How to Dye Suede Shoes

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Suede is a fabric created from leather, which is made from the skin of animals such as cows, pigs, deer and goats. The fabric is then treated to create a soft texture known as suede, which is used for upholstery, clothing, accessories and shoes. Suede is a porous fabric, which makes it prone to staining after exposure to water but also makes it relatively easy to dye different colors. Use caution when dyeing suede shoes to avoid staining other fabrics, surfaces or skin.

How to Dye Suede Shoes
(Arisa Williams/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • Suede cleaner
  • Bowl
  • Dish detergent
  • Water
  • Cloth(s)
  • Suede dye
  • Newspaper

Clean the shoes before dyeing them. Use a suede cleaner, which can be purchased at most grocery stores, drugstores or hardware stores. Alternatively, dip a clean soft cloth into a small bowl filled with warm water and 1 tsp. dish detergent. Wipe the cloth in gentle circular motions on the shoes until all the fabric has been cleaned. Allow them to dry thoroughly.

Arisa Williams/Demand Media

Purchase suede dye at a grocery store, drugstore or hardware store. Some shoe repair stores or dry cleaning stores may have it as well. Pack the insides of the shoes with clean, dry newspaper to prevent the inside of the shoes from staining.

Arisa Williams/Demand Media

Pour a small amount of the dye on a clean, soft cloth that you do not mind staining. You may wish to first pour the dye into a small container that you do not mind staining. Gently rub the cloth in circular motions on the shoes. Do not saturate the shoes; use only as much dye as needed to thoroughly cover the suede.

Arisa Williams/Demand Media

Allow the shoes to dry thoroughly in a dry, well-ventilated area. If drying shoes outside, place them where they cannot get wet or dirty.

Arisa Williams/Demand Media

Check the results. If you wish for a darker hue, repeat steps 2 to 4 until the desired color is achieved. If you wish a lighter hue, repeat step 1, which may result in a lighter color when dry.

Arisa Williams/Demand Media


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