What Is Nubuck?


Nubuck is a top grain cattle leather that’s been sanded on the grain side to produce a velvet feel and touch to the material. The sanding process gives a short nap to the short protein fibres.

Nubuck HidesNubuck Leather Hides


Nubuck is sanded on the top side whereas Suede is sanded on the inner side of the leather hide.

Nubuck is prone to colour stability from UV fading due to the sanded surface. Nubuck can be waterproofed to give it better stain resistant properties, it’s very breathable as well and used a great deal in the footwear industry due to its strengths and breathability.

Nubuck faded

Nubuck Skin Showing UV Fading Issues.

Nubuck is like Suede but is from the top grain rather than the split areas where Suede is mainly from.

This type of leather has to be dyed heavily with aniline dyes to cover up the sanding marks and to give it some colour.

Nubuck scratches easily and when water is dropped on it this will darken the areas but will dry back out again naturally. Juice, drink and alcohol will stain this type of leather and will not dry out so they disappear and a stain will be left on the leather.

All types of shoes and boots are made from this type of leather and are very popular fashion items, they provide comfort, along with strength and offer great breathing properties.

It’s used a great deal for walking boots, as it’s a very breathable product. When protected it offers outstanding waterproof protection and keeps the feet extremely warm in cold conditions.


Nubuck Walking Boots

Walking Boots provide comfort and warmth for hiking.

Below are close up pictures showing you how these two leathers look different when side by side.

Suede Close Up showing protein nap Nubuck close up showing structure

                                            Suede Close Up                                            Nubuck Close Up

Cleaning and care with both Nubuck and Suede are very similar, when cleaning always clean seam to seam ensuring the full item is covered in the natural water based cleaning solution. Rubbers and erasers along with a specialist brush can be used.

Areas that are affected with heavy grease stains like around cuffs of jackets can be sanded with a Nubuck or Suede sanding block to allow the cleaning solutions to get deep into the nap pile to lift out dirt and grime.

A lot of people always ask what is leather, its a natural material, find out about what is leather.

When cleaning the leather boots after a long walking session, never use heat to dry them out, this can make the leather go hard, its best to allow them to dry naturally at room temperature, heavily soiled walking boots can have the soil brush off and then plain water used to clean them down, then allowing them to dry naturally.

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