We are very fortunate that we don't get many returns but on the odd occasion when a pair of breeches is sent back I am always staggered as to how they have ended up so washed out and sad looking in a short space of time.
I'm often asked how my breeches still look so good despite having them for years and literally living in them! Therefore, I thought it may be useful to add my tips for keeping your breeches looking good.
Firstly, make sure you read the washing instructions as these days breeches are made from many different fabrics so the same rules don't always apply.
Turn your breeches inside out, this is very important if you have silicon grip or faux suede seats to protect them. It also protects any buckles or decorative embellishments.
I will use either a non-bio wash or a detergent designed for delicates such as for silks and woollens. A generic supermarket version will work equally as well as a branded make. The beauty of this detergent is that it seems to help protect the seat. Don't soak overnight as this could potentially rust your zips and buttons and damage your silicon seat. Use a spot cleaner such as Vanish on really bad stains before popping in the wash.
Years ago, I used to buy expensive bottles of washing detergent specific for breeches but there are so many alternatives to that these days that it's not necessary.
I never use a fabric softener and if your breeches are lagged (my youngest son is good at that) then I have used oxi-clean or equivalent to help remove the worst stains without ill effects.
When you first wash your breeches or if placing in with other strong colours, then I'd advise popping in a colour catcher so if you get any bleeding then it doesn't dye your other items!
The next important part of washing your breeches is the temperature. Most breeches will state no higher than 30 degrees, 40 at the most. Again, check the washing instructions. My washing machine has a sportswear function which allows me to vary the temperature and spin speed. These days most of these washing liquids are marketed to work at low temperatures to save energy!
Finally, do not tumble dry!! That absolutely drains the colour from your breeches and wrecks your seat. Hang or leave to air dry on either a freestanding rack or even the back of a chair, inside out. Don't leave in direct sunlight or close to a fire or you may come back to melted silicon grip!
For white breeches and shirts, we'll post a separate blog!