All the leather used on this project was out of a scrap bag bought at Hobby Lobby. I found one with a few really good sized pieces and as it panned out, there was enough for this. I think for the most part it's all 6-8oz vegetable tanned leather.
Suede is usually not rigid and stiff like tanned leather. Suede is generally a lot more flimsy and thin. Of course, it is also generally a lot cheaper if you're buying large pieces of it. Personally, I prefer the authentic look and feel of the tanned leather over the affordability of suede.