Nubuck Leather

Nubuck is a type of top grain leather with a soft, velvety feel. It is made by buffing or sanding the surface of aniline leather. Buffing removes the grain, or skins surface, of the leather, this creates a nap of short protein fibres, which gives the leather a velvet like texture and a uniform appearance. Like aniline leather, nubuck gets its colour from aniline dyes, not coloured pigment, and does not have a protective topcoat. Nubuck leather has an extremely luxurious feel, it is soft and buttery to the touch. It is strong and durable, however it stains easily and is the most difficult leather to maintain. Nubuck is not recommended for high use situations. How do I care for nubuck?


  • Comfortable. Nubuck leather feels velvety soft and luxurious. Like aniline leather, nubuck readily adjusts to ambient temperature and moisture. It feels warm in winter, and cool and dry in summer.
  • Expensive. Nubuck leather is made from high quality hides, so it can be very expensive.
  • High maintenance. Nubuck doesn’t have a protective topcoat, and, because the grain layer has been removed, it is highly absorbent and highly susceptible to staining.
  • Difficult to repair. Minor damage can be repaired. But, because the repair can’t be covered using leather pigment, there will be a visible scar.
  • Susceptible to fading. Nubuck leather is dyed but doesn’t have pigment or a protective topcoat applied, nor does it have the protection of a grain layer. This makes it more susceptible to fading caused by sunlight and cleaning products.
  • Nubuck and suede. Nubuck should not be confused with suede, which is made from the flesh side of the leather, not the top grain. You should, however, follow the same maintenance procedures for suede and nubuck.
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