Suede is a type of leather produced from animal skin that goes through a tanning and finishing process. Although lambskin is the preferred choice for suede production, goatskin, deerskin and calfskin are also suitable.
The long tanning process is identical for suede and leather, and the difference in their appearance results from separate finishing processes. Leather is only lightly buffed, while suede is buffed with an emery wheel until it assumes a velvety, napped finish. Though suede is softer and more pliable than leather, it is more difficult to clean and is less durable, but it remains a popular fabric for clothing, footwear and upholstery. Synthetic fabrics with a suede-like appearance are also available on the market.