Suede is a type of leather that has a soft and velvety texture. It is made from the underside of animal skins, such as cow, goat, or lamb. Suede clothing can add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your wardrobe, but it also requires special care and attention to keep it in good condition. Suede is prone to stains, fading, and damage from water and heat. In this article, we will share some tips and tricks on how to care for suede clothing and make it last longer.
How to Clean Suede Clothing
One of the most important aspects of caring for suede clothing is keeping it clean. However, suede cannot be washed in a washing machine or dry cleaned like other fabrics. Instead, you need to use gentle methods and tools to remove dirt and stains from suede without damaging its delicate surface.
Here are some steps you can follow to clean suede clothing at home:
- Brush away loose particles from the suede surface using a soft-bristled brush. This should be done after each use of the item, or at least once a week. Suede is a natural absorber of oils and dirt, so brushing can help prevent them from building up and causing discoloration or damage.
- Use a suede eraser or a pencil eraser to rub off any dry stains or marks on the suede. You can also use a blunt knife or a plastic card to scrape off any solid stains, such as food or mud. Do not rub too hard or use sharp objects, as this can damage the suede fibers.
- Use a damp microfiber cloth or a cotton ball dipped in white vinegar to blot any wet stains on the suede. Do not rub or soak the suede, as this can cause watermarks or shrinkage. You can also sprinkle some baby powder or cornstarch on oily stains and leave it overnight to absorb the oil. Then brush off the powder with a soft brush.
- Use rubbing alcohol or a special suede cleaner to remove stubborn stains or odors from the suede. Apply a small amount of the product on a clean cloth or a cotton swab and dab it gently on the stain. Do not saturate the suede with the product, as this can cause damage. You can also use a steam cleaner to freshen up the suede and remove bacteria.
- Allow damp suede to dry gradually away from direct heat or sunlight. Use the brush or a clean cloth to elevate any crushed nap. You can also stuff some tissue paper inside suede shoes or bags to help them retain their shape while drying.
How to Protect Suede Clothing
Another aspect of caring for suede clothing is protecting it from potential damage. Suede is sensitive to water, heat, light, and friction, so you need to take some precautions to prevent these factors from ruining your suede items.
Here are some tips you can follow to protect suede clothing:
- Waterproof your suede items before wearing them for the first time. You can use a spray designed for suede that adds stain and water repellency to the fabric without affecting its color or texture. You can also reapply the spray once or twice a year depending on how often you wear your suede items.
- Avoid wearing your suede items in rainy or snowy weather. If your suede items get wet, blot them gently with a clean cloth and let them dry naturally away from heat sources. Do not use a hair dryer or an iron to dry them, as this can cause shrinkage or scorching.
- Avoid exposing your suede items to direct sunlight for long periods of time. Sunlight can cause fading or discoloration of the suede over time. Store your suede items in a cool and dark place when not in use.
- Avoid rubbing your suede items against rough surfaces or other fabrics that can cause pilling or transfer of colors. For example, avoid wearing dark denim with light-colored suede shoes or bags, as the denim can leave stains on the suede. Also avoid wearing jewelry or accessories that can snag or scratch the suede.
- Repair any tears or holes in your suede items as soon as possible. You can use a needle and thread to stitch up small tears or holes, or take your suede items to a professional leather repair shop for larger damages. You can also use a suede dye to restore the color of faded or stained areas.
How to Store Suede Clothing
The final aspect of caring for suede clothing is storing it properly. Suede is prone to mold and mildew growth, so you need to store it in a way that allows air circulation and prevents moisture buildup.
Here are some tips you can follow to store suede clothing:
- Use a padded or wooden hanger to hang your suede jackets or coats. Do not use metal or plastic hangers, as they can leave marks or creases on the suede. You can also fold your suede pants or skirts and place them in a drawer or a shelf.
- Cover your suede items with a breathable fabric, such as cotton or linen, when storing them. Do not use plastic bags or boxes, as they can trap moisture and cause mold or mildew growth. You can also use cedar balls or sachets of lavender to repel moths and insects that can damage the suede.
- Clean your suede items before storing them for a long time. Remove any dirt or stains from the suede and make sure they are completely dry before putting them away. You can also brush them with a soft brush to restore their nap and texture.
Suede clothing can be a great addition to your fashion collection, but it also requires special care and attention to keep it in good condition. By following these tips and tricks on how to clean, protect, and store suede clothing, you can make your suede items last longer and look better.