Everything You Need to Know about Nubuck Leather

December 28, 2022 6 min read

Nubuck Leather

Nubuck leather, a term that often leaves people intrigued, is a luxurious and versatile material known for its distinct appearance and tactile qualities. If you've ever wondered, "What is Nubuck leather?" you're in the right place. In this article, we'll delve into the world of Nubuck leather, exploring its quality, usage, advantages, drawbacks, and even its price, all while addressing common questions about this remarkable material.

Nubuck Leather

Nubuck leather is a type of leather that is made from the top grain of the hide and is known for its soft, velvety texture and suede-like appearance. In this article, we will delve into the world of nubuck leather, exploring the material, quality, use, and price of nubuck leather jackets for men and women.


Nubuck leather is made from the top grain of the hide, which is the outermost layer of the skin. It is sanded and buffed to create a soft, velvety texture and a suede-like appearance. Nubuck leather is often made from cowhide, but it can also be made from other types of animal hide, such as sheepskin or pigskin.

The Quality of Nubuck Leather

Nubuck Leather: A Close Cousin to Suede

Nubuck leather is often likened to suede, and for good reason. Both materials share a velvety, soft texture that's delightful to touch. The key difference lies in their origins. Nubuck leather is created from the top grain of hide, which is the uppermost layer, while suede is made from the underside of the hide, known as the split. This distinction gives Nubuck its unique qualities.

Luxurious Appearance

One of the most striking features of Nubuck leather is its luxurious appearance. It boasts a smooth, finely sanded surface that exudes elegance. When you run your hand over Nubuck, you'll notice a subtle grain pattern that adds depth and character to the material. This combination of softness and texture makes Nubuck leather a popular choice for upscale fashion items.

Natural Aging and Patina

Nubuck leather is not only about initial allure but also about how it ages gracefully. Over time, Nubuck develops a beautiful patina, much like full-grain leather. This aging process enhances its character and uniqueness. Unlike some synthetic materials, Nubuck leather tells a story of wear and use, making it even more appealing to aficionados of quality craftsmanship.

Who Uses Nubuck Leather and Why

Fashion Enthusiasts

Nubuck leather's elegant appearance and comfortable feel have made it a favorite among fashion enthusiasts. It's frequently used in high-end shoes, boots, handbags, and wallets. When you're seeking that perfect blend of style and comfort, Nubuck leather is often the answer.

Interior Designers

Beyond fashion, Nubuck leather also finds its way into interior design. Its luxurious texture makes it an excellent choice for upholstery, adding a touch of sophistication to furniture and car interiors. Imagine sinking into a Nubuck leather sofa or reclining in a car with Nubuck seats – it's an experience in luxury.

Artisans and Craftsmen

Nubuck leather's versatility extends to artisans and craftsmen who use it in various DIY projects. Whether you're crafting a custom wallet, refurbishing a piece of furniture, or creating unique accessories, Nubuck leather provides the ideal canvas for your creative endeavors.

Advantages and Drawbacks of Nubuck Leather

Advantages of Nubuck Leather

  1. Softness and Comfort: Nubuck leather's velvety texture is incredibly soft and comfortable against the skin. This quality makes it a preferred choice for items that come into direct contact with your body, such as shoes and gloves.
  2. Aging Gracefully: As mentioned earlier, Nubuck leather ages gracefully, developing a unique patina with time. This aging process adds character and value to your Nubuck items.
  3. Breathability: Nubuck leather allows air to circulate, making it suitable for footwear. Your feet will stay comfortable and dry, even during extended wear.
  4. Grip and Traction: The slightly rough texture of Nubuck leather enhances grip and traction. It's a popular choice for shoe soles and outsoles.
  5. Aesthetic Appeal: Nubuck's luxurious appearance is undeniably attractive. It elevates the style of any fashion item or interior space it adorns.

