Can I Wear Suede in the Rain?

Beauty and Fashion

When it comes to fashion choices, one commonly asked question is whether it is possible to wear suede shoes or clothing in the rain. Suede, a type of leather with a soft, napped surface, is known for its luxurious and stylish appearance. However, its delicate nature raises concerns about its durability and potential damage when exposed to moisture.

Understanding Suede

Suede is made from the underside of animal skin, typically from lambs, goats, or calves. Its unique texture is achieved by sanding or buffing the leather, resulting in a velvety softness. Due to its porous nature, suede is known to absorb liquids more easily compared to other leather types.

The Vulnerability of Suede to Water

Suede is particularly vulnerable to water damage. When exposed to rain or other forms of moisture, suede tends to darken, stain, and lose its characteristic softness. Additionally, water can cause the fibers in suede to swell and become misshapen, resulting in a less appealing appearance.

Effects of Water on Suede

When suede gets wet, it is important to understand the potential consequences:

  • Staining: Water can cause the dyes used in suede to bleed, leading to unsightly stains.
  • Discoloration: Wet suede often darkens or changes color temporarily until it dries.
  • Hardening: As suede absorbs water, it tends to stiffen, losing its natural flexibility.
  • Watermarks: Once suede dries, it may develop watermarks or uneven patches.

Mythbuster – Suede Is Not Good For Rain

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Protecting Suede in the Rain

While suede may not be the best choice for rainy days, there are steps you can take to protect your suede items:

1. Pre-Treat Your Suede

Before wearing suede in wet conditions, it is advisable to apply a protective spray or treatment specifically designed for suede. These products create a barrier that repels water, reducing the risk of damage.

2. Avoid Direct Exposure

If rain is in the forecast, it is best to avoid wearing suede altogether. However, if you must wear suede, try to minimize direct exposure to rain by using umbrellas, awnings, or other forms of cover.

3. Dry Properly

If your suede gets wet, it is crucial to dry it correctly to minimize damage:

  • Absorb: Gently blot the excess moisture with a clean, absorbent cloth or paper towel.
  • Avoid Heat: Do not use direct heat sources such as hairdryers or radiators, as they can cause the suede to become stiff or crack.
  • Air Dry: Allow the suede to air dry naturally in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight.
  • Brush: Once dry, use a suede brush to restore the softness and remove any remaining watermarks.

4. Professional Cleaning

If your suede item sustains significant water damage or becomes heavily soiled, it may be best to seek professional cleaning services. Professional cleaners have the expertise and specialized tools to restore suede items effectively.

5. Consider Waterproof Alternatives

If you frequently encounter wet conditions, it may be wise to consider alternative materials that are more water-resistant, such as leather treated with waterproof coatings or synthetic materials designed to mimic suede’s appearance.


While wearing suede in the rain is not recommended due to its vulnerability to water damage, taking precautionary measures and properly caring for your suede items can help minimize the risk. By treating suede with protective products, avoiding direct exposure to rain, and following proper drying techniques, you can enjoy the luxurious look of suede without compromising its longevity.

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