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Suede Vs Velour

Suede vs Velour. Learn the Difference (With Pictures)

Suede Vs Velour is a contextual comparison. If Velour is considered in isolation, it can refer to two types of fabrics. One is a textile fabric made from cotton or synthetic fibers such as polyester and rayon. However, there is another kind of Velour, which refers to a leather fabric.

As Suede is a Leather fabric, when compared with it, one always refers to the Velour leather and not the velour textile. There is a hairline difference between the two types of leather, and for a certain reason, this difference has become very blurred. That too to the extent that now these two are used synonymously.

The Main Difference

Even though Suede and Velour have become one and the same thing for some time now, there is a very minor but still significant difference between the two.

Suede is made by processing the flesh side of the leather. This is under the skin of the animal hide. It is relatively softer when compared to Velour.

On the other hand, Velour is made by processing the grain or the hair or the outer side of the animal hide. This makes it relatively coarser. Because of this coarseness, this type of leather is called Velour. The Textile Velour fabric is a coarser form of Velvet, and the same logic applies to Velour leather too.

What’s Softer Suede or Velour?

The outer skin of animals is relatively harder to protect them from various weather conditions, especially of those animals which don’t have fur. The inner side of the skin is softer. This automatically implies that Suede is softer than Velour.

What Are Suede and Suede Fabric Properties?


Suede is made by sanding on the underside or the flesh side of animal skin as mentioned earlier. Usually, it is made from lambskins, but at times hides of other animals are also used, which may include pigs, goats, deer, or calves. It is comparatively softer than traditional leather, and it also has a distinctive furry quality in contrast to leather’s shine.

To produce Suede, the producer needs to split the flesh side from the grain side.  This makes the raw material thinner, more delicate, and softer. However, at times, instead of splitting, some producers simply reverse the traditional leather. But the latter is not technically Suede because of the lack of splitting.

The slight hairy texture of Suede is termed as napping, and therefore Suede is known as napped leather. This is similar to the raised texture of Velvet, which again is a napped fabric. The younger the animal whose skin is used, the softer the Suede.

There can be three types of Suede based on the animal from which the raw material is sourced:

  • Sheepskin Suede: This is the softest of all Suede. It is delicate but lightweight and has a soft nap.
  • Pigskin Suede: This Suede is rough and durable; it has a coarser nap and is relatively thick.
  • Cowhide Suede: It is the roughest Suede because Cows are adult animals and have thicker and coarser skin.

Properties of Suede:

  • Durable & Long Lasting: Even though Suede is a thin material, it is much tougher than many other fabrics. This toughness makes it long-lasting.
  • Broader applications:  Suede is a pliable fabric. Compared to traditional leather, it is much easier to mold. Therefore it can be used for many more purposes than traditional leather. It can be used to make dresses, shoes, accessories and many more products that require the fabric to mold well with the body.
  • Care & Maintenance: As Suede is a napped fabric, it can easily collect dust and particles. This makes it very difficult to clean. Like other types of leather, Suede can’t be washed; therefore, it should be stored and worn with great care and requires greater maintenance. It is best to use a nylon or brass bristle brush to clean the Suede when dirty. Wet stains can be taken care of by applying talc or white vinegar.
  • Weaker than traditional leather: Compared to traditional leather, life is shorter because it is thinner. This makes it less durable.

What Is Velour and Velour Fabric Properties?


Velour is another soft leather; however, it is made by sanding on the animal skin’s outer or grain side. The hide used comes from buckskins, reindeer, and chamois. Sanding on the outer side makes soft and silky texture and gives it a delicate look. Even this has the iridescent napping effect similar to that of Suede.

Velour is very similar to Suede in all respects, be it durability, applications, care & maintenance, and weakness compared to traditional leather. However, Velour production is much lower and has almost become extinct due to the following reasons:

  • Animal Protection Laws: Reindeer and Chamois are on the verge of extinction, and hunting of these animals is prohibited
  • Specie population: As these species are on the verge of extinction, their population is significantly less, and therefore, even if some raw material is acquired post the natural death of the animal, it is not much relative to the supply of Suede
  • Production Costs: Production cost is much higher

For these reasons, Velour products are next to non-existent, and most of the soft leather products are Suede masquerading as Velour no matter what the label says.

Suede Hats Vs Velour Hats

Comparison PropertiesSuede HatsVelour Hats
Uses (for)Casual, Semi-Formal Party Wear, Formal WearCasual, Semi-Formal Party Wear, Formal Wear
Ideal ForMen, Women & Everyone elseMen, Women & Everyone else
AdvantagesSoft, Classy, Durable, Stylish, Dull shineSoft, Classy, Durable, Stylish, Dull shine
DisadvantagesDelicate as compared to traditional leather & Difficult to cleanDelicate as compared to traditional leather & Difficult to clean
DurabilityRelatively less durableRelatively more durable
WeightRelatively heavierRelatively lighter
Waterproof MaterialNot waterproofNot waterproof
Reflective MaterialNot reflectiveNot reflective
Care and MaintenanceShould be cared with a suede brush only, Should be kept away from water & Talc or White vinegar should be used to clean we stainsShould be cared with a dry brush only, Should be kept away from water & Talc or White vinegar should be used to clean we stains
Types and StylesBaseball caps & FedoraBaseball caps, Fedora, Newsboy Beret, V Hat
WeatherSummer, Spring & FallSummer, Spring & Fall
AvailabilityEasily AvailableRarely Available
Prices$7 to $50$11 to $80

What Are Suede Hats for?

Wearability depends on the hat’s shape and print. If it is a baseball cap, then definitely it is for casual occasions. However, if it is a fedora, then it could be great for a costume party and even semi-formal occasions.

What Are Velour Hats for?

As Suede and Velour are almost similar looking, the applications are also similar. However, the Velour V hats can be worn on more formal occasions as well. As the material itself is very rare, the costs are higher, so the patterns are given a classier look to appeal to affluent customers.

The Best Suede Hat

It is a typical Suede fedora available in two colors. It is a cowboy hat and therefore very useful in costume parties and stage performances. It has a trendy and western look, and wearing it will make the wearer feel confident like a cowboy. It can be useful in ranching also.

It is a cute and casual looking women’s Suede baseball cap with a faux fur pompom at the top. It is available in many different colors that go with the wearer’s personality. It is not very expensive either, and it is perfect for daily wear.

The Best Velour Hat

This is a classy V hat for women to be worn on formal occasions. It is perfect to be paired with a ballroom gown and fits well for most adults. It is a handmade product and has a button closure on it. It is a delicate material, and therefore the care instructions clearly say spot clean only.

A vibrant colored fedora, perfect for cowboy performances. It comes in many different colors that are ideal for men, women, and everyone else. It is casual or semi-formal wear, and if paired with a proper dress or suit, it will make the wearer a center of attraction.

Final Thoughts

Overall, both Suede and Velour are one and the same thing. The only difference is which side of the animal skin goes through the sanding procedure in the tannery. As Velour is not so readily available, Suede is naturally more popular. Most times, even if the label says Velour, there is a high likelihood that it is a Suede hat instead. Velour is on the verge of extinction and therefore has little or no fan following.

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