Suede is one fabric that is all about premium-ness. If you have suede boots Or a suede jacket, then you know how much care it demands. While most people don’t know what type of suede are they wearing, still one question remains the same which is ” Is suede waterproof
Is suede waterproof?
In simple words, suede is not a waterproof material as it has tiny holes inside it which allow the water to get inside, and make suede wet. But waterproofing suede by applying water coating or spray makes suede more water-resistant and compatible with mild rain.
Surprisingly, suede accessories like suede shoes and suede leather jackets don’t come as pre waterproofed. And this is why you have to waterproof suede on your own.
But that doesn’t mean it is important to waterproof suede leather. If you keep suede away from rain and snow, then it is unlikely that suede gets ruined. However, this is not practically possible in some places where snow is common in winters.
Reasons why suede is not waterproof
Suede is basically leather that goes through the process that gives it soft and furry touch. If you have seen grain leather, then you know it is a tough material and resists water, but not completely.
But suede is a type of leather that resist less water than grain leather or full-grain leather, and the reason for that is, distortion during manufacturing to give it a soft touch which makes the outer layer soft and creates the path for water and air to pass through it.
Due to this distortion, tiny holes between fibers get open because the outer layer of the suede has hair follicles which breaks the barrier between both the inner and outer layers. This is why suede’s outer layer is napped whereas grain leather has a plain surface.
The tiny holes in suede material make it less resistant to water and that is why it becomes Important to waterproof suede before taking it in outdoors.
No natural coating
No natural leather has a waterproof coating over it naturally. Companies apply waterproofing coating over fabric and leather after the product is made. Sometimes companies also weave the fabric tight, so that the gap between becomes small, leaving less space as possible for the water.
But with suede leather, the surface is already napped means the air and water can easily enter inside in contrast to the full-grain leather, which has a plain surface. The plain surface creates the outer barrier between both the layers and resists the water to enter inside.
Natural animal leather
When we talk about suede, then it is usually made of an inner layer of animal skin. Naturally, it is porous and doesn’t resist water.
However, if you ever heard of faux suede leather that is basically made of synthetic fabric. As synthetic fabric can be tightly woven, makes it more water-resistant. This suede is also more durable than animal suede leather.
Faux suede leather is heavy and doesn’t offer the comfortability and feel of animal suede. But that doesn’t mean, animal suede is less durable. It is a durable leather that can last years if care instructions are followed properly.
How to waterproof suede?
Things required to waterproof suede
- Boar bristle suede brush or shoeshine brush
- Waterproof spray for suede leather
Step 1: The first step is to clean the suede shoes with a brush. Use a suede brush or a shoeshine bristled brush. Avoid using any other brush as it can damage the suede fabric.
Step2: Now, apply the spray on the suede by spreading it evenly. But before you do that make sure you do this process outside in an open area. The reason for that is, that most waterproof sprays contain substances that can damage your floor or have a strong aroma to them
While spraying on the suede leather, pay extra attention to the stitching area or the outer area as it is where the water gets in. For Instance, If you are waterproofing suede shoes, then you should pay extra attention to the sole stitching. This is because it is where the cork is stitched, and also the easy route for water to enter inside.
While spraying, make sure you maintain a good distance of 6 to 10 inches, to spread it more evenly on the material.
Step 3: Now, you can apply the suede wax on the suede shoe welt (the stitched area around the sole) for additional protection or let them dry for a few hours. There is no need to do this with a jacket. But if you are waterproofing suede shoes then you can use a suede wax and apply it over a sprayed surface with the help of a brush. Use a tiny bristle brush to make the process easier for you.
While applying wax make sure to keep it away from suede and only apply it around the sole area. You can cover the suede with a cloth or do the taping.
Best suede waterproof spray
When it comes to choosing the right waterproof spray for your suede material, make sure to buy the one that doesn’t contain any type of silicone, and is safe to use on suede leather. Secondly, make sure the waterproof spray you use on suede doesn’t dry quickly as it can create white spots on the outer layer of the material.
If you want to cut the hustle of buying a spray that can works great with suede material. Then don’t, I recommend you Kiwi Boot Protector suede spray without any silicon and also doesn’t dry fast.
What happens if water gets on suede?
If you have done waterproofing and water gets on suede then don’t expect that it will ruin the fabric totally. However, if suede is not waterproofed then exposing it too much to rain or water can make them wet, which can result in the pilling of fibers, and change in the shape of the suede material.
