Difference Between Suede and Leather

Suede vs Leather

We all know what leather is and use the products made of leather in our daily lives. However, there is another product that is confusing as it is also called a kind of leather. It is referred to as suede and looks different from usual leather. Despite coming from the same source that is animal hide, suede and leather are different products. This article attempts to find out the differences between leather and suede to enable readers to identify them easily.


Leather is a natural product derived from the skin of the animals. It is a very common ingredient for making accessories for men and women. The skin of animals is processed and tanned to change it into a product called leather that is used to make many useful items such as bags, shoes, purses, belts, jackets, etc. To be precise, leather is a product of animal skin that is obtained after tanning the outer surface of the skin. After obtaining skin of the cattle, hair is removed and the outer surface is made smooth by tanning. It is through tanning that animal skin gets converted into durable and flexible leather. Tanning is done in a tannery, and the product used for tanning is tannin that is a chemical obtained from oak or fir trees.


Suede is a product that is obtained from the underside of the skin of the cattle and thus it is a type of leather only. In fact, it is the underside of leather, and this is reflected in its feel and texture. It is very soft and has a brushed feel. This is why it is more suitable for making gloves and accessories for women. Upholstery is often made of suede, but it is less durable than leather.

Suede vs Leather

• Leather is the animal hide that has undergone tanning to make it smooth and durable.

• It is the outer surface of the skin that is made soft after removal of hair and tanning that requires treatment of hide with a chemical.

• Suede is a type of leather only as it is obtained from the underside of animal hide. It is softer than leather and has a buffed feel.

• Both leather and suede are used to make accessories for men and women though suede is more suitable for making gloves as it is softer and more pliable than leather.

• Leather is more durable than suede.