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Glove Terminology

Glovemaking is an old art and has some terms that may be unfamiliar to even the most ardent glove enthusiast.

  • Cabretta: A thin, fine leather made from the skin of Brazilian hair sheep.
  • Cape or Capeskin: A superior thin leather made from the skin of South African hair sheep.
  • Clute Cut/Style: A glove style with a one piece palm with no seam at the base of the finger. There are seams along the fingers on the inside. Parallel seams on the back of the glove makes this construction best for cloth and lightweight gloves. It is designed for a roomy fit.
  • Cuff: The cuff is the part of the glove extending beyond the palm that covers the wrist and part of the forearm. A safety cuff is a separate band that is open on the outer side for easier getting on and off. A band top or cuff is completely circular band which is flared to facilitate removal and putting on. A slip on cuff is an extension of the glove without a separate band. A knit wrist is a knitted cuff that fits snuggly.
  • Fourchette: The piece of leather sewn between the fingers on some kinds of gloves. Also known as the sidewall or gusset.
  • Gauntlet Cuff: A very long cuff to protect the forearm.
  • Grain: The side of the leather that had the hair, i.e. the outside. Full Grain has the original surface, whereas corrected grain has been abraded to make the leather smoother and more uniform. Grain leather provides durability, dexterity, and is the most luxurious.
  • Gunn Cut/Style: A glove style seamless back and palm with horizontal seam at the base of the two middle fingers. The seams between the fingers are on the back of the glove. This style is best for heavy duty gloves as the seam is in the natural crease of the hand. It is the most comfortable style.
  • Gusset: The piece of leather sewn between the fingers on some kinds of gloves. Also known as the sidewall or fourchette.
  • Keystone Thumb: This style is used for the same open handed activities as wing thumb styles, but the inset and welt construction method provides more strength. It is one of the most comfortable wearing thumb style.
  • Reversible Cut/Style: The front and back are the same cut. There may or may not be seams along the edge. This style is not as form fitting, but gloves fit either hand and can be turned over when the palm is worn out. This doubles the life span. It is most common with knit, jersey or thin latex or plastic gloves.
  • Split: When a thick piece of leather is split into two thinner pieces, the top piece will have grain (Top Grain) and the bottom piece will be suede on both sides. The bottom piece is the split. Split leather is often defined by whether it comes from the side, shoulder, or belly.
  • Straight Thumb: This thumb style is designed for close fisted work and is inserted into palm of the glove. The seams along the sides of the thumb are out of the work surface during gripping activities.
  • Welt: A thin piece of leather sewn into the seam to strengthen it. Often a welt is used in the seam at the crotch of the thumb and the base of the finger.
  • Wing Thumb: This thumb style is an extension of the glove back and palm and is designed for open handed work (pushing and pulling). The seams are out of the work surface during open handed activities.
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