suede

Uses of Nubuck

  1. Footwear: Nubuck is commonly used in high-quality footwear, including boots, shoes, and sandals, providing a luxurious and durable option.
  2. Accessories: It is utilized in the production of upscale accessories such as belts, wallets, and watchbands, offering a refined and elegant appearance.
  3. Apparel: Nubuck finds applications in clothing items like jackets and vests, providing a soft and sophisticated texture.
  4. Upholstery: High-end furniture may feature nubuck upholstery for a luxurious and comfortable feel.

Uses of Suede

  1. Footwear: Suede is popular in casual and fashion footwear, contributing to a softer and more relaxed appearance.
  2. Clothing: It is widely used in fashion clothing items such as jackets, skirts, and gloves, providing a stylish and tactile element.
  3. Accessories: Suede is employed in various accessories like handbags, hats, and gloves, adding a touch of texture and style.
  4. Home Décor: Suede is used in upholstery for furniture and decorative items, offering a plush and inviting feel.

Both nubuck and suede find applications in fashion, accessories, and upholstery, with nubuck often associated with higher-end products due to its enhanced durability and luxurious texture. Suede, on the other hand, is valued for its softness and versatility in more casual or fashion-forward items.


Image Credits

Featured Image By – Fidelio, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Image 1 By – © Victor Adrian /

Image 2 By –  Ilo from Pixabay

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