There are many tanneries producing suede, and Charles F. Stead in the UK is definitely the king. Two collections among their offerings are most popular and well known, which are Repello and Janus. Repello focuses on water resistance, and Janus is regarded as the most luxury suede.
What is suede? It is the flesh side of a piece of leather. If the leather is thick enough, it can produce two pieces of leathers at the same time, one smooth leather and one suede. But Janus is the very thin leather for calf which means the calf leather only makes one suede rather than one smooth and one suede. What’s the benefit? Better toughness. So the price of Janus is very high, even more expensive than many smooth leathers.
I have known this information for a long time, but if suede is placed in front of me, I am not confident to tell how to distinguish these two.
Today I will use two pairs of shoes to directly compare, I believe that such method is easier for everyone to learn.
On the left is Carlos Santos Edwin and on the right is Maftei Haydn. Edwin’s leather is Repello and Haydn’s leather is Janus.
If they are not directly placed together, it is indeed difficult to tell the difference, but side by side, you can instantly feel that Janus gives a softer and delicate feeling, while Repello is rougher and stiffer.
The same is true for the actual feel.
Suede fibres lodging in different directions have color changes.
The difference seems obvious in the photos, but I think it has something to do with light blue colour of Janus. In fact, it may not be possible to judge by this method.
This set of comparison should be most important. Janus has short fluff, but still gives a very soft feeling.
Repello fluff is longer, but stiffer.
When I looked at the two, I realized that the biggest difference was really not what I saw, but the soft texture brought by hand touch.