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How to care for suede in Singapore’s humidity

How to care for suede in Singapore's humidity
How to care for suede in Singapore’s humidity

Suede is a beautiful fabric but it is tricky to care for, especially in Singapore’s humidity. We asked Gemma Gil, founder of ColorWash to share her tips on caring for your suede shoes and bags the right way. And she explains using water to remove stains is a big no-no.

1. Why must we be extra careful with suede?

As suede is made from natural leather, it needs proper leather care. Because of its brushed and rippled textured nature with open pores, the material may absorb dirt and liquid that comes into contact with quickly.

2. Can I remove stains on my own?

One way to try and remove stain on your own is with a suede eraser. However, professional care for this material is still recommended due to its delicate nature. Suede eraser is more recommended for solid stains, when the particles or dirt are trapped within the fine fibres of the leather. The suede eraser removes the dirt by its abrasive action causing dirt to move out of the micro fibre texture of the leather.

3. Can I use water?

This is not recommended because of suede’s textured nature – its open pores absorb liquid easily. Water will seep and be absorbed by the leather and this will stain and ruin the suede material.

4. How about water stains, should I just leave them to dry?

You may use a hair dryer to dry it, but take note never to smear or wipe it.

5. Can I brush my suede bag/shoe as a care regime?

Yes, brushing it with a suede brush helps to remove dust that is trapped within the porous material when unused.

6. Should I invest in a suede cleaning kits sold at shops?

It is good to do simple DIY maintenance like brushing your bag. However, suede is after all a delicate natural leather and professional care can better advise on how the stains can be removed. Sometimes negligence of certain leather care can cause more damage to the current stain. It is advisable to bring the bag immediately or as soon as possible to a professional leather cleaner when any accident happens.

7. Will the professional treatment remove the stain completely?

This will depend on the situation. The type of stain, age of stain and whether the stain has been tampered with, will affect the end result of the treatment.

8. Is there a prevention method?

At ColorWash, there is a Water Protection service (from $10) available. This service helps disperse a protective chemical coating by spraying fine sized droplets that cover all area of the brushed texture of suede leather. It helps to delay damage when an accident happens. If water spills on the bag, the Water Protection layer will prevent the water from immediately seeping into the material thus preventing permanent damage.

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