Washing leather knee patch breeches?

Hi all,

I did a search but didn’t see much.

I had been casually looking for schooling breeches and when I had to have my saddle repaired, I happened upon Arista breeches with leather knee patches on sale for 25% of original price. I got two pair. They will just be schooling breeches.

Washing instructions say wash in cold water with a leather cleaner. No fabric softener. No dryer. I picked up a small container of leather cleaner but I can see how pricey this will get to wash schooling breeches.

How do you wash breeches with leather knee patches? What happens if you wash them with normal laundry detergent inside out? Or with laundry and fabric softener? What happens if you put them in the dryer?


I wear breeches with leather full seats (FITS Performax). I wash them in Leather Therapy Laundry Solution. The leather stays soft and pliable and everything gets nice and clean. You do not want to use fabric softener when you’re washing leather. I would advise against putting them in the dryer. Hang them to dry.



Wow where did you find Arista leather patch breeches? They havent made them in at least 15 years. If they are truly real leather patches, use Leather Therapy in lukewarm wash and hang to dry. But double check, many brands say leather and mean faux suede.


I can’t imagine these breeches are over 15 years old. I found them in Pinehurst, NC, a very large equestrian community and winter home for eventers. Upscale clientele. I just checked the label that says “genuine leather” and says to wash in leather cleaner on the delicate cycle.

@SillyHorse @Scribbler Leather Therapy Laundry Solution is the cleaner I purchased from Amazon. Thanks for verifying that I need this!

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Wow, I had no idea they still made them!

They are super comfy. I feel like I can do Yoga in them. Loved riding in them. They are not “tight” on me like many breeches are and I’m really loving that. I wouldn’t want to do yoga in any other pair of breeches I own. I’m a dressage rider but feel that most full-seats are a hair restrictive and like knee patch breeches. Loved my ride in one pair tonight. Actually wore the pair to work before leaving to ride. So comfy!


I dont see any breeches at all on the current Arista website.

I didn’t, either. This tack shop had other Arista stuff, very pricey.

Interesting. Arista was a Canadian company, sold to an American buyer and moved down to the US at least 5 years ago. I wonder if the breeches part of the business has been taken up by someone else.

I wash mine (I have FITS) in regular laundry soap, but no fabric softener and I hang to dry. I’ve had mine for 4 years now, no issues!


I had a few pairs that I washed like that and eventually the leather dried out.

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Huh weird. I’ve been washing them that way for years. I actually have a pair that I need to get repaired because the fabric gave out, but the leather is still great.

I put all my breeches in with regular laundry–I do wash on cold, but it all goes in together. I’ve washed TS, RJ, Pikeur (both fullseat and KP), Smartpaks, Tredsteps…all in the washer with Tide. Into the dryer too.

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These all have leather seats?

Interesting. The tags say “made in Vancouver”. The are super comfy (I wore them to work and then rode on Wed in them). I can believe that they are years old (hence the super cheap price) but I can’t imagine they are very old because the fabric and everything is in great condition and this place in Pinehurst had a lot of them. And other super nice and pricey show/riding apparel (although they were more small boutique store with leather work, bridle making, and leather/saddle repair as their main gig). Their fox hunting decorative things were amazing. They go to all of the big shows on the weekends in the Southern Pines area so are pretty well known.

Thanks for the history on this company and your info on leather care. No matter how old the breeches are, the price was pretty fantastic and breeches feel good to ride in. I feel like I could hang out on the couch in them!

Ok you have totally lucked out. You’ve scored new but vintage, what they call “dead stock” that must have turned up at the back of a warehouse. Arista the company left Vancouver at least 5 years ago, and had outsourced manufacturing by that time. I lucked out with a pair of new leather patch from the stock of a defunct tack store and a lightly used full seat leather both about 10 years ago. I used leather therapy to wash but the fabric gave out before the leather.

I would have kept buying them but they were out of production before I discovered them.

Lucky score!!

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