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Suede vs. Velour — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on November 5, 2023
Suede is a type of leather with a napped finish, while velour is a plush, knitted fabric or textile.
Suede vs. Velour — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Suede and Velour


Key Differences

Suede and velour are both materials that exhibit a unique softness and texture, yet their composition and use differ markedly. Suede, derived from the underside of animal skins, primarily goat, deer, pig, or lamb, presents a fuzzy, napped finish that is highly valued in fashion, especially for shoes, jackets, and furniture. Velour, on the other hand, is a knit fabric, typically made from cotton or synthetics, that imitates the feel of velvet with its soft pile, often used in clothing and upholstery.
Suede is valued for its luxurious texture and is often more expensive due to its leather origin and the complexity of its production. It is considered a high-end material in the fashion industry, used in a range of products from clothing to accessories. Velour, with its velvet-like feel, provides a similar touch of luxury but at a more affordable price point. It is favored for its stretch and comfort, making it a popular choice for casual wear and home textiles.
In terms of care, suede and velour require different approaches. Suede, being a form of leather, necessitates specific cleaning methods to maintain its texture and appearance, such as brushing and the use of a suede eraser for stains. Velour, however, can often be machine washed and is easier to maintain due to its synthetic nature, making it a more practical option for everyday items.
The durability of suede and velour varies greatly. Suede is sturdy and can last a long time with proper care, though it is susceptible to water and stain damage. Velour, while less durable than true suede, offers greater resistance to fading and shrinkage, and its elasticity makes it less prone to tearing.
Both suede and velour bring a sense of sophistication and comfort to fashion and home décor, but they serve different purposes and audiences. Suede, as a natural material, has a timeless quality and is often associated with ruggedness and luxury. Velour, as a plush and stretchy fabric, caters to those seeking comfort and affordability without sacrificing style.

Comparison Chart

Material Origin

Made from the underside of animal skins.
Knitted fabric, often from cotton or synthetic fibers.


Has a napped, fuzzy finish.
Plush with a soft pile, similar to velvet.


Generally durable but sensitive to water.
Less durable but resistant to shrinkage and fading.

Care and Maintenance

Requires careful cleaning with brushes and specific products.
Often machine washable and easier to maintain.

Common Uses

Used in high-end fashion items like shoes and jackets.
Used in clothing, costumes, and upholstery for comfort.

Compare with Definitions


Leather with a soft, fuzzy surface.
She wore suede gloves to complement her winter coat.


Soft, stretchy textile resembling velvet.
Her velour tracksuit was both comfortable and stylish.


Soft, textured leather often used in luxury goods.
The designer handbag was crafted from the finest suede.


A textile with a close, furry texture for warmth and luxury.
The baby's velour blanket was soft and warm.


A type of leather with a brushed texture for a velvety handfeel.
The suede upholstery added an elegant touch to the living room.


Knit fabric with a cut pile, often used in upholstery.
The velour drapes added a touch of sophistication to the room.


Suede (pronounced (SWAYD)) is a type of leather with a napped finish, commonly used for jackets, shoes, shirts, purses, furniture, and other items. The term comes from the French gants de Suède, which literally means "gloves from Sweden".Suede is made from the underside of the animal skin, which is softer and more pliable than the outer skin layer, though not as durable.


A plush, knitted fabric with a velvety feel.
The dancer's velour costume shimmered under the stage lights.


Leather with the flesh side rubbed to make a velvety nap
Suede shoes


Fabric with a soft nap, popular in casual fashion.
He wore a vintage velour shirt to the retro-themed party.


Leather with a soft napped surface.


Velour or velours is a plush, knitted fabric or textile similar to velvet or velveteen. It is usually made from cotton, but can also be made from synthetic materials such as polyester.


Fabric made to resemble suede.


A closely napped fabric resembling velvet, used chiefly for clothing and upholstery.


A type of soft leather, made from calfskin, with a brushed texture to resemble fabric, often used to make boots, clothing and fashion accessories.


A felt resembling velvet, used in making hats.


Made of suede.


A knit fabric similar to velvet, but usually somewhat coarser.


(transitive) To make (leather) into suede.


Heavy fabric that resembles velvet


(transitive) To finish (fabric) by abrasion, giving it a fibrous surface.


Swedish glove leather, - usually made from lambskins tanned with willow bark. Also used adjectively; as, suede gloves.


Leather with a napped surface


A fabric made to resemble suede leather


Napped finish leather, typically from the underside of an animal.
His suede boots were perfect for the fall season.


Leather material with a rubbed finish to create a nap.
She treated the suede couch carefully to avoid spills and stains.

Common Curiosities

Is velour stretchy?

Yes, velour typically has a bit of stretch due to its knit construction, adding to its comfort.

Can suede get wet?

Suede can get wet, but water can damage its texture and appearance, so it requires careful protection and cleaning.

Can you machine wash velour?

Many velour items can be machine washed, but it’s best to check the care label for specific instructions.

Is suede vegan?

No, suede is not vegan as it is made from animal skin.

What is velour?

Velour is a plush, knitted fabric with a velvety pile, made from cotton or synthetic fibers.

Is velour suitable for summer wear?

Velour can be warm, so it's not typically chosen for hot weather but can be worn in cooler summer evenings.

Are suede and velour the same?

No, they are distinct materials; suede is a type of leather, while velour is a plush knitted fabric.

What is suede?

Suede is a type of leather made from the underside of animal skins with a napped finish.

How do you clean suede?

Clean suede by gently brushing and using specific suede cleaning products, avoiding water.

Can suede be dyed?

Yes, suede can be dyed, though it's a delicate process best left to professionals.

Does velour pill?

Velour can pill over time, especially if it's a lower-quality fabric.

Are suede and velour environmentally friendly?

The production of both materials has environmental impacts, but there are sustainable options available for each.

Is velour considered a luxury material?

While velour has a luxurious feel, it is generally less expensive and considered less luxurious than suede or velvet.

Does suede stretch over time?

Suede can stretch slightly with wear but generally retains its shape.

Is velour a good fabric for pets?

Velour can attract pet hair and may not be as durable as other fabrics against pets’ claws.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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