The use of suede is as old as the sport of equestrian itself. Suede was born from processing the inside of otherwise unusable leather. As the underside of leather skin, suede is buffed to the point of a velvety feel. The versatile fabric is soft and can be made from any leather, but most popular is lambskin, cow, and pigskin. In history, the wearing of suede was considered a luxury and status symbol because of the additional expense of the added processing needed to create the texture.
The soft, delicate feel reflects the high-end luxury, but suede is known for its durability compared to cloth fabric and its smooth appearance makes it perfect for inclusion on our One K Defender Suede helmets.
In the past, riding helmets were not an object of protection, but they were more of an accessory. In the early 1900s, helmets were made with hard plastic shells covered in velvet or velveteen fabric. They lacked a chinstrap but bore ribbons on the back that could communicate your rank while out foxhunting. The first safety helmet, certified by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM/SEI) wasn’t developed until just recently in 1990.
The Evolution of Suede Helmets
The first safety equestrian helmets weren’t as fashionable, or comfortable. We’re proud to lead the way in style, comfort, safety, and durability with our One K Defender Suede helmets.
Previous suede helmets were solid, meaning they lacked vents, which made wearing these helmets hot and sometimes unbearable at summer events. However, our One K Defender Suede Helmet has seven air vents, perfectly placed around the helmet, giving it a lighter feel and extra comfort to wear all year round, at home and in the show pen. The synthetic suede lining on our padded harness provides a soft feel against your face, for comfort all day long.
While lambskin or pigskin suede is not water-resistant, our Chamude synthetic suede outer covering offers the durability of suede, but the ease of care for your helmet. If your helmet gets dirty, easily wipe a damp cloth over it for a polished look in the show pen.
What is Chamude?
Chamude is artificial leather with the appearance of suede. Because of the microfiber technology used to create Chamude fabric, the synthetic fibers allows for the fabric to be durable against water. In fact, the durability of Chamude suede makes it perfect for equestrian sport.
While One K helmets pay homage to the tradition of suede helmets, they are more advanced, stylish and safer than their predecessors. You can see the full line of One K’s suede helmets at OneKHelmets.com.