What is the difference between leather and suede?

Leather and suede are two materials that are frequently utilized in the production of apparel, footwear, accessories and guitar straps! Both are created from animal hides, but they are processed and finished differently, resulting in significant texture, durability, and appearance variances.

The hides of animals such as cows, sheep, and pigs are tanned to make leather. The tanning process involves the use of chemicals or tannins derived from tree bark to protect and strengthen the hide. After that, the hides are chopped, molded, and treated with various oils and chemicals to achieve the desired look and feel. Leather has a smooth, glossy surface and is robust and durable as a result, making it a popular choice for clothes, footwear, and accessories.

Suede, on the other hand, is a type of leather created from the inside of animal hides. Suede is made by splitting the hides into layers and using the softer, more malleable inner layer. Suede, unlike leather, is not treated with oils or chemicals, nor is the surface rubbed smooth. Suede has a characteristic soft and velvety texture, as well as a matte finish as a result. Suede has a more casual and relaxed appearance due to its texture and finish, making it a popular choice for a more “sticky” fit to the shoulder when playing guitar.

Another distinction between leather and suede is endurance. Leather is well-known for its durability, resistance to water and filth, and ability to be polished, making it a versatile choice for a wide range of items. Suede, on the other hand, is less durable and less resistant to water and dirt; it is also more prone to stains and cannot be polished.

Leather and suede are also priced differently, with leather being more expensive than suede. This is due to the fact that leather is more difficult to produce, and it takes longer to treat and finish the hides. Suede, on the other hand, is less expensive and easier to create.

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