This is also true if you have waterproofed the suede. As waterproofing coating is not permanent and fades away very fast. Further, even if you have done waterproofing recently on suede, still it can damage the suede if the pressure of water is high.
So, overall, nothing is completely 100 percent waterproof when it comes to suede. But if you have done waterproofing then, rain has little to no effect on suede.
If you are wearing suede shoes and they get wet in rain because of no waterproofing then dry them immediately after you get home.
Similarly, if you have a suede jacket then dry it as soon as you get back, without any procrastination because suede absorbs water and can cause patches and shrinkage. The same is true with suede jackets.
To know how to dry the wet suede, keep reading this article…
What to do if water makes suede shoes wet?
If you have not applied waterproof coating over your suede shoes then there are some things that you can do to dry the suede and protect the shoes from severe damage. As I have already explained why it is important to dry your suede immediately after it gets wet without wasting any time.
To dry or clean wet suede shoes follow these steps
Step1: Firstly, you need to dry your wet suede shoes immediately after you get home. But don’t put them in the dryer or use heat to speed up the process as that can damage the suede. Instead, let them dry naturally or you can use a fan. I personally use a fan or hair dryer at zero heat.
If your shoes are dirty and have a stain on them then don’t bother to remove them when it is wet. Using a brush on suede leather when it is wet can kill the soft texture of the material.
Step2: Use tissue paper to prevent the cracks. Yes, it is important to use tissue paper to blot out the water from the shoes. You have to stuff the tissue paper inside the shoes to let it soak up the water.
The reason to do that is, that suede often shrinks after it gets dry from being wet. And when you wear those shoes, not only do they feel tight but also have cracks in the material.
While doing so, make sure you only use white paper which is tissue paper. Avoid any other color paper rough paper or newspaper to do this, as ink can get out if the shoes are too wet from Inside.
Step3: Now, clean the shoes with the help of a suede brush. You can also use a toothbrush if you don’t have a suede brush. Use the brush normally by not putting too much pressure as that can wipe out the hair of the suede..
What to do if water makes suede wet?
There is always been exchange of opinions on this topic. Some people don’t think that giving suede jacket to a company for drying process is a quick way and also best way to prevent any damage to the suede material.
On the other hand, some people think that this is companies strategies to sell their services and make money.
It doesn’t matter what opinion suits your thinking, the fact is that suede gets wet and you need to dry it. But at the same time a mild rain or mild water can not cause any damage to the suede material instead of making it little wet.
Firstly, if you your suede jacket is wet and dirty then don’t throw it in a washer. The reason is, suede reacts different with water ever time you wash it.
Sometimes, you may find your suede jacket get faded, while on other times you see a little shrinkage.
So overall the results are unexpected with suede if you wash it. The best way to clean your suede if it is wet and dirty is to get them dry cleaned.
However, if your suede jacket is only wet, and you see no dirt on it, then you can dry it up. If it is dirty and wet at the same time then the dirt might get inside the suede and can ruin it in long run.
So, how to dry a wet suede jacket? To dry a suede jacket you can follow these steps.
Step 1: wipe out the water
First thing first, you have to bloat out the water from the suede jacket. To do that, you can use a tissue paper.
You have to press the paper on a wet area with pressure so that water gets trapped in paper. You can use this to soak out the water from the every wet part of the jacket.
Step2: use a suede brush
After you are done soaking out the water from the suede jacket, it is time to bring back the life of suede back. To do that you have to use a suede brush. If you don’t have suede brush, buy it, it is very cheap. Buy it from Amazon or from any local store.
The brush not only ensures the life to the suede but also remove any particles that sticks insides the material.
While using a suede brush on jacket, make sure you are gentle without putting too much pressure.
Step3: Dry the jacket
Last step is to dry the jacket. It is very important to do it immediately or while you are using the brush on suede.
Use hair dryer or small fan to get it done fast. Hair dryer is a better choice as you can set the heat. Keep the setting on moderate or low. To prevent any wrinkles in the jacket, keep brushing the jacket while you are using a dryer to dry the jacket.
Is suede more waterproof than leather
No, suede is less water resistant then grain and full grain leather. Though both are made out of animal skin, suede leather is distorted to get a napped outer surface to make it soft and elegant.
However, this is not the case with fully grain leather, it has a plain and rough surface which blocks the water to easily enter inside.
But neither of them is waterproof and need waterproof coating to resist the water.