Have you often gone to a shop to buy a pair of shoes and thought to yourself ‘what is the difference between suede and nubuck’? Well soon you will know what the difference is, where it comes from and how to care for it.
What is nubuck leather?
Nubuck leather has a similar feel to suede but comes from the top hide making it more durable. It is used in many quality leather products such as; shoes, bags, jackets, wallets and furniture due to its great feel and look.
How is nubuck made?
To make nubuck leather, the outer layer (top-grain) of the cowhide or calf skin is used. The use of the top-grain means the leather is tougher and more resilient than suede that uses the inner layer. However, due to its rough surface it is more vulnerable to staining and soiling.
The top grain is then sanded down and buffed to remove any visible marks and defects to provide a consistent appearance. This results in protein fibres being formed known as a ‘nap’ that produces a velvet like finish to the leather. The leather is usually then stained or dyed to hide any remaining defects.
How to care for nubuck leather.
Nubuck leather is fairly easy to maintain. Due to its velvety surface it requires less attention than other leathers. All you require is a cleaning brush, such as a ‘suede brush’. First remove all dirt from the surfaces, then wipe with a lightly damped cloth. Then, once dry, rub down with your special brush. If your nubuck does get wet allow to dry in a cool dry place. In addition you can apply nubuck cleaning product, such as Collonil suede and nubuck cleaner every two to three weeks to maintain the leather’s suppleness.
Some great nubuck examples.
Sebago offers a prime example of nubuck leather being used to its fullest. The durability of nubuck also gives it water proofing properties that makes it perfect for deck and boat shoes. Some examples of these are the Sebago Clovehitch in navy nubuck and the Sebago Endeavor in navy nubuck and brown leather.
Why choose nubuck?
As mentioned before due to nubuck being made from the top-grain it is long lasting and relatively durable. It is also highly breathable unlike synthetic leathers. So in conclusion not only is nubuck comfortable and durable it also looks great.