Good Luck, EVERY PAIR we have tried to have, don't wash. We washed one Pair, in detergent made to wash this type of thing, and they dried, over a chair, not in a dryer, so dry the leather tore. They also didn't get replaced...as we were told that we MUST have washed them multiple times... We no longer buy them. They are so gorgeous, but we just haven't had any luck with them. I even bought more, thinking I HAD done something wrong, just to have it happen again. Maybe hard water at our house? I dunno...
I have a pair I have had for 5 yrs now. Pretty worn. I wash them in cold water on a delicate or hand wash cycle with woolite for dark colors.
I put them in the drier on just air fluff. Makes the leather less stiff.
Our water is horribly hard too.
Now, how OFTEN do I wash them? Prob not often enough ;-) But that is how I wash them. With no problems.
I don't have FITS but I have TR's with dee skin and I just put them in the gentle cycle, on cold, witha cap full of Murphy's Oil Soap...hang dry. They've lasted several years and the leather is butter soft (but I have sadly, um, outgrown them this year).
I wash them in cold water on a delicate cycle with leather therapy laundry solution. They also have a rinse that is supposed to be good for keeping the deerskin soft but I am not very laundry-saavy and I have no desire to watch the machine until the rinse cycle starts so I haven't tried it...
With that said, they wash up nicely for me. I air dry or fluff in the dryer with no heat. My boyfriend was doing my laundry (a keeper I know!) and he dried them on full heat and they didn't seem any worse for wear. I only wash them about every 2nd or 3rd ride because I don't want to ruin the deerskin.
I use Woolite mostly on gentle cycle. Sometimes I use leather therapy. I had one pair that the leather got funky after washing. Same process I used on the others. I emailed FITS and they replaced them. Said they'd had a batch of bad leather. I have had good luck washing them but don't wear them that much.
And I just hang mine up to dry.
Set youself apart from the crowd, ride a paint horse, you're sure to be spotted
Cold water...light wash with regular detergent...generous Downy in cold rinse cycle...hang dry. I have several pair of leather/deerskin breeches by different manufacturers and this has always worked. I've never had a problem with bleeding/fading, but I've always put them in a load with other darks.
[Regarding new darks, I've had success with the tip to add 1/4 cup salt to hold the color, but I don't think I've done that with leather breeches? Also, re bleeding/fading, someone on a thread here recently mentioned Shout Color Catchers, and I had great success with one when I dumped an ENTIRE Sonic Rt 44 Cherry Limeade last week!]
No hour of life is lost that is spent in the saddle.
-- Winston Churchill
I handwash in the sink, using Woolite in cold water and rinse out well with the same. Then, I gently squeeze the water out, then hang them to dry in the shade outside. I do the same with my Tropical Rider deerskins, too. Haven't had any trouble yet.
There are detailed care instructions on your FITS breeches, both on the hangtags and on the sewn in care labels in the center back waistband.
You guys are scaring me with some of the washing methods admitted in this forum. Here at FITS we have some original wear test breeches that date back to 2005 that are still going strong. But we always follow our own care instructions.
To keep your breeches looking and wearing great for a long time please follow these care instructions: Wash breeches separately by hand (or machine-wash on delicate cycle). Use only cold water and mild soap such as original Woolite soap (be sure the bottle does not say detergent on it anywhere) or Leather Therapy products (www.leathertherapy.com). Always rinse thoroughly. When wash cycle is finished, immediately hang or lay flat to dry indoors at comfortable room temperature. (Never use bleach, regular detergent or fabric softener. Do not dry clean. Never use hot water or dry in a dryer.)
My DD has had her FITS for several years. She took them to Germany with her where she was riding 10 horses per day. Those britches got washed a lot. I sent her with 2 bottles of Leather Therapy Wash. The britches came home in fine shape. They show the wear from riding and wearing all day everyday for about 5 years, but no damage from washing.
I've never had any trouble. Love them. I wash them in woolite as little as possible and hang them over a chair. The only problem I ever had is my jumping dog! Has grabbed 2 pr. with a claw and made a tiny hole. Even those have never opened up and gotten bad so I just use them at home.
I have several pairs...I always wash cold in the gentle cycle w/ leather therapy, and rinse with LT conditioner...when I air dry, if they seem to be dry, I rub some LT conditioner directly on the leather. Mine are in great shape--it's the stitching around the leather that's wearing on my oldest pair.