Drawbacks of Nubuck Leather

  1. Sensitivity to Moisture: Nubuck leather is highly susceptible to moisture and stains. Even a drop of water can leave a noticeable mark. Special care and protection are required to maintain its pristine look.
  2. Maintenance: Cleaning and maintaining leather jacket can be more challenging compared to other leather types. Brushing and regular upkeep are necessary to preserve its beauty.
  3. Durability: While Nubuck leather is durable, it may not be as resilient as full-grain leather. It can show signs of wear and tear more quickly if not properly cared for.

The Price of Nubuck Leather Jackets

Nubuck leather jackets are often regarded as the pinnacle of luxury in the world of outerwear. The price of a Nubuck leather jacket can vary significantly depending on several factors:

  1. Quality of Leather: The quality of the Nubuck leather used plays a major role in determining the price. Higher-quality Nubuck leather, typically sourced from top-grade hides, will command a premium.
  2. Brand and Designer: Jackets from well-known brands or those designed by renowned fashion designers can be considerably more expensive. The prestige associated with certain brands contributes to the price tag.
  3. Craftsmanship: The level of craftsmanship involved in creating the jacket influences its cost. Handcrafted Nubuck leather jackets, with meticulous attention to detail, often come with a higher price.
  4. Customization: If you opt for a custom-made Nubuck leather jacket tailored to your specific preferences, you can expect to pay more for the personalized experience and unique design.
  5. Extras and Features: Some Nubuck leather jackets come with additional features, such as fur lining or intricate embellishments. These extras can significantly increase the price.

It's essential to consider your budget and priorities when shopping for a Nubuck leather jacket. While they may be an investment, the quality, style, and comfort they offer can make them well worth the price for those who appreciate fine craftsmanship and luxurious materials.

Frequently Asked Questions About Nubuck Leather

Is Nubuck leather real leather?

Yes, Nubuck leather is real leather. It is made from the top grain of animal hide, specifically the uppermost layer, which is sanded and buffed to create the velvety texture that defines Nubuck.

Is Nubuck better than leather?

The preference between Nubuck and other types of leather depends on individual needs and tastes. Nubuck leather is known for its softness, comfort, and luxurious appearance, making it an excellent choice for fashion and interior design. However, it is more sensitive to moisture and stains compared to some other types of leather, so it may not be the best choice for all situations.

Is Nubuck leather expensive?

Nubuck leather is generally considered a luxury material, and as such, it often comes with a higher price tag compared to other types of leather. The price can vary significantly depending on factors like the quality of the leather, brand, craftsmanship, and design.

Is Nubuck a fake leather?

No, Nubuck is not a fake or synthetic leather. It is a genuine leather made from animal hides, specifically the top grain. The process involves sanding and buffing the top layer to create the soft, velvety texture characteristic of Nubuck leather.

Is Nubuck good or bad?

Nubuck leather is neither inherently good nor bad; it depends on the context and your preferences. It offers unique qualities such as softness, comfort, and a luxurious appearance, making it a popular choice for certain applications. However, it is sensitive to moisture and stains and requires proper care and maintenance to retain its pristine look.

Does water damage Nubuck?

Yes, water can damage Nubuck leather. Nubuck is highly susceptible to moisture, and contact with water can leave stains or marks on the surface. To protect Nubuck items from water damage, it's essential to use a waterproof spray and take precautions to keep them dry in wet conditions. Regular brushing and cleaning can also help maintain the material's integrity.

In conclusion, Nubuck leather is a luxurious and tactile material that appeals to those who appreciate both style and comfort. Its softness, elegant appearance, and aging characteristics make it a unique choice for fashion, interior design, and various DIY projects. However, its sensitivity to moisture and stains requires careful maintenance and protection. When considering Nubuck leather, weigh the advantages and drawbacks to determine if it suits your needs and preferences. Whether in the form of a jacket, handbag, or upholstery, Nubuck leather adds a touch of opulence to your life.