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A nubuck shoe

Nubuck (pronounced /ˈnjbʌk/) is top-grain leather that has been sanded or buffed on the grain side, or outside, to give a slight nap of short protein fibers, producing a velvet-like surface. It is resistant to wear, and may be white or coloured.[1]

Nubuck is similar to suede, but is created from the outer side of a hide, giving it more strength and thickness and a fine grain. It is generally more expensive than suede, and must be coloured or dyed heavily to cover up the sanding and stamping process.

Nubuck characteristics are similar to aniline leather. It is soft to the touch, scratches easily, and water drops darken it temporarily (it dries to its original color). Shoes and auto interiors are some of the most common commercial uses for this leather.

The word nubuck probably comes from new + buck(skin).[2]


  1. ^ "FAQ". 2011-04-08. Retrieved 2013-01-23.
  2. ^ Merriam-Webster, nubuck, Oxford English Dictionary nubuck

Further reading[edit]

  • Tanning and Leather Finishing. Encyclopedia of Occupational Health and Safety. 2000.
  • American Leather Chemists Association ALC (1906). The Journal of the American Leather Chemists Association. American Leather.
  • Bredenberg, Jeff (1999). Clean It Fast, Clean It Right: The Ultimate Guide to Making Absolutely Everything You Own Sparkle & Shine (New ed.). Rodale Books. p. 544. ISBN 1-57954-019-8.
  • Burch, Monte (2002). The Ultimate Guide to Skinning and Tanning: A Complete Guide to Working with Pelts, Fur, and Leather (First ed.). The Lyons Press. p. 240. ISBN 1-58574-670-3.
  • Churchill, James E. (1983). The Complete Book of Tanning Skins and Furs. Stackpole Books. p. 197. ISBN 0-8117-1719-4.
  • Goldstein-Lynch, Ellen; Sarah Mullins; Nicole Malone (2004). Making Leather Handbags and Other Stylish Accessories. Quarry Books. p. 128. ISBN 1-59253-076-1.
  • Kite, Marion; Roy Thomson (2005). Conservation of Leather and Related Materials. Butterworth-Heinemann. p. 240. ISBN 0-7506-4881-3.
  • Michigan Historical Reprint Series (2005). The art of tanning leather. Scholarly Publishing Office, University of Michigan Library. p. 266. ISBN 1-4255-2365-X.
  • O'Flaherty, Fred; Roddy Lollar (1956). The Chemistry and Technology of Leather. ACS Monograph 134 (1978 ed.). American Chemical Society, Krieger Publishing Co. ASIN B007EUI5M4.
  • Parker, Sybil P (1992). McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology: an international reference work. New York; St Louis; San Francisco: McGraw-Hill. p. 508. ISBN 0-07-909206-3.
  • Procter, H.R. (1885). A text-book of Tanning: A Treatise on the Conversion of Skins into Leather, both Practical and Theoretical. E. & F.N. Spon. p. 281.[verification needed]
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture (2001). Home Tanning of Leather and Small Fur Skins. Univ Pub House. p. 24. ISBN 1-57002-195-3.
  • Watt, Alexander (2005). Leather Manufacture: A Practical Handbook of Tanning, Currying, and Chrome Leather Dressing. Adamant Media Corporation. p. 504. ISBN 0-543-77572-0.