So by now you've probably realized that the 70's are back in a big way. And what comes along with that? Suede - lots of it! This season we are looking to style icons like Ali McGraw, Bianca Jagger and Faye Dunaway for looks that are more London and less Woodstock. Read: suede accessories and minis, not fringed vests. Chances are, you've got your eye on something(s) suede but aren't quite sure if it is practical. Suede does have a finicky reputation but if you read on you'll see just how easy it can be to care for with just a little knowledge and a few household items! Never hesitate to buy that Suede you covet Again!
THE SOFTER SIDE OF LEATHER - LITERALLY.
First and foremost, no water! Because suede is made up of the soft and fibrous side of thin lamb, goat, or calf hide, it lacks the protected nature of leather - suede's thicker skinned cousin. Moisture is the arch enemy of your suede, diminishing its napped texture and rendering it flattened and stained. So stay out of the rain and follow the next tip to address spills as soon as they happen.
SUCK IT UP
Life happens and sometimes blunders are inescapable. Speed is your friend when it comes to avoiding permanent stains on your favorite suede. Don't blot, rub or attempt to rinse liquid spills. Instead, coat generously with baby or talcum powder and let sit until all liquid is absorbed. After completely dry, remove powder and gently brush affected area with a small nailbrush or used toothbrush to dislodge any excess powder left in fibers. This works best with light colored liquid spills. Consult professional cleaner for pigmented stains.
BRUSH IT OFF
To remove thick, dried on stains without liquid, use a firm-bristled brush (an old tooth or nail brush works great) in swift circular motions, taking care to avoid overworking the area. Don't forget to also gently brush the material surrounding the freshly cleaned spot to even out the grain of the suede.
ON THE GROUND
When it comes to suede footwear, a good offense is your best defense. After purchasing a pair, before taking them out on the town, pick up a quality suede sealant/protectant and coat your shoes evenly and generously. Apply several coats making sure to allow drying time between each layer. Reapply every three to six months
As we've learned, liquid is no companion to suede. However, there is one slight exception to this rule - white household vinegar! When faced with a truly set in stain, soak a dry sponge in a bowl of white vinegar, thoroughly squeeze the excess vinegar out, and brush the stain gently until removed. Always test a small hidden area before using any cleaning product or modality. If you see a transfer of non-stain related color to the sponge when using vinegar, stop and consult a professional cleaner. Last but not least, we heard that the fine side of a nail file or a soft, colorless eraser work wonders on subtle scuffs and marks. Give it a try and let us know your results in the comments below!!