Why should you care? | Caring for your Moto Gear
Before we get started, put away the bleach, solvents and heavy cleaners, we won’t be needing them any time soon!
Caring for Textiles (Dyneema, Cordura, Aramid & XTM)
When it comes to looking after your textile clothing, be it a riding shirt or your latest riding jeans there can be a lot of misconceptions out there on how to look after them.
So, let’s look at the basics for these garments.
- Start by removing any armour that might be present in the garment, we don’t need this banging around in the washing machine.
- Always wash at 30 degrees celsius or cooler, exposing these garments to higher temperatures can impact their integrity.
- Always wash garments inside out, this can be done in a regular washing machine.
- Only use a small amount of liquid detergent. Avoid Powder Detergents, fabric softeners, stain removers and bleach as these can also impact the integrity of the garment and any surface treatments it may have.
- Always hang to dry (remaining inside out), no tumble drying! And avoid drying in direct sunlight.
- If your garment has a water resistant coating like Teflon or Goretex it is important to “re-activate” this post wash.
- Turn your garment back to right side out.
- Turn on an iron to a low/medium no steam setting. (Steam is not good for water-proof/resistant coatings)
- Place a towel or cloth between the garment and the iron.
- Iron the garment out without remaining stationary on any point for extended periods.
At some point in the garments life cycle, its water resistance will wear away. When this happens, DWR (Durable Water Repellency) sprays are available online and from outdoor / camping retailers and can be applied to restore the garments water repellency.
How to love your Suede.
What do you need?
- A Suede Brush (I personally love a brass bristled suede brush)
- A Suede Cleaning Block or Spray (Personal choice for removing spot stains)
- A Suede Waterproofing Spray
Caring for your Suede jacket starts from the moment it leaves the shop. Before you take your stunning new piece out on the road, there’s some foundations to be laid.
- Brush your jacket down with your trusty suede brush. This will dislodge any loose material on the surface of the jacket and make sure the nap is brushed in a nice direction.
- Apply your Suede waterproofing spray following the manufacturers direction.
- Breathe a sigh of relief knowing your investment is protected.
Now that your jacket has a base layer of protection, it’s important to keep an eye on the jacket and own its ageing process. (If you don’t like change, look away!)
If you’ve got bugs, dirt or general grit on your suede here’s what to do.
- Get your trusty Suede brush out and brush the whole garment down. Every time you tackle cleaning your Suede its patina will change, this is why its important to tackle the whole garment.
- If you’ve got any stubborn spots on the jacket reach for your cleaning block or cleaning spray. (Always test cleaners on a hidden section to see how it effects nap and colouration)
- Now that she’s looking stunning again, apply another coat of waterproofing and get out and enjoy!
Keep in mind if you don’t love the ageing process or want a garment that will always look the same, suede may not be the material for you. Embrace the change and own that sexy suede jacket!
How to love your Leather.
Caring for your leather garments can take a multitude of different approaches, and it’s about finding the one that works for you. The two main schools of thought for protection and waterproofing are wax (in my case beeswax) or spray on waterproofer.
No matter which way you decide to go for, the important thing is to start with a clean surface. In most cases a horsehair brush is a good starting point to loosen and remove any debris. If there’s anything further, try a damp cloth to remove the last of it.
The wax route.
- I’m a sucker for a beeswax based leather conditioner and wax combination.
- You’ve cleaned your leather boots up and they’re looking nice and tidy (or you’ve just pulled out your brand new babies!)
- Start off by lightly warming your boots with a hairdryer, if they were just cleaned this will ensure no remaining moisture on the surface of the boots and will open up the pores of the leather.
- Apply your wax with a soft cloth ensuring its gently rubbed into the leather. Work your way all over the boots, re-apply some warmth if needed.
- After a couple of coats have been applied, let them relax for at least an hour or so.
- This is where you get to choose your style, buff lightly or heavily based on the desired sheen and enjoy.
Your boots are now waterproof and moisturised and will love you for it, keep an eye on them and repeat this process as necessary. For me, that’s every 4-6 months but it will depend on what they’ve been exposed to.
The waterproofing spray route.
If you like the clinical approach, waterproofing spray is for you. Generally speaking it is easier to get right and is less art, more science.
- As with the wax route, its important to start with a clean and dry boot. If you’ve had to use a damp cloth to clean, use a hairdryer to ensure any moisture is gone.
- Hit the boots with your choice of Leather Waterproofing spray, there is plenty of options out there.
- If its their first application or you feel it’s needed, apply a second coat.
- Get out there and enjoy your boots!
Neither option is right or wrong, I love a softer and more aged looking leather and am willing to spend the time to develop this. If you’re looking for a no-fuss care approach, try the spray!
Either way, before you tackle your leather boots it is worth speaking with the shop you bought them from as they will often have a coating from the factory. In this case you may not need to re-visit water resistance until later down the track.