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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2008
    Pittsburgh, PA

    Default How do you keep full leather seat breeches from getting "crunchy"

    I love full leather seat breeches but, I have never had any luck keeping the leather from getting stiff. What do you do? Is there some trick I am missing?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 11, 2008


    They sell a products to wash the deerskin leather w/.
    I always used Express wash cold or warm water and hung to dry.
    Some dry clean theirs, but I have had any get "Crunchy"
    I've always had an issue w/ the white seats getting blackformt the saddle and had to toss the breeches on a yearly bases.
    Dark seated schooling breeches were no issue there.
    I have some made by "Elizabeth" who has since retired w/ full inner leg n seat and they have stayed soft thru lots of wash n hand dry.
    I do try wear a few times before I wash...ewwww but saves the breeches

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 7, 2007


    First, I only use leather breeches wash. There are a couple of brands on the market.
    Second, do not put into the dryer. Ever.
    Doing these two things have kept my leather full seat breeches nice and supple for years. After a wash they are a little stiffer than before the wash but it goes away within the first couple minutes of wear. I also don't wash them often - a couple of times a year.

    I have bought a couple of pairs of used leather seat breeches that I got stiff. For these I used a high-quality leather conditioner (the same I use on my saddle and tack). It soaked in really well and evenly (even though it may not look even at first). Those breeches have been saved and are as supple as those that have been treated correctly from the start.

    Regarding my white leather full seats...I don't care that they get black because its where I sit in the saddle and you don't see it while riding. And when I'm not riding I have them covered up so they don't get dirty.

    I like the real leather over synthetics because even though many of the synthetics are stickier in the beginning, they often loose their stickiness and there is nothing that can be done. With the real leather, if they become slick, I just use some leather conditioner and they come right back.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2004
    Marshall, VA


    I really dislike all their other leather cleaning products, but Leather Therapy makes both a "detergent" wash for leather and sheepskin products, and a conditioner, designed to be used in your washing machine. is the conditioner. I pour it in my washer in the compartment for fabric softener, and it works like a charm!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2008


    I have never had a problem with deerskin seat breeches. I just wash them
    on gentle cycle with Woolite (cold water) and hang to dry. I recently
    had a 10 + year old pair 're done' . The material had begun to disintegrate but
    the seat was fine. I sent them to Equissentials and had the seat reset on new
    material. They do custom work for no extra charge so you get a perfect fit.
    Love them!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 4, 2007
    Western Washington


    Mine are still butter soft. They're cow leather, I've heard the deerskins are even nicer. I use Pepede and wash infrequently. Cold water, max spin and hang to dry. Also, I've heard it's a good idea to stretch and handle the leather while it's drying.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May. 5, 2007
    British Columbia


    I too do not like the leather washing products.
    I, like Baroquelady use woolite on a gentley cycle in cold water and always hang to dry. I have Pikeurs here that I've had for over 10 years, and they are still in awesome condition.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2005


    Have never had crunchy leather, even my old Boyards. However, I use Kavalkade leather wash, cold water, hang dry.

    I don't like the feel of leather breeches after Leather Therapy wash. Matter of choice.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 7, 2000


    Chiming in.
    1. wash as infrequently as possible<g>
    2. use Pepede, and also use Woolite
    3. put in dryer with 2-3 dryer sheets (VERY important) and spin on air only for a few minytes and then hang them to air dry somewhere

    I find the imitation leathers way too hot, so have only older real leather-Pikeur and deerskin Aanstadt-Das and a few other real leather (Cavallo)

    So far, everything holding up really well,at least in terms of the leather parts,LOL.
    one oak, lots of canyons

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 25, 2001


    I've used regular laundry soap and the special leather soaps and never noticed a difference. I've had some of my Pikeurs and Geo. Schumachers for 20 years and they're fine. But...I never put them in the dryer and when they come out of the wash, I stretch the leather in all directions and then hang to dry. I try to remember to stretch them as they dry over time.

    I do agree that deerskin seems to stay softer.

    I also agree with the other poster about rarely washing them. I just brush off the dirt and mud and wear them until they can practically walk to the washer themselves. (Kidding, kidding.)
    "Dreams are the touchstone of our characters." Henry David Thoreau
    Touchstone Farm

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2002
    Area VIII, Region 2, Zone 5.


    NEVER use Pepede on deerskin. It's great for cowhide, but death to deerskin. I wash all my deerskin breeches in the washer, with Leather Therapy wash or Woolite. I never use fabric softener, as it can kill the deerskin, too. Wash and hang to dry. And once or twice a year, I put Leather Therapy on the deerskin while it's still damp.

