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Photo: depositphotos.com
Photo: depositphotos.com

Nubuck is a type of leather that has been sanded or buffed on the grain side to create a texture that is more velvety and softer than suede. Often confused with suede, nubuck is actually created from the outer side of a hide, making it thicker and more durable than suede, which is made from the inner side.

The process of creating nubuck involves taking the top-grain of the leather and sanding it down to produce a slight nap of short protein fibers, producing a surface that is soft to the touch. This napping process also gives the leather a distinct appearance – it can look almost as if it changes shade when it is brushed in different directions.

Characteristics of Nubuck:

  1. Softness: Nubuck is prized for its softness and comfort.
  2. Durability: While it is soft, nubuck is also quite durable. It's a high-quality leather that, with proper care, can last many years.
  3. Texture: It has a gentle, velvety surface that is pleasing to the touch.
  4. Aesthetic Appeal: Nubuck has a rich and lush look, often used in high-end furniture for a luxurious appeal.
  5. Breathability: Like most leathers, it is naturally breathable, which can enhance the comfort of furniture.

However, there are some considerations when it comes to using nubuck for furniture. It tends to be more sensitive to moisture and can stain more easily than other types of leather due to its napped surface. It also requires regular maintenance to keep it looking good. Spills should be cleaned promptly, and it is often recommended to protect nubuck with a waterproofing spray designed specifically for nubuck and suede.

When it comes to maintenance, nubuck needs to be brushed regularly to maintain its nap and to clear off any accumulated dirt. Specific nubuck cleaners are available, along with nubuck revival kits, which can help to restore the leather's appearance if it becomes dirty or starts to look worn.

Nubuck is particularly popular in the manufacture of high-end leather goods, including furniture such as sofas, chairs, and ottomans, offering a unique combination of texture, comfort, and luxury. However, due to its delicate nature, it is best used in environments where it won't be subjected to heavy wear and tear or frequent spills, such as formal living rooms or adult-only spaces.

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