Suede is notoriously difficult to care for, especially when protecting it from water and other elements.
If you are tired of your suede shoes, boots, or jackets getting ruined in the rain, you can waterproof them and there are plenty of options available from spray-on solutions to special waxes and oils among others.
In this article, we’ll look at the various methods and products you can use to waterproof your suede clothing and accessories so you can rock them no matter the weather. How to Waterproof Suede?
Can you waterproof suede?
Yes, you can waterproof suede to protect it from water and other elements. Since suede is not naturally waterproof, using waterproofing sprays for suede or waxes and oils can help to keep moisture from penetrating the fabric.
How to waterproof suede (boots, shoes, and jackets)
Suede differs from leather in that it is a very delicate material as such it needs to be handled with care. Here are a few steps you can follow to waterproof suede.
Step 1: Clean the suede
Before applying any waterproofing treatment, it’s important to clean the suede to remove dirt and debris. You can use a suede brush or a soft cloth to gently remove any dirt or stains.
Step 2: Choose a waterproof product
There are several products available for waterproofing suede so choose one and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use carefully. Some of these products include;
- Water repellent spray: This is specially designed for suede and leather to protect them from water or moisture. The spray is typically made from a combination of waxes, oils, and other waterproofing agents that form an invisible barrier on the surface of the suede thereby helping it to repel water and prevent discoloration or damage.
- Waterproofing wax or oil: Using a waterproofing wax or oil on a suede makes it more water and stain-resistant and increases its shine. You can use beeswax or a commercially made product that contains wax and is designed to waterproof suede items. You will need a heat gun to soften and melt the wax when you apply it to the suede.
Step 3: Test the product
Before applying the waterproofing treatment to the entire surface of your suede boots or shoes, it’s important to test it on a small and inconspicuous area first.
This will allow you to see how the product affects the color and texture of the suede.
Step 4: Apply the waterproofing treatment
This will depend on the type of waterproofing product you choose. For instance, if you use a water-repellant spray, all you need is to spray over the surface of the suede evenly following the manufacturer’s instructions.
If using wax, you need to apply it on the suede first and then warm it gently using a heat gun to melt the wax. This will soften the wax and allow it to penetrate the suede in order to make it waterproof.
Once done, wipe off the excess wax with a soft cloth and then brush to give the suede a good shine.
Step 5: Allow the treatment to dry
Once you have applied the waterproof product, leave the suede to dry completely. This will allow the product to soak in and it may take a few hours or overnight depending on the product.
Step 6: Repeat if necessary
Depending on the level of protection you need and the amount of wear and tear your suede shoes and boots receive, you may need to reapply the waterproof product every few months or as needed.
Note that waterproofing suede may alter the appearance or texture of the material and it may not be 100% waterproof. So, it’s important to treat your suede items with caution, especially in wet or rainy conditions.
What to do if suede gets wet
As you already know, suede differs from leather in that it is not water resistant so it’s not advisable to wear it in the rain or in wet conditions like in the snow.
If it gets wet, it can become misshapen and may be difficult to dry leading to staining and water damage.
Thus, if your suede shoes, boots, or jacket get wet, you should take action as soon as possible to minimize the damage.
Start by blotting the wet area with a clean, dry cloth. Do not rub as this can cause the suede fibers to become matted.
For suede shoes and boots, stuff them with an absorbent material or dry newspaper to seep the excess water and help to retain their shape as they dry. Remember not to overstuff to avoid causing the suede to lose shape.
If you have a wet suede jacket, skirt, or pants, hang it somewhere to air dry. Keep it at room temperature and away from direct sunlight or heat.
Once dry brush over the suede gently using a suede brush to restore its nap and to remove any debris.
While it’s possible to waterproof suede to some extent, a lot of extra care is needed so as not to damage your items.
Products like water-repellent sprays and waterproofing waxes tend to offer some level of protection against water and moisture. However, they may not provide complete protection against heavy rain or when suede is immersed in water.
Therefore, it’s best to avoid wearing suede in wet or rainy conditions whenever possible.