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How do you judge suede quality?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
The softer, the better?
post #2 of 12
True suede is actually the grain (smooth) side of the leather buffed out with some sort of abrasive. Originally it was done exclusively on horse but I am pretty sure that that no longer applies.

Much of what is touted as "suede" is actually just the fleshside of...ideally...a piece of top grain leather turned to the outside. Not much wrong with that except the result tends to be coarser (and probably "softer") that rue suede.

Some of what is touted as suede is actually a "split." The layer of leather just below the corium or top grain...and which is usually discarded or used for lower class leather goods. I would hope that none of the shoemakers whose names appear repeatedly on this forum would resort to using "splits."
post #3 of 12
Then why was suede originally called reverse calf?
post #4 of 12
Ultra is the best, right?
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCal2NYC View Post
Ultra is the best, right?

It's not bad, but micro-suede is better.
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by summej2 View Post
Then why was suede originally called reverse calf?
I've been in this business for 35+ years and I've never heard it called that. But that doesn't mean it wasn't...somewhere. In fact, the term "reverse calf" pretty well conforms to the description in my second paragraph. And the origins of true suede may go back much, much further than you think.
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncontrol View Post
It's not bad, but micro-suede is better.

How is that possible? Micro means small and sucks, Ultra is like the ultimate so it is the best.
post #8 of 12
Ultrasuede is a man-made fibre.
http://www.ultrasuede.com/about/science.html
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fritz View Post
Ultrasuede is a man-made fibre.
http://www.ultrasuede.com/about/science.html

So it is the best because it is Ultra.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncontrol View Post
It's not bad, but micro-suede is better.

Be serious
post #11 of 12
So what are hallmarks when judging suede in person? Smell? Hand?
post #12 of 12
Unless it is for a shoe, the best suede is reindeer suede. It is to regular suede what coarse wool is to cashmere. I am sure there are different qualities of reindeer suede, but all I have seen is superb.
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