Difference Between Suede & Microfiber

by Kahlea Pendleton

Suede and microfiber are materials that are for everyday use. Both materials can be used to create clothing, shoes and upholstery for furniture. However, they are different in texture and how they are processed. Microfibers can be used for cleaning. The microfiber material is able to absorb water and create a clean streak-free surface.

Purpose

Suede is used for boots, gloves and other fashion accessories. It can also be used for clothing and upholstering furniture. Microfiber is used for dusting and cleaning glass to create streak-free glass. Microfiber is often used as tablecloths, sheer draperies, curtains and furniture. It can also be used for clothing.

Texture

Suede leather is smooth and velvet-like on the surface. Suede is produced from the inner split of a piece of leather which is very thin and, therefore, less durable than full-grain leather. Microfiber is a very soft fiber material. Many microfibers are made of polyester, nylon or other materials. Microfiber can be non-woven, woven and knitted textiles.

Origin

Suede is leather that has been sanded to produce a nap (raised hairs). Suede leather is created from the skin of the lamb but also created from the skin of pigs, goats or calves. Microfibers are created from a synthetic yarn with a collection of a polyester and polyamide blend. This blend creates a hard plastic. However, the fibers are split 16 times creating very soft material.

Alternative Uses

Suede can be for clothing, shoes and furniture. However, when prices are a little high, consumers may want to look for an alternative route that will give them the look that they want for a lower price. Microfiber can be created to resemble suede or leather for clothing, shoes and furniture.

References (3)

  • Conservation OnLine: Suede Leather
  • "Tanning Chemistry: The Science of Leather"; Anthony D. Covington; 2009
  • "Microfiber: Webster's Timeline History, 1962 - 2007"; Icon Group International; 2010

Photo Credits

  • Photos.com/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images

About the Author

Kahlea Pendleton has worked as a freelance editor since 2008. She has edited content for ChaCha.com a well-known, fast-moving texting company as an expeditor and has served as a homeschool teacher assistant for the past two years. She also has her degree in music education.