Jackets are made of many types of leather, and they are distinguished depending on part of animal skin and process of manufacture. Suede jackets are manufactured using the underside of the skin of an animal. The surface has a soft finish and is fuzzy-napped. Suede jackets are perfect to wear in every season! 

Suede leather is mostly used for jackets, purses, shoes, furniture, fabrics, or other products where leather is applicable. Compared to traditional leather, suede fabric is very soft and lightweight. Any items made out of suede are a good investment as they last longer and are very comfortable to wear. Keep reading this article to learn more about suede jackets, and the type of material suede is. 

What is a Suede Jacket? 

Suede jackets are made out of suede which is the inner part of the animal hides and not the outer layer of the animal skin, which is leather. The hide is extracted from the skin and dried. Then the hair follicles are removed and transformed into leather. This makes the skin soft, fuzzy, and comfortable to wear. Suede is mostly applicable for making jackets and coats as it is very lightweight. Men and women wear these jackets as they are a popular piece of the garment due to the smoothness of the material. 

Suede Jacket

Suede comes mostly from sheep, deer, pigs, and calves as their skins produce a lighter nap, making the jacket or clothing more appealing. Suede jackets do not have a shiny finish. Instead, they have a napped finish, making them softer and more versatile. Moreover, suede having a napped finish makes them less likely to form cracks as time goes by. Most suede jackets come with full sleeves and end right at the hips. Apparel made from napped leather feels luxurious and gives off a vintage feeling. There are also faux suede jackets made using polyester microfibers, costing less than genuine suede jackets. 

What is a Suede Jacket Made of? 

Suede comes from the inner surface of a tanned animal skin or hide. It is a luxurious form of leather with no shiny finish and owes to the finer qualities. The leather has to go through several steps to become suede leather. This process is known as tanning, and depending on the process, it can take somewhere between a few days to months to be ready for usage. Most suede leather comes from lambskin, but other animal skins such as cowhide, sheepskin, deerskin, or pigskin are also used. Each of the suede varies from one another depending on the softness of the skin. 

Making process of Suede Jacket

Suede jackets are thinner and softer than traditional leather jackets as the material is structured that way. This particular leather is considered a high-quality product because of the smooth feel on the surface. Suede jackets have a napped finish, giving them a matte look, and are very versatile to wear. 

Origins of Suede Jacket. 

The origins of using animal hides or animal skins in clothing or household items have been popular since the Paleolithic era for keeping themselves warm. However, the process of tanning chemicals used for leathers to change the texture and feel has started recently.

Suede Jacket in Paleolithic era

During the 18th century, the North American Indians were busy making jackets out of animal skin with a napped finish. Those are the forerunners of the suede jackets that we have today. Since the 20th century, suede has started gaining more popularity as people started looking for jackets that offer a luxurious quality and feels comfortable on the skin. 

Types of Suede Jackets. 

Before purchasing a suede jacket of your preference, remember that the pricing varies depending on the jacket's material, style, and colour. 

Different Types of Suede Jackets

  1. Bomber – An appropriate suede bomber jacket always fits nicely on the wearer and has a cropped fit. The hem and cuffs are elasticated, and the front fastens using a zip. Most of them are collarless, which makes them perfect for casual outings.
  2. Trucker This is another jacket with a cropped fit and button pockets at the front on both sides. The front fastens using white buttons. Most trucker suede jackets are blue-collar Americana and look perfect in suede. It looks best in rich colours such as navy or wood brown.
  3. Biker – Biker suede jackets do not give off the same edgy vibe as classic leather jackets. People looking for suede jackets that have the rock ‘n’ roll energy but also consist of a touch of refinement, these jackets are for them. Some of these jackets might feature zips attached to the cuffs or belts at the waist.
  4. Overshirt – It is a simple and versatile jacket that pairs perfectly with a casual outfit. The classic overshirt can be closed at the front using buttons or a zip. They also have two chest pockets on either side and a lengthy collar.
  5. Shirt Jacket – These jackets can be styled as a button-up shirt or jacket when unbuttoned. They are more appropriate for casual outings, but you can pair them with other clothing according to your preference. If you are searching for a versatile piece, then this is it.
  6. Shearling – Shearling suede jackets are considered a luxury item as they are refined pieces for outerwear. These can keep you warm during the chilliest weather without needing a lot. The inside of this jacket is soft, while the outer part is sculpted and gives any outfit a different touch.
  7. Stallon – One of the classic suede jackets is stallon suede, as they look smart while being effortless at the same time. These jackets are appropriate for wearing all-around the year as they do not heat the body much. You can style them up in any way you want to. 


