How to Make Suede Leather

Save
Cowhide is popular for making suede.
Cowhide is popular for making suede. (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Suede is leather made from any animal hide. Anything that is made from an animal hide, such as a football, jacket, or linings for boots or jackets, is leather. Suede is a type of leather made from a split piece of animal hide. Depending on the animal, some hides are thicker than others, allowing you to split it two or three times. Suede is different in the fact that it is sanded on one side until it is soft and supple. Suede is not treated; therefore, if it gets wet, it will show water marks.

Things You'll Need

  • 10-gallon plastic bucket or trash can
  • 5-gallon container
  • 1 lb. cow brains
  • Blender
  • Gloves
  • Sharp fillet knife
  • 10 lengths parachute cord, 6 feet each
  • Glover needles
  • Hand-held spade or trowel
  • Carpenter's hammer
  • Stretching frame
  • Artificial sinew
  • Box 4-inch nails
  • Fine-grit sandpaper or electric buffer

Soak the hide in hot water overnight. Cover your container with a lid or towel. Squeeze out excess water by any means other than ringing. An old-fashioned wringer-washer works well. Hang the hide on a clothes-line until it is just damp.

The size of your hide depends on the size of the animal.
The size of your hide depends on the size of the animal. (Image: Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Scrape off the membrane and hair with a dull spade or trowel. Scrape the hair off by scraping in the direction the hair was growing. All of the hair and membrane will not come off on the first pass.

A dull spade or trowel can be used to remove hair and membrane.
A dull spade or trowel can be used to remove hair and membrane. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Place one pound of cow brains in a blender and blend for 30 seconds. The fat and other minerals in the brains will loosen the hair and membrane while softening the hide. Heat the blended brains until just before boiling, then add them to five gallons of warm water and stir until well-blended. Add the water with brains to the ten-gallon container and fill to three-quarters full with cold water. Soak the hide overnight. Use a brick or other heavy item to weigh the hide down. Cover the can or bucket with a lid or towel.

Metal buckets may turn the hide an undesirable color; use plastic.
Metal buckets may turn the hide an undesirable color; use plastic. (Image: Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Switch the hide from the bucket with brains to a bucket of clean, lukewarm water. Swish the hide to remove brain residue, then squeeze out the excess water. Hang to dry until damp. Finish scraping off all hair and membrane.

Use heavy clips to hold the hide on the line until it is almost dry.
Use heavy clips to hold the hide on the line until it is almost dry. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Trim any hanging pieces of the hide, such as the lower legs or neck areas. Cut vertical lace slots, five inches apart, all around the four sides. Make the lace slots an inch long and a little less than an inch from the edges. Thread the parachute cord and lace the hide with it; one lace per slot. Tie the laces to the nails on the frame for stretching.

Stretch the hide for several days. Once the hide is the size you need, split the end of one corner to the thickness you desire for the suede. Continue the cut, moving slowly down and through the middle of the hide until you have two separate pieces.

Keep your knife sharpened to prevent accidents.
Keep your knife sharpened to prevent accidents. (Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

The thinner hide, now left on the frame, can be sanded by hand or by using an electric buffer. Move side to side until the leather is almost ready, then begin sanding up and down to complete the softening of the leather to make suede. The piece that had fur -- the piece that was split and cut away -- can be worked with the buffer to remove any remaining fur, then placed on the frame to sand the other side until it becomes suede.

A suede jacket is soft to the touch.
A suede jacket is soft to the touch. (Image: PhotoObjects.net/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Related Searches

References

Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

You May Also Like

Related Searches

Check It Out

This Is the Beauty Routine of an Ex-Pat in China

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!