Choosing the Right Leather Work Gloves

Comfort, dexterityand durability inflexibility, protection and cost are the key aspects to consider when choosing a leather glove to be used in a particular work environment or as a general work glove. A comparison of leather work gloves, glove materials, pattern variations, styles, and application will assist you in selecting the most suitable glove.

Glove Leather Types and Quality

The type and quality of the leather utilized are major considerations in choosing leather gloves for work. Gloves are produced mainly in goatskin, cowhide and pigskin, and deerskin, each offering unique characteristics specific that to the species of animal.




Cowhide leather is one of the most durable and cost-effective leathers for making gloves because of its accessibility in terms of comfort, durability, and comfort. Particularly, cowhide is excellent for dexterity, durability, ability to flex, abrasion resistance and resistance to punctures. Cowhide is also extremely effective in keeping hands warm, however, it is not as good in terms of leather’s breathability. Cowhide dry stiff after it is wet, and then becomes rigid and losing its flexibility.

Pigskin leather is the softest and most supple of leathers that is more porous, this results in a glove which is well-fitting also resistant to humidity, however, it isn’t the same as cowhide in terms of warmth. High lanolin content keeps this leather soft which does not dry out and break when repeatedly wet. Pigskin is an economical alternative to cowhide, providing more dexterity and breathability with better pliability. Pigskin leather is among the most durable and provides the highest durability against abrasion of cowhide goatskinand deerskin.

Goatskin leather has the highest natural lanolin content, which makes it a very soft, flexible glove that maintains its pliability after getting wet. Goatskin gives you the better flexibility, dexterity, and breathability of pigskin over cowhide however, it doesn’t offer the durability. Puncture and abrasion resistance is approximately the same as cowhide, whereas goatskin will not offer the same level of protection against cold temperatures as cowhide.

Deerskin leather is extremely soft and supple , offering great dexterity and adaptability. Deerskin gloves are not stiff after getting wet repeatedly and form to the hand with time. They also have the ability to loose their shape with rough wear. Deerskin gloves are great for comfortbut they compromise toughness, durability, and puncture resistance. The breathability of deerskin gloves is not as good as is cowhide. Additionally, they offer less protection from the cold, similar to goatskin and pigskin gloves.

Different types of leather are separated by cuts or splits which offer various degrees of quality.

Full-Grain leather is also referred to as top-grain leatheris the best raw materials, which includes the waterproof skin on the outside that gives a stronger, more durable glove with greater abrasion and puncture resistance.

split leather is made by separating the rougher interior side of flesh (drop split) from the protective outer part (grain) making a softer and more flexible leather with greater dexterity. Split leather is split into three kinds, based on which part of the animal the hide is cut off:

  • Side split leather is created by splitting the hide in half along the backbone. It is the strongest and uniform split due to its dense fiber content.
  • Shoulder split leather is extracted from the neck and shoulder area of the animal and can provide abrasion resistance to a more economical type of leather.
  • Split leather from the belly is made from the belly or the underside of the animal. It’s less consistent in texture and appearance, but it is also the most affordable split leather.

Leather Work Glove Linings

The lining of the glove is a big element in the hand’s comfort. It comes in many options, from zero lining, to natural and synthetic materials. The most sought-after leather work glove options for lining are as follows:

  • 3M Thinsulate is made up of tiny fibers of polyester to provide an extremely efficient insulation linings, without the bulk of natural materials. Made by 3M, it is breathable and maintains its exceptional insulating ability in damp conditions.
  • Pile is synthetic wool which is extremely popular due to its low price in comparison to wool.
  • Thermal linings are made by making a layer of material that is then covered by another layer of material creating a thermal insulation pocket that is inserted between layers.
  • Fleece is a lightweight, bulky cotton with a deep pile and is one of the most used glove liners.
  • Foam lining consists of an insulation layer of foam between cotton fleeced and a layer of interlocked cotton.
  • These gloves have gloves with waterproof linings.
  • Wool linings are odor resistant and offer excellent warmth even when they are wet.

Leather Work Glove Patterns

The most well-known construction used for leather work gloves can be found in the Gunn pattern, however, the Clute pattern is an affordable alternative:

The Gunn design is designed with fully wrapped fingers as well as thumbs, while the portion on your palms is distinct glove pattern which is sewn at the base of the middle finger. This cut permits flexibility in the seam at the natural fold of the fingers, and the seamless back gives more comfort. The finger seams that are not from the work area help the glove to last longer.

Clute pattern refers to gloves with an ample, comfortable fit and seams across every finger as well as the thumb along the back of glove. The palm and bottom of the fingers is covered with a single piece fabric and there are no seams along the part of the glove that is on the palm.

Leather Work Glove Cuffs

Leather work gloves can be found in a range of cuffs. Hemmed cuffs provide medium wrist protection; shirred and knit wrists stop debris from entering the glove, while safety and gauntlet cuffs give you the best wrist and forearm protection.

  • The rolled hem or the turned cuffs include a narrowly rolled seam and provide a neat and tidy look.
  • Cuffs with hemmed cuffs can be hemmed using color- fabric for hemming the cuff and glove.
  • Knit Wrist Cuffs offer snug fitting to keep liquids or particles from entering the glove.
  • Shirred cuffs are made of elastic and wrap the glove around the wrist when worn, but not as tightly as the knit wrist.
  • Safety cuffs can provide a higher level of wrist and hand protection, with their large 2-1/2″ cuffs. Safety cuffs are made with a range of materials and include rubberized, plasticized, starched, denim, leather, and canvas cuffs.
  • Gauntlet cuffs are a larger form of the safety cuff and provide the most effective level of wrist and arm protection with large 4-1/2″ cuffs.

Leather Work Glove Thumb Types

Work gloves are manufactured using at least one of the thumb types:

  • Keystone thumb is one of the varieties of thumb that is sewn separately to fit your natural thumb position. The keystone thumb provides the highest flexibility and comfort.
  • Wing thumbs are made using the thumb placed to the side across the palm to increase comfort and natural movement without a seam in between your thumb and the palm area.
  • Straight thumb is manufactured with the thumb being vertically straight from the wrist. This is great to grip.

Leather Work Glove Styles

Leather work gloves are classified into three main style groups:

The leather driving glove or drivers are among of the most durable and comfortable gloves for work with abrasion and flexibility, puncture, moisture, in addition to resistance against heat. Leather drivers can be used in many different applications, such as equipment operation like tractor-trailers for construction, farm, and forklifts. Leather drivers are also great for all-purpose work environments requiring greater dexterity and flexibility in handling material, general industrial work, fabrication, packaging, stamping the lumber industry, chainsaw operation, automotive mining, furnishings industry, pipe fitting assembly and other medium to heavy-duty industrial applications.

Gloves made from leather are one of the most well-known and commonly employed gloves due to their low cost, abundant in their capacity to tackle many different general industrial work tasks, including automotive, agricultural construction, gardening landscaping, parks and recreation, large-scale material transport, oil-rigging refinery work and other industries that require heavy machinery.

Gloves for welding (also known as welding gloves) are very durable and high temperature resistant leather work glove that provides hand protection from metal splashes, flames sparks and ultraviolet radiation to be used in welding, metal molten, and foundries.

Selecting the ideal leather work glove that is suitable for you or your workers is simply an issue of knowing your options and the advantages. Leather gloves are durable and provide with dexterity and flexibility. They also provide safety and comfort in a range of prices and quality to accommodate virtually every industrial job environment.

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