How to Best Care for Suede Clothes and Shoes

a brush is important to care for suede

Suede, like leather, is an extremely luxurious and beautiful material for shoes and jackets. However, also like leather, caring for suede can be extremely difficult. 

The fibers that give suede its unique look, texture, and feel are extremely delicate. If suede shoes, jackets, or other pieces are not properly cared for, stored, or exposed to the wrong elements it can result in hard to repair abnormalities, tarnishing of the material, or completely ruining your apparel.

Because suede has such strict care needs, it can be intimidating for owners to want to enjoy looking fabulous in suede. But never fear, if you know what suede likes and doesn’t like caring for this exquisite material is actually not as hard as you may think. 

Simply keeps these tips to care for suede in mind and your suede pieces will stay beautiful for a very long time.

Water is enemy No. 1

Just like the Wicked Witch of the West, your suede HATES water. While water won’t entirely ruin your suede shoes and jackets, it can seriously impact the quality of your attire and you’ll need to put in some elbow grease to get them back to normal. So do your best to avoid getting your jackets and shoes wet.

Of course, we aren’t immune from getting caught in a sudden downpour without an umbrella or accidently stepping in a puddle. It happens, despite our best efforts. When that does happen, use a cloth to blog (not scrub!) as much moisture out as possible before it dries completely. Once it does, give the suede a thorough brushing to help restore its luster and soft texture.

Brush regularly

This brush we just mentioned is an essential item to have for any suede owner. And no, the hairbrush in your bathroom draw isn’t what we are talking about. Specialized suede brushes are very easily acquired at clothing stores and are one of the most effective techniques in keeping suede looking fabulous.

When you wear a piece of suede, the tiny soft fibers can flatten and deprive them of their unique texture and appearance. Over time, if not properly cared for they will grow quite stiff and unpleasant. Give your shoes and jackets a nice brushing after every time you wear them to help prolong their appearance and feel and remove dirt and hair buildup that can also rob it of its shine.

Proactive care

Brushing is a great proactive technique to protect your suede, but there are plenty of other preventive measures you can add to your to-do list. One of the most important is treating your suede with a protective waterproof spray as soon as possible after you get it. This spray will help protect your suede from those sudden downpours that can otherwise threaten your clothes.

Protective sprays are great to reapply every couple of months, especially as you roll into spring and winter when exposure to moisture is at its most likely. Also be aware of how the natural oils from your hair and skin can have a similar effect on suede. If you have long hair, consider putting it up or wearing a scarf when wearing your suede jacket. 

Store properly

When putting away your suede jacket for the season, they way it is stored and cared for is of the utmost importance to make sure it will be ready to be worn next year. It is important to make sure that you have given your suede a thorough brushing beforehand. Those suede fibers can cling on to dirt and grime that can cause the growth of mold or fungi in storage. 

To further prevent the growth of mold, keep your jacket away from warm places and keep it stored in a cool environment. Preferably, keep it stored in a canvas bag to not only protect it from harm while it is stored but also allow it to breathe better than it would in a plastic bag. 

Don’t take risks with cleaning or stains

Because of the serious negative effects water and certain cleaners can have on suede, doing extensive cleaning or treating even minor stains can be fairly dubious. For anything besides the minor preventative and regular care we have described here, we advise strongly that you take your suede attire to be cleaned professionally at your dry cleaners.

If you have a suede jacket or shoes that needs a proper cleaning with the best care, bring it to one of Morellis Cleaners’ eight locations across Indianapolis! We source our suede and leather care to a trusted partner who can ensure your delicate and stylish materials will be treated and returned good as new! 

Please call our Customer Service Manager on 317-213-2643 if you have any questions, or visit one of our eight locations on the north side of Indianapolis, to learn more.

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