PROTECTIVE CLOTHING USE AND WASHING INSTRUCTIONS
The detachable hat and veil should be fitted to the jacket or suit before putting it on then run the zips round until they are about half closed, this will make the ends easier to find later. Put on the jacket or suit in the normal way and to ensure a bee-proof seal ensure the main zip up the front of the garment is closed right to the top. Then close the zips round the bottom of the veil and ensure the Velcro is pressed firmly together. If the bees join you in the veil it is a sure sign the main zip has not been fully closed. The Observer Smock has no zips - so just wriggle in!
HAT AND VEIL
The detachable hat and veil should only be hand washed. A soaking in a mild bleach such as Napisan helps clean and sterilise. If it is put through a washing machine the metal ring is liable to be damaged or will cut through the cloth. Allow the damp hat to dry naturally. Do not tumble dry. If it is a warm day you could wear it while it dries. This will amuse your friends and family.
JACKET AND SUITS
After removing the hat and veil the remainder of the garment can be machine washed on a cool temperature (30oC). Higher temperatures will soften the elastic and will not remove propolis stains and may only soften it, potentially leading to sticky deposits left in your washing machine drum. We do not recommend the garment is tumble dried because if there are still wax or propolis deposits on the cloth the higher temperatures of the drier may cause the wax to melt - leading to marks on the next load of clothes through the machine. This will annoy you.
We have heard of people putting our gloves through a cool machine wash but we cannot recommend this. The gloves can be hand washed with mild soap or saddle soap. Create suds in a bowl and apply the suds to the leather surface with a soft cloth or sponge. Do not use the soapy water. Be careful to keep the cloth only barely damp, not wet. After washing, buff the gloves dry with a second soft cloth. Do not try to dry the gloves with heat, as this will cause the leather to become brittle and possibly shrink. You could try walking round wearing the damp gloves but people are liable to whisper and hide their children from you. After washing and drying the gloves rub a leather conditioner into the fabric. This conditioner serves to protect the leather and helps keep it soft and supple. Leather conditioner can be bought from your local shoe or saddlery shop.
THE OBSERVER SMOCK
As the Observer Smock does not have a detachable veil it must be hand washed only and then allowed to dry naturally. While waiting for the jacket to dry you can reflect on how environmentally sound you have been.