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3 Keys to Making a Leather Glove That Fits and Feels Right

Posted by Peter Kiernan

Jan 10, 2014 12:14:00 AM

There's an art to making leather gloves that fit, and a science to it as well.

A well-cut leather 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 a 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.
Note:  A glove made with garment leather will not have the right stretching qualities.
If it has a good fit when your hand is relaxed, it will be too tight when you make a fist … or if it fits well with your hand closed, it will be too loose when your hand is relaxed.

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

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 ensure glove fit and feel:

  •  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 factors.

  • Ask your manufacturer how your glove pattern will be created and what it is based on. It's best to use time-tested patterns.
  • Use steel dies for cutting, to ensure a more precise cut, and consistent fit.

  • Make sure table cutting and sewing artisans have deep leather experience, and will know how to maximize yield and minimize waste.
  • Build in Quality Assurance at key points in production, to assure quality finish and fit. 

Leather is a significant part of glove cost, and is too precious to waste!

Other Leather Glove Questions?

Check out our entire 5-part series on making leather gloves: The Essential Guide to Leather Glove Manufacturing.

Have you ever had a fit problem or concern? How did you solve it?  Let us know in the comments!

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Topics: Glove Manufacturers, Leather, Glove Fit & Feel


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