Suede vs Velvet: Differences and Comparison (With Table)

The preference for soft-feel clothes, shoes, and bags has been a trend in today’s fashion. Suede and velvet are popular in such conditions. Both have a soft and comfortable feel to the touch. Then which should you choose? Suede vs velvet, what are the differences? Which is better?

The main difference between suede and velvet lies in the softness and texture. Suede is a leather-like fabric that has a fuzzy surface. It has a tougher texture but is easy to damage. Velvet is a type of woven tufted fabric. It’s softer than suede and has a better ability to withstand more harsh conditions.

suede vs velvet fabric
suede vs velvet

To find out more differences between suede and velvet, please keep on reading this article. We will explain more details including suede and velvet properties, advantages, and disadvantages to help you decide whether you should use suede or velvet in your sewing project.

Suede vs Velvet: Comparison Chart

The following chart shows the basic comparison and properties of suede and velvet.

OriginMade from the under part of animal skinMade from natural fibers such as silk and cotton, or synthetic fibers
NicknameFuzzy leather, napped leatherVelveto, velveteen
Fabric TypesDepends on the materials.
Sheepskin suede, cowhide suede, pigskin suede
Ring velvet, panne velvet, chiffon velvet, crushed velvet, embossed velvet, hammered velvet
PropertiesSoft smooth surface, tough texture, durable and long-lasting.
Comfortable to wear.
Sensitive to stains and easily damaged.
Luxurious and shiny fabric with smooth nap, very soft to the touch. Breathable and moisture-wicking.
Comfortable to wear.
Good drape.
Common UsesShoes, bags, and clothes such as jackets, dresses, or accessories like purses.Daily-wear clothes such as dresses,
Home decor such as curtains, and pillows.
Suede vs velvet comparison chart

What Is Suede?

Suede fabric is a special type of leather. It’s made from the underside of animal skin. Therefore, suede is often softer than common leather that uses the top side of animal skin as a manufacturing material. To make the suede fabric, manufacturers will break up the underside and top side of the animal skin. And then use the underpart to create thin and soft suede leather.

There are various types of animal hide that can be used as raw material to produce suede fabric. For example, cow, sheep, and pig skin are the choice to make suede fabric. And the suede fabric price depends on the use of different types of animal hide. Generally speaking, sheepskin suede is considered the best one, because it is softer and more comfortable than other types of suede.

Today, many manufacturers have attempted to produce synthetic suede to reduce the impact of suede production on animals. Though synthetic suede does not have the same performance as true suede, its price is cheaper.

What Is Velvet?

Velvet is a sleek, soft fabric that is featured as a dense pile of evenly cut fibers, and all these fibers have a smooth nap. In the very beginning, velvet is made from silk, and its price is also high. But now wool, mohair, cotton and linen, and even some synthetic fibers are the material choice to make velvet. Its price has been reduced greatly.

Due to its softness and smooth feel, velvet fabric is popular for various applications and occasions. For example, a velvet evening dress for prom will show your good taste. What’s more, velvet has been widely used in both clothes and home decor. For instance, the home curtains, table clothes wall hangings, and beddings.

Suede vs Velvet: 9 Main Differences

Origin Materials

As mentioned above, suede and velvet fabric are made from different materials. Suede is made from animal skins, while velvet can be made with silk, linen, mohair, and sometimes cotton. Some synthetic velvet is even made from rayon, polyester, and nylon. Therefore, they perform differently in various aspects.

Suede vs Velvet Softness

Both suede and velvet fabrics are soft, but the softness performs a little differently. Suede is characterized by a soft smooth surface, and its texture is tough. While the velvet fabric is much softer and fluffy than suede because it’s a multilayer woven tufted fabric. This type of fabric owns short piles, making velvet a uniquely soft feel and texture.

Suede vs Velvet Breathability

Velvet is more breathable than suede. Apart from the features of their origin materials, their production process is also one reason resulting in velvet being more breathable. Suede production will use the chemical treatment to make it more durable and rigid, which also lowers its breathability. While velvet passes through looming and spinning processes that create double layers simultaneously. This special process allows velvet fabric has lots of small holes for air circulation, making it highly breathable.

Heat Retention

Suede and velvet have good heat retention in cold weather. But the heat retention mechanism is a little different. Velvet is fluffy and ultra soft, its thickness and high fiber content allow velvet to keep the heat from escaping, so it helps your body get warm quickly. However, the suede fabric absorbs moisture and then releases heat to keep warm. And suede is windproof, which can avoid heat escape.

Moisture-wicking Abilities

Suede and velvet are moisture-wicking to some degree, but they do not perform well at this point. And compared with suede, velvet has a better performance to absorb moisture. The level of wicking ability depends on what material it uses. Generally, velvet made from silk, wool, linen, and cotton has a high level of moisture-wicking ability. The moisture-wicking ability of the suede fabric is low because it has been treated with chemicals and has low breathability which affects its moisture absorption.


Both suede and velvet do not stretch a lot. Traditional velvet has no stretchability, but today’s synthetic velvet which blends with stretchy materials such as spandex and polyester could stretch well. Sometimes you may feel a little stretch of velvet fabric, actually, it is just a normal that many fabrics have. Once the fiber is woven into the fabric, it will perform like that. Therefore, if you need stretchy, comfortable, and luxurious velvet, synthetic velvet will be a nice choice to meet your needs.

Though suede fabric has low stretchability, the suede products will stretch and get loose over time. So if you search on Google for “how to stretch suede”, you will get lots of answers.

Common Uses

Both suede and velvet have wide uses in our daily life. Suede is more suitable for all kinds of everyday wear, and velvet is more common in home decor. For example, there are a variety of suede shoes, suede jackets, wallets, and household products. As for velvet, home decor such as curtains, tablecloths, and bedding sheets often use synthetic velvet, which is cheap and easy to take care of.

Easy of Care

As mentioned above, suede and velvet have various uses. For different uses, tips to take care of suede are different. For instance, when cleaning your suede jackets, you should ask for professional suede and leather cleaning service, which can prolong its lifespan.

Compared with suede, taking care of velvet is easier. Please keep in mind that do not press the velvet when wet. Because it may damage its fabric structure. And if you need to remove its wrinkles after long-time wearing, you’d better use a steam iron to avoid burning the velvet.

Suede vs Velvet Cost

Suede and velvet are considered luxurious fabrics, so their price is high in most cases. Usually, the cost of suede per yard is higher than that of velvet. And the price per yard of suede often depends on its quality and the ways to manufacture it. The survey shows the cost of high-quality suede is between 30 to 40 dollars per yard.

Traditional velvet made of silk is expensive, but now there are various types of synthetic velvet on the market, and the cost of the velvet has reduced a lot. The survey shows that velvet costs between 6 to 22 dollars per yard.


Both suede and velvet are soft to the feel. And we have discussed the nine differences between suede and velvet fabrics, including breathability, softness, stretchability, ease of care, cost, etc. Suede fabric is common to see in jackets, shoes, and bags, while velvet can be found in dresses and home decors such as curtains and beddings. Knowing their differences allows you to choose the suitable one as needed.

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