How to Keep Suede Shoes From Coloring Stockings

by Charong Chow

Known for its distinctive fuzz, suede is a type of leather that has been sanded to form a "nap." It can be dyed during the tanning process and be tanned again by individual users. If too much dye soaks into the suede, it causes the dye to harden. The dye also rubs off onto other things, such as stockings. Since suede cannot be sealed like regular leather, it only exacerbates the problem. Keep your stockings free from dye by creating a protective barrier from the suede.

Socks

Darker and brighter suede is more likely to stain your stockings. One way to prevent the staining is to wear black stockings. If the shoes rub dye onto the black stockings, it cannot easily be seen. You also can wear extra socks over the stockings to stop the dye from coloring them. Choose lightweight polyester mix socks because synthetic fibers do not absorb dye as well as natural fibers such as cotton.

Wear

Prevent the suede shoes from coloring your stockings by wearing them only for brief times, roughly less than 2 hours. Dyes from suede tend to stain more when the leather is wet. Wearing them for just a few hours prevents your feet from sweating and creating moisture inside the shoes. Also, use the suede shoes in cooler weather, such as in autumn or winter, to prevent excess moisture from building up inside the shoes. Allow the shoes to air out overnight before wearing them again.

Spray

Create your own protective seal inside your suede shoes with waterproofing spray. Purchase a suede spray that protects the exterior of your shoes from dirt and moisture. Ideally, the shoes need to be sprayed when they are new, but the waterproofing seal can be added at any time. Brush the inside of the shoes with a suede brush to gently clean the surface. Spray the interior of the shoes with the bottle 6 inches away. Let the spray dry for 24 hours, then apply another coat.

Cleaning

Cornmeal, cornstarch and oatmeal can help keep your suede shoes clean and dry. Sprinkle them into shoes and gently rub them into the leather. These materials are used to remove oil stains, but they can also form a protective layer inside the shoe. Leave them on the suede overnight and then brush them off the next day with a suede brush. Another option is to have the shoes professionally cleaned. This will remove some of the dye and stop it from rubbing onto your stockings.

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About the Author

Charong Chow has been writing professionally since 1995. Her work has appeared in magazines such as "Zing" and "Ocean Drive." Chow graduated from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy. She also received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts.