CARING FOR SUEDE
So you were on a True Fashionista suede kick there for awhile, and mayyyybe you own plenty of your share of the smooth pat-able stuff. If your love of hey-at-least-its-not-leather-or-fur-gimme a break (cue eyeroll) has resulted in a flat out fear of wearing it ever should it rain or the piece gets dirty, then we can hopefully squash those terrors with some helpful hints on how to take care of your investment.
The best way to protect suede without ruining the color is a good stain protector, recommends David Mesquita, VP of NYC-based leather repair company, Leather Spa, via Harper’s Bazaar. If something says it has been treated, he says, it doesn’t hurt to do it again. It has nano technology and it acts as a repellent, so overspraying is virtually impossible. Often people are afraid a spray will seal the pores and hurt the skin, but he insists that won’t happen, as suede is still breathable. This way if you get a stain you can wipe it off before it penetrates. One spray that comes highly recommended is Gear Aid ReviveX Nubuck Suede & Fabric Water Repellant. A thin application of a suede sealant will last for several months. Brushing with a suede brush before andafter you spray is also highly encouraged.
AVOID RAIN OR SNOW, YES OR NO?
To a degree, your combo/stain protector spray will protect your pieces, but if the day is a soaker, better to be safe than sorry. Wear something else. If you spill a liquid on your suede, or likewise just get it wet, Stylecaster suggests patting the area with a clean cloth or towel and then applying a layer of corn meal or talcum powder. Let it set overnight, and then brush the suede the following day with a suede brush to remove the dried powder.
If the unthinkable happens and you get ink on your suede, life isn’t completely over. Wait until you get home and use a suede brush to hopefully brush it right out, or if it’s a stubborn spot, use a suede eraser to remove the ink. It’s best to do this as quickly as possible before it penetrates into the material. Spray your most popular suede pieces once a week so as to avoid the possibility. Use white vinegar to treat any dried stain, especially your suede shoes or boots, suggests our friends at Stylecaster. Rub off dirt with a kneaded eraser or an emery board. For heavier stains, blot the stain using a small amount of white vinegar and a clean towel. Repeat for as long as necessary until you see your stain disappear. This is a great way to get rid of both water and salt stains.
KEEP YOUR SUEDE SOFT
There’s a good chance you’ve had that suede piece that’s done you justice, given you its money’s worth, and is ready for the trading or donating. Your former favorite pair of shoes has actually gotten dirty and hardened up a bit. And now you’ve discovered what happens when basic suede care slides. Yep, suede tends to harden. However, if you brush your pieces regularly, you clear out that dust, which helps retain the look of the suede. Like most anything you’ve invested in, it’s about caring for it and taking the initiative.
TO DYE OR NOT TO DYE
If something crazy nasty somehow got on your suede as much as you have been protecting it, dyeing it to hide the infraction is absolutely an option, says Mesquita. However, be advised that it changes the texture and makes the hide a bit harder. You also are taking the chance that it may have been treated previously. Sometimes light colors might need a few coats and each time you’re adding more liquid and dye, both of which can change the texture.
STORING YOUR SUEDE
Now that you know how to take care of your gems of suede, storing them is as important. Keep shoes and handbags in dust bags. Use pillowcases or garment bags for clothing items, or wrap small accessories in tissue paper to keep the suedelooking fresh. You don’t want to seal any of your suede into a plastic bag or box for months at a time. Breathing is as important for your suede as it is for you. Using plastic bags can cause mold and mildew growth on the suede.Storeit in a cool, dry, dark place.
Follow these easy tips, and enjoy your beautiful suede clothing, shoes and accessories a nice length of time, and when you’re ready to part with it and replace with something else, look no further than True Fashionistas Resale for a great selection both online or in our store.