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What is nubuck?



Whether you’re a long-time leather lover or a budding novice, you’ve likely come across the term ‘nubuck’ before. This luxurious type of velvety, full-grain leather adorns everything from Timberland’s iconic boots to high-end wallets and handbags.

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  • What material is nubuck?

    Nubuck is a type of leather that’s sanded and buffed on the outer side to achieve a nap of short protein fibres. The process results in a smooth, velvet-like surface similar to suede.

  • Does nubuck leather stretch?

    Nubuck can stretch with regular use. If you’re trying to stretch your nubuck shoes, try wearing them frequently with a thick pair of socks.

  • Is nubuck leather waterproof?

    While nubuck leather offers a good degree of water resistance, the leather isn’t entirely impervious, AKA waterproof. However, you can always opt to apply a waterproofing spray should you need to achieve better protection.

  • What is napped leather?

    Napped refers to a soft fluffy texture found on the surface of leather, typically nubuck or suede. A leatherworker can achieve a nappy texture by sanding down the grain-side surface of a full-grain hide to create short protein fibres.

  • Is nubuck leather real leather?

    Nubuck is a type of animal leather made from full-grain hide. It’s one of the more expensive and sought-after leather types on the market.

Further reading...

Nubuck vs suede – cut from a different cloth

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What is leather made out of?

The material has roots in the pre-historic period and is instrumental in the production of everything from modern-day footwear to...

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Glossy and waterproof? It must be patent leather

From synthetic vegan leathers to napped varieties like nubuck, there’s an impressive selection of leathers available today. But one kind...

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