Key Features of a Suede Jacket.


More durable than fabric but less durable than leather.


No, but might become stiff over time if no proper care is received.


Not as breathable as cotton or wool but more than leather.

Wash Fastness 

Suede is not washable, so you have to get it washed by a professional or dry-cleaned.


Suede jackets are very available in the market.


It has good strength, which also makes it pretty flexible.

Tensile strength 

Not much, as the material is pretty thin due to going through many steps during the tanning process.

Washing Temperatures 

Normal to cold; it is advisable not to use hot water as the material can be damaged.


No, because suede comes from animal skins, the production is not environmentally sustainable.


Feels comfortable and soft on the skin.


Not at first but washing it often or with harsh chemicals will make it rigid.


Not waterproof and should not be worn during the rainy season.

Heat Retention Abilities 

High, but do not apply direct heat to the material as it might cause damage.

Price Range 

Ranges from moderate to high, depending on the clothing brand and type of suede used.

Advantages of Suede Jacket. 

  1. Suede material can last long, for many years and only if taken care of.
  2. Feels soft and comfortable on the skin as the material is breathable and lightweight. The appearance and surface of the material are very smooth.
  3. The high-quality suede jackets are very durable even though they can cost more. 
  4. It Can be found in thick material or thin, depending on your preference and requirement for the jacket.
  5. They are styled in casual or formal outings, paired with appropriate items to make them fit the environment. 

Disadvantages of Suede Jacket. 

  1. Suede jackets are not the best clothing item to wear ethically as they are made from animal skins, which severely damage the environment during the manufacturing process.
  2. A washing machine should not wash suede to avoid damages, which need to be dry cleaned by a professional every once in a while.
  3. If any stains form on the suede jacket, it is best to get rid of them as soon as possible, or else the stain might stay permanent.
  4. Compared to faux leather or leather, the pricing of suede is more on the higher end side because of the complicated extraction and manufacturing process the material has to go through.
  5. Hard to maintain because you have to keep them protected from dust and items which can form stains on the clothing, and you cannot wash them in the house.

FAQs on What is a Suede Jacket? 

  1. Can suede be considered real leather? 

A: Suede is real leather because it comes mostly from lambskin, but it is also possible to make suede from pigs, calves, goats and deer skins. 

  1. What are the colours of suede come in? 

A: The original suede colour is a deep and shaded teddy-bear brown. However, the colour varies depending on the type of animal skin used, so you will also find some in a taupe colour. 

  1. Are suede jackets waterproof? 

A: Most suede jackets or garments are waterproof since they made to be resistant to water, but even still, they should not be worn during the rain, as the texture of this material is very porous and not suitable for heavy water resistance. 

  1. Why is suede so expensive? 

A: The suede manufacturing and extraction process is very complex and takes a long time. Moreover, suede is hard to maintain because it can get damaged easily if not taken care of properly. All of which makes suede an expensive item to purchase. 

Final Words: 

A suede jacket is a very versatile clothing item as it can be easy to style on various occasions and in different outfits. They feel comfortable on the skin because the material is lightweight and breathable. The surface of the leather feels smooth to the touch because it has a napped finish. Suede comes from animal hide, which makes it less environmentally friendly. However, suede is also available in faux versions, which makes them accessible to people that want to wear suede without harming animals.  






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