Most of our sportswear is made from a mix of stretchy and breathable synthetic fabrics such as elastane (Lycra or Spandex), nylon or polyester. These fabrics are favoured for their stretchability, wicking and quick drying properties as well as durability in sport. However, the soft micro fibre needs a little TLC to keep it at it's best 😊.
As riders ourselves, we have definitely put our products through their paces and probably done all the things with them we shouldn't! However, to keep your products in tip top condition and hopefully last longer, here are our recommendations:
1. Wash after each ride to prevent sweat and body oils from building up on the fabric. Oil from the horses coat (if you ride bareback) and saddle soap can also trap in odours!
2. Turn the fabric inside out to wash. This will help your clothes last longer and the colours fade less. It also enables the inside get a more thorough wash.
3. If possible, wash using a laundry bag. This helps prevent friction and rubbing from rougher items such as jeans and especially ones with velcro which can stick to the delicate microfibre. If you don't have one then a pillow case works pretty well.
4. Use a cool wash cycle (we recommend 30 degrees). This is gentler on your clothing but also on the environment too. High temperatures can damage the elasticity of the fabric and may lead to shrinkage.
5. Avoid fabric conditioner. This clogs up the pores in the fabric and reduces it's wicking and breathability abilities. Additionally it can speed up the break down of the fibres, reducing the lifespan. If you do accidentally use fabric softener, wash again without the softener.
6. If you stain the fabric, treat as soon as possible as the longer you wait, the deeper the stain will penetrate into the fabric making it harder to remove. Soak in cool water with some diluted gentle detergent for half an hour then wash as normal.
6. Don't tumble dry - this can melt the silicone printing and also speed up the break down of the elastane, reducing the stretch and performance of the clothes. Let your clothes air dry for best results, fortunately they don't take long to dry!
7. If you notice lingering odours, add a 'scent booster' such as Lenor Unstoppables Active In Wash to help get rid of stubborn smells.
8. Use a specialist sports detergent such as Base Wash from Nikwax (Amazon!) which washes and deodorises synthetic clothing such as base layers and leggings and actually enhances the fabric's wicking properties. It's quite expensive to use every wash but good occasionally to give your clothes a bit of a freshen up!
We hope this helps and you get the longest life out of your products as possible :). If you need any further help or advise, drop our Customer Service an email to firstname.lastname@example.org who will be happy to help.
© Black Heart Equestrian