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What is suede? How to use it in your home

We have another textile in part five of our beginner's fabric guide, so we have more design inspiration to report too! Suede is by no means new on the scene - but it has been seeing a rise in popularity of late; we thought it was time to dig up the dirty on suede.

Suede in the pure sense of the word is a type of leather with a napped finish, although it can also refer to other fabrics with a similar napped or brushed finish. If you want to find out some history, its use in interior decorating and a key look for your homes - don't hesitate to read on!

History of Suede

Suede got its name for the French meaning of 'gloves of Sweden' - gants de Suede. This textile is derived from the underside of animal skin - most often from lambs but also calf, goat, deer and pigs. It is this animal derivation that some home-owners and designers prefer to use faux-suede in their designs instead. Without the upper layer of tough skin, suede is softer to the touch but not as durable as other leathers.

Suede for interior decorators

The soft and pliable texture of suede makes it perfect for delicate home projects and upholstery. It is however, a textile that needs to be taken good care of as it stains easily and soaks up fluids in no time. Those who prefer not to use animal products to dress up their home can buy other fabrics that are given the same brushed or napped finish as seen in real suede leather. The other advantage of faux suede is that it is easier to maintain and keep clean - suffering far less stains.

Thick yarns are used on cotton or silk to get the effect of suede; synthetic polyester is also used such as micro-suede - it has more stretch to it making it ideal for use in upholstery. With suede back in high demand, prices have become more competitive and you can buy suede at affordable prices for your home - the look is contemporary, especially when used with another textured fabric such as corduroy.

We recommend a wide range of suede home products from roller blinds, Roman blinds, accent cushions, ready made eyelet curtains, tab top curtains, lampshade covers and even to cover canvas for wall art!

Key looks for suede

It has to be a luxurious and modern designed bedroom. Use a deep purple on the walls and a dark wood floor or black tiles. Make a statement of your bed with a large white tufted headboard with modern, clean lines. Presume a contemporary look with low rise bed and low, glass topped side tables. Update a footstool at the end of the bed by upholstering in a tufted white fabric to match the headboard. At the windows, suede ready made roller blinds in a natural soft tan colour is played on again with a tan bed runner. The rest of the bedding uses classic white linen and a beautiful white floor rug adds comfort, contrasting with the dark floors. Accessories should be minimal - a collection of deep brown and purple vases and a sleek set of bedside table lamps UK.

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