A well-cut glove will have a nice snug fit, feel comfortable as you open and close your hand, and will perform well during normal use.
To achieve this,
- The glove must be crafted from a glove leather, well-suited to the end use.
- It must be manufactured according to time-tested glove-making practices.
Let's take a closer look at what each of these actually entails.
3 Keys to Achieving Desired Fit and Feel
1. Start With "Glove Leather"
Leather gloves should be made from specific, glove-tanned leather, to achieve the desired fit and feel:
- Glove leather (or gloving leather) is specific for its ability to accommodate the natural movement of the hand as it flexes, i.e., it has the right stretch to width.
2. Match Leather to Intended Use
To say there are many choices when it comes to glove leathers is an understatement! Choose a leather that fits not only the price point, but the end use of the finished product.
For instance: Suppose you wanted to make a premium golf glove?
- We might choose Cabretta sheepskin leather, which feels luxurious on the hand, and is very soft and stretchable. While costly, it can be used strategically, and combined with other materials for a high performing glove.
- By comparison, for a motor sport glove, we might choose premium quality drum dyed cowhide, known for its durability and abrasion resistance.
Choose the right leather based on both price and performance (thickness, durability, softness, abrasion, etc.) considerations.
3. Glove Manufacturing: Best Practices for Fit and Quality
We all know the expression “fits like a glove”. Unfortunately, lots of gloves don’t live up to that expression. In fact, the most common complaint about gloves is poor fit!
On a poorly cut glove, the fingers can be too long or too short, the thumb crotch too tight, the wrist closure misplaced, and so on. On the other hand, a well-cut glove is just what it sounds like … it moves with the hand, is extremely comfortable, and … well, “fits like a glove”.
Here are best practices for glove manufacturing, to improve glove quality and ensure good fit:
- Ask your manufacturer how your glove pattern will be created and what it is based on. Use time-tested glove patterns for best glove fit.
- Use steel dies for cutting, to ensure a more precise cut, and consistent glove fit.
- Build in quality assurance at key points in production, to assure consistent quality finish and fit.
- If you see signs that quality or consumer satisfaction are not what they should be, fix the problem ASAP. As an example, here's a case study that details the quality improvement process.
Here are some glove manufacturing best practices, to optimize profitability:
- Inspect incoming leather to make sure what is received in the factory matches the specification.
Make sure that you get what you paid for, in terms of grade, origin, and other specs.
- Make sure table cutters and sewers have deep leather experience, to maximize yield and minimize waste, for better profit margins.
Other Leather Glove Questions? Need help?
Leather is a significant part of glove cost, and is too precious to waste!
To improve your process, check out our entire 5-part series on making leather gloves: The Essential Guide to Leather Glove Manufacturing.
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P.S. Free Resources To Help You Optimize Your Glove Manufacturing