Dexterity, comfort, durability and flexibility, as well as protection and price are the primary factors to consider when selecting leather gloves to be used in a particular work environment or for use as a general-purpose work glove. A review of the various leather work gloves, glove materials, pattern variations, styles, and application can help you select the best glove.
Glove Leather Types and Quality
The quality and type of the leather used are important factors when choosing the right leather for gloves for work. The majority of gloves are made from goatskin, cowhide, pigskin and deerskin, all with distinct characteristics unique for the particular animal.
Cowhide cowhide is among the most durable and cost-effective leathers for making gloves because of its availability as well as its comfort and durability. Particularly, cowhide is excellent for dexterity, strength, flexibility, abrasion resistance as well as puncture resistant. Cowhide is also excellent for keeping hands warm however, it is not as good in terms of breathability of the leather. Cowhide dry stiff after it is wet, and then becomes stiff and losing its flexibility.
Pigskin leather is soft and supple which is more porous making a glove that is soft as well as resistant to water, however, it isn’t the same as cowhide in terms of warmth. The high lanolin content makes the leather soft and doesn’t dry out and break when repeatedly wet. Pigskin is a cost-effective alternative to cowhide that offers greater breathability and dexterity, as well as greater flexibility. Pigskin leather is among the most robust and offers the highest scratch resistance of cowhide, goatskin, and deerskin.
Goatskin leather is the most natural lanolin content. It creates a soft and flexible glove that maintains its flexibility even after being wet. Goatskin provides the superior flexibility, dexterity, and the ability to breathe of pigskin over cowhide however it does not provide the same durability. The resistance to puncture and abrasion is similar to cowhide, however goatskin does not offer as much protection against cold as cowhide.
Deerskin leather is extremely soft and supple , offering great dexterity and flexibility. Deerskin gloves don’t stiffen when they are wet and shape to the hand with time. They also have the ability to lose their shape when worn rough. Deerskin gloves are ideal for comfort, but they sacrifice the durability, abrasion and puncture resistance. The breathability of deerskin gloves is not as good as is cowhide. Additionally, they are less protected from the cold, as do the goatskin and pigskin gloves.
The types of leather are further divided by cuts or splits that offer various levels of quality.
Full-Grain Leather is also known as top-grain leather, is the highest quality raw material, including the waterproof outer skin that makes for a more dense, robust glove that is more resistant to puncture and abrasion resistance.
split leather is created by separating the rougher inner part of the leather (drop cut) from the more supportive outer portion (grain) giving a more comfortable and more flexible glove that has greater flexibility. Split leather is divided into three types, based on the part of the animal hide is cut from:
- The side split is created by cutting the hide in half along the backbone. It is the strongest and uniform split due to its dense fiber content.
- Shoulder split leather is sourced from the shoulder and neck region of the animal. It offers abrasion resistance in an economical quality of leather.
- The belly split leather made from the belly or underside of the animal. It is less uniform in appearance and texture, however, it is the least expensive split leather.
Leather Work Glove Linings
The lining of the glove is an important aspect of hand comfort. There are many options, from the absence of lining to natural and synthetic materials. The most well-known leather work glove options for lining are as follows:
- 3M Thinsulate makes use of extremely tiny fibers of polyester that provide an extremely efficient insulation linings that do not have the weight that natural material. Made by 3M, it is breathable and maintains its remarkable insulation properties even in humid conditions.
- Pile is a synthetic wool product which is extremely popular because of its low price as well as its similarity with wool.
- The production of thermal linings involves making a first layer that is then surrounded by another layer of material creating a heat-insulation pocket in between.
- Fleece is a soft, bulky cotton that has a thick pile. It is among the most popular glove liner.
- Foam lining is an insulation layer of foam between cotton fleeced jerseys and an interlocked layer of cotton.
- These gloves have thermal gloves that have waterproof lined.
- Wool linings resist odors and offer excellent warmth even when they are wet.
Leather Work Glove Patterns
The most popular construction for leather work gloves includes that of the Gunn pattern, however the Clute pattern is a more economical alternative:
The Gunn design is made using fully wrapped fingers and thumbs. The hand side has a distinct glove pattern that is sewn on the bottom of the middle finger. This cut is flexible with the seam that runs along the natural finger crease and the seamless back provides more comfort. The seams of the fingers that are away from the area of work helps the glove to last longer.
Clute design refers to gloves that have an ample, comfortable fit and seams on every finger and thumb, across the back of the glove. The palm and the bottom of the fingers are covered by a single piece of material , and there are no seams on the hand side of the glove.
Leather Work Glove Cuffs
Leather work gloves are offered in a variety of cuffs. Cuffs with hems provide medium wrist protection. Shirred and knit wrists keep debris from entering the glove, while safety and gauntlet cuffs provide maximum wrist and forearm protection.
- Turned cuffs or rolled hems have a narrowly rolled hem and give a polished and neat appearance.
- Cuffs that are hemmed may be made of color-coded fabric to sew the cuffs on the glove.
- Knit Wrist Cuffs offer an ideal fit that prevents liquids or debris from entering the glove.
- The cuffs with a shirred design use elastic to wrap the glove around the wrist however they are not as tight as knit wrists.
- Safety cuffs offer a greater level of wrist and arm protection by using big two-and-a half” cuffs. Cuffs for safety are made using a variety of different materials and include rubberized, starched, plasticized, denim leather, canvas, and leather cuffs.
- Gauntlet cuffs are the largest version of the safety cuff. They offer the best level of arm and wrist protection by using large four-and-a half” cuffs.
Leather Work Glove Thumb Types
Work gloves are made using any of these types of thumbs:
- Keystone thumb is a kind of thumb that is stitched in a separate way to fit its natural shape of thumb. Keystone thumbs provide the most flexibility and comfort.
- The Wing thumb is made with the thumb bent in a diagonal direction across your palm for greater the comfort and natural movement of the thumb without any seams in between your thumb and the palm area.
- Straight thumb is made with the thumb extending vertically straight from the wrist. It is ideal to grip.
Leather Work Glove Styles
Leather work gloves are classified into three fundamental style categories:
Driving gloves made of leather also known as drivers, are some of the toughest and comfortable gloves for work with abrasion and flexibility puncture, moisture as well as heat resistant. Drivers made of leather are ideal for many different applications, such as equipment operation like tractor-trailers, construction, farm, and forklifts. Leather drivers are also suitable for work environments that are general-purpose that require greater flexibility and dexterity for handling materials general industrial work, packaging, stamping and assembling lumber, chainsaw operations, automotive, mining, pipes fitting, assembly, and various other medium to heavy-duty industrial tasks.
Palm gloves made of leather are among the most well-known and commonly employed gloves due to their low cost, abundant of use, and the ability to manage many different general industrial work tasks, like automotive, agricultural gardening, construction, landscaping parks and recreation large materials transportation, oil rigging, refinery work, and many other large industrial settings.
welding gloves also known as welders, are a extremely durable, superior heat resistant leather work glove that provides protection against sparks, flames, sparks , and ultraviolet radiation used in the welding industry, melting metal, and foundries.
The best leather glove for you or your employees is a an issue of knowing the options available and the benefits. Leather work gloves provide durability and dexterity, as well as flexibility, security and comfort with a variety of materials and prices to fit almost every industrial environment.