You did the unthinkable. The immoral. The worst possible thing that you can do to suede.
You let your suede jacket get wet.
It is a well know fact that suede and water are two things that do not get along with each other. And that’s what I used to believe until I saw a Youtube video. I have linked it at the bottom if you want to check it out after reading this post.
In the video, this dude machine-washed a suede jacket (something which I thought was a big no-no) and hung it out to dry on a clothesline. And he claimed that his suede jacket looked even better than before!
So this made me do my own experiment. I took some old suede jackets that I had and decided to wash them and dry them in various ways.
The first part of this series, where I talked about washing suede, can be found here.
In this second part, I will be talking about the next part – drying a suede jacket.
Here in this article, you will get to know exactly how you can dry suede; and I will explore all the different options (tumble drying, drying on a clothesline, etc.) and recommend you the best one.
Here’s the short answer.
You can dry your suede jacket in a dryer, but that can be a little rough on the fabric. The best method is to absorb all the water through old newspapers. A hairdryer’s heat can quicken this process. However, you should never hang suede jackets on a clothesline, as it will alter the shape of the jacket.
Can suede jackets be tumble dried?
My answer to this question is a bit different than the mainstream. Everyone advises you to never put suede in the dryer, but when I did my little experiment, I noticed something.
You can put a suede jacket in the dryer. A tumble dryer would do nothing to destroy the nape and the luxe feel that people claim that it can do. There is going to be no irreversible damage.
Now it may seem that tumble drying suede is a quick and surefire way to may your suede rot in hell; trust me that this is not the case.
When I put my trusty old suede jacket in the dryer, it came out just how I expected it to come out… which is dry.
It is a simple process that is going to protect your suede garment from any kind of damage.
The entire feel of the fabric was still the same. There was no shrinkage or loss of shape. I was expecting the jacket to come out stiff and almost cardboard-like, but I was pleased to see that no particular damage had been done to the nape.
Now, remember that though you can put your suede jacket in a dryer, it doesn’t mean that you should.
Dryers are known for being a bit rough on fabrics in general. And suede is already not the sturdiest of fabrics (compared to others such as leather); much less when it is wet and weak.
Thus, I would recommend you to use the method that I talk about in the next section in order to actually dry your jacket.
How to dry a wet suede jacket?
If your jacket gets wet while you are outside, you would need to act quickly. Take a microfiber towel or a bunch of old newspapers and use them to blot the surface of the suede. Try to get the towel to absorb as much water as possible.
When most of the water has been absorbed, get a dedicated suede brush and brush the suede back and forth. To quicken the drying process, take a hairdryer and direct its heat towards where you are brushing.
Keep brushing the suede with one hand and drying with the other. Do this on low heat until the jacket is completely dry. Immediately apply a protector spray on it to avoid future mishaps.
Can suede jackets be hung on a clothesline?
As I said, this idea sounds absolutely crazy. Hanging a wet suede jacket in direct sunlight does not seem to be the smartest of decisions. But I was determined to test things thoroughly.
So I took another old suede jacket that I owned (but didn’t particularly like) and washed it and then hung it on a clothesline.
And that’s when I realized that some ideas are crazy for a reason.
The color of the jacket did not change in any extremely obvious way. The suede also looked alright.
But the jacket lost its shape entirely. It did not drape to my body like it used to; and became too roomy and droopy, for the lack of a better word. Time for some tailoring.
Never hang-dry your suede jacket, as it is going to reduce the age of your jacket. Keep it away from a clothesline, and go for a dryer or some blotting paper.
Can suede jackets be dry cleaned?
Suede jackets can be dry cleaned. Dry cleaning suede is effective when trying to get rid of stains or scuff marks, but it is not useful when it comes to preventing water damage.
I know that it is kind of ironic that your dry cleaner, who has dry in the name, can do nothing about your wet suede jacket, but it is what it is.
You should actually dry clean your suede garment every season, preferably twice a season (at the beginning and the end). This would help you in keeping your jacket looking brand new and dirt-free.
But if you get your jacket wet accidentally, you should take a look at other methods to revive it back. Try throwing it in the dryer or the special method I mentioned above.
By going through this entire process on my own, I realized how much misinformation has been spread about different fabrics online. This makes me even more motivated to up the ante with this website.
An important disclaimer before you go. The stuff that I talk about in this article is a direct result of my own experiences and experiments. Your suede jacket might react differently to being tumble-dried. So pursue these methods at your own risk.
My name is Alex Higson and I am the founder of Magic Of Clothes. I have worked in the fashion industry for many years, and clothes and style are a huge part of my life.