Nubuck leather: discover the delicacy of elegance

Among the many varieties of genuine leather that exist, one of the most valuable is definitely nubuck leather. Products made with this type of leather acquire an unparalleled charm and elegance and give unparalleled tactile sensations. In this article you can find out more about this variety of leather, its characteristics and how to keep it in perfect condition over time.

“Nubuck leather” is a type of bovine leather, obtained by a particular processing of cowhide leather. Its use is very wide: we do not find it only as a covering material for sofas and upholstered furniture, but also in the production of bags, shoes and accessories. Its refined and elegant aspect makes it one of the most appreciated and sought-after materials on the market, especially in the home furnishing industry.

Processing and main characteristics

The processing required for the production of this variety of leather is particularly delicate and requires, first of all, a rigorous selection of the raw material. Then comes the actual processing, which is done by hand: it consists of a sandblasting process that, through a slight grinding of the leather, gives Nubuck its typical soft and smooth appearance, reminiscent of velvet (in fact, we talk about "velvet effect").

Nubuck leather can be dyed in a wide range of colors thanks to specific dyeing processes; its thickness can vary up to about 1.5 mm. Nubuck is a material that is naturally resistant to liquids, even if this characteristic is further guaranteed by a special treatment that accentuates its water repellence. Another typical characteristic possessed by this kind of leather is the accentuated writing ability: this means that imperfections such as scratches, differences in shade or halos are easily noticed. These, however, should not be considered as defects, but rather as demonstrations of the naturalness of this type of leather.

The velvety appearance of Nubuck leather is very similar to that of suede, which is more common and cheaper. Nubuck and suede, however, while seemingly similar, differ in one specific detail. In fact, while suede is obtained by processing the inner part of the cowhide (technically indicated as "crust"), Nubuck is obtained through the treatment of the outer part (called "grain"), more valuable and of higher quality. For this reason, this type of leather is characterized by considerable resistance and durability that make it an excellent upholstery material.

How to properly clean Nubuck leather?

Despite its quality and resistance, Nubuck leather is a very delicate material that is vulnerable to stains and dirt. Therefore, when it comes to cleaning, it is necessary to use some precautions in order not to risk ruining the leather irreparably.

Nubuck must be cleaned exclusively with specific products for the care of this leather. For normal cleaning it will be sufficient to use a special cloth or sponge to remove less stubborn stains. It is important to pass the cloth or sponge in all directions in order to clean the down in an optimal way. For a deeper cleaning, however, simply wrap a sponge with a special Nubuck leather care cloth, applying more force.

An aspect to be kept in mind, however, is that stains such as wine, coffee or tea stains are extremely difficult to remove from this kind of fabric. It is therefore advisable to pay proper attention to them.


In this article, we have found out more about fine and elegant Nubuck leather, one of the most elegant and desirable types of leather around. If you have further questions or would like to know more, do not hesitate to contact us through our contact section. Ready to answer any questions you may have, you will find a team of Orvat experts who will find the right solution for you.

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