    You don't want to wash them too often. I find that 15 minutes in the dryer on air fluff (no heat) gets a lot of the dust out and freshens them up without harming the leather.
    Founding member of the "I Miss bar.ka" clique
    Founding member of the "I Miss Pocket Trainer" clique

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2001


    I have a very helpful husband. He sometimes does the laundry.
    I used to be almost ritualistic about how I washed my full seats. But then he just tossed them in the wash with everything else and they were not really any worse for wear. They have even been through the dryer a couple of times. Yikes!

    They start out a bit stiff when you put them on, but in 10 minutes, they are fine.

    I have some pairs that are about 20 years old, no worries
    See those flying monkeys? They work for me.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug. 23, 2001
    Bluegrass, Kentucky


    Passier Lederbalsm and Leather Therapy Wash. Hang dry.
    It is rare to see a rider who is truly passionate about the horse and his training, taking a profound interest in dressage with self-abnegation, and making this extraordinarily subtle work one of the dominant motivations of his life.\"

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 11, 2006
    Sunny California


    I know this sounds weird, but I've been doing it to both cowhide and deerskin full seats for years and it works great.

    Murphy's oil soap. Really. A capful in the washer w/ warm water. Put breeches in dryer. Breeches come out clean and soft. Sounds crazy, but it works. No more sticky leather chafed legs. Try it with an old pair first!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep. 30, 2002
    Alamo, CA USA

    Smile Leather therapy products and wash after every ride!

    I wear Golden Dress full seats (many with real leather) and Anastadt Das and Equissentials with deer skin. I wash all of them after every ride with leather therapy wash and fabric rinse. When they come out of the washer, I stretch the leather by hand and drip dry. They are in really good shape. I use Spray and Wash and Clorox color safe bleach (together, full strength) on the both the leather and fabric of my cream and white breeches and it really helps to remove the stains with no apparent ill effect. My light colored breeches have few, very faint stains.
    Georgia Langsam
    Team Gauguin, LLC -
    Standing Gauguin du Cheval 9054, Prestige II TG, Gauguin's Impression, Gauguin's Brush and Weltfrieden TG

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2003


    I've used Murphy's successfully, too! Other than that Pepede, no dryer, massage a bit when damp, and just fine. I even bet you could use the dryer on low for a start. (Pikeur's - at least one pair is l3 years old. Leather is fine, knee is wearing out.)

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun. 26, 2001


    My vote is also for Murphys! I washed all my breeches (when I was riding still) in them, deerskin and regular leather. They came out wonderful. However I never put them in the dryer, too scared! Just hung them dry. They smell good too!
    Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2008


    What worked for me was washing in cold water with Woolite, and then using liquid Downy in the rinse cycle. Hang to dry, and you will have soft leather full seats that smell great!
    "Your best can be worn at any length"- Jason Mraz

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2001
    Purcellville, VA


    Wash with PeePeeDee, which smells terrible.

    Add liberal amounts of fabric softener

    Toss in dryer on low heat until mostly dry

    Hang dry.

    If they get dried from wet on the hanger, then I twist the leather once it is dry, as if I was wringing it out. Both ways.

    So far, my Elizabeth G breeches will.not.die. The Eurofabric ones. Which is unfortunate. I despise the fit and fabric anymore. Also hate the lack of pockets. The microfibre ones are all dead, and I liked them. Could roll the too-high waistband down. I still use them, even if they are ghetto looking now.

    The Tailored Sportsman don't have real leather. The cheapies are my faves these days.

    The Aanstadt Das, only the leather lives...the fabric...dead.

    The Pikeur's lasted 10 years before the fabric wore through. New pair are fabulous.

    Some no-name euro fabric, made in USA breeches (only true full seats) are holding up quite well, but I hate the falling down underwear feeling the full seat provides, so I don't wear them often.

    Some Italian jobs, bought at Horse Country are wearing out, seams in crotch have come unstitched....fabric elastic is pulling out on inner thighs, not holding up IMO.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep. 17, 2003
    Toronto, Canada

    Wink Never had a crunchy seat

    I own two types of breeches: Equissentials and Tropical Riders.
    Both brands have deerskin seats, neither have ever gotten crunchy.
    One pair is over 8 years old, and has been "recycled" once – where the old leather has been reapplied to new fabric.

    I use regular detergent (but only very little); cold water only; and hang dry. Never machine dry, condition or use fabric softener.

    In winter I wash them every 10 rides or so. In the summer it's about every 5 rides, depending on how hard I've worked.
    Proud Rubenesquestrian

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