Suede lace can refer to two completely different products. The first is a fabric which has cut out designs that imitate traditional lace. Another name for this type of suede fabric is cut out suede. The other product is a type of twine, which is made from very thin strips of leather. Both types of suede lace can be used for a variety of projects, including clothing and shoes, jewelry, furniture, and many other items.
Both types of lace come in a variety of colors. Suede is simply the "wrong side" or opposing side to leather. Its natural colors are brown, tan, white, cream, and black. Suede can also be dyed, so many different colors are available.
Suede lace fabric can be created by hand or by machine. Hand cutting suede lace is laborious and time consuming, but interesting designs can be created. Machine cut suede lace is typically done with a precise blade or laser. In some cases, only a section or edge of the fabric is cut, creating a decorative finish.
The fabric can be made from a variety of fabric weights, depending on the intended use. Fabric which is intended for clothing is light weight, soft, thin, and easily damaged. Suede which will suffer a great deal of wear and tear, like fabric for furniture or equestrian equipment, is usually made from a very thick weight to increase its durability.
Twine from suede can be cut by machine or by hand. Machine cut suede lace is much more precisely cut, and usually has a more standardized size in both thickness and width. Machine cut suede lace twine is usually sold in spools or by the yard. It can be made very thin, especially if its intended use is for stitching.
Craft and fabric stores usually carry twine made of suede. It is also available online and through catalogs. Suede fabric lace is not commonly found at fabric stores and usually must be special ordered through the store, an online retailer, or a catalog. Plain leather and suede fabric is more readily available, which is one reason why some suede lace must be handmade.
As a natural material, suede can be quite expensive. There are some imitation or faux suede products in both fabric and twine. These are typically made of some type of vinyl or other plastic. In some cases, faux suede is easier to care for than authentic suede as it is more resistant to humidity.