Colder weather demands the appropriate gloves
Today we have invited our dear friend Niklas Magnusson, the fourth generation of Swedish glove maker Hestra, to show you how to select a pair of perfectly fitting gloves, and also how to care for them so that they last a lifetime.
Here is Niklas’s ultimate glove guide.
1. How to measure your hands
You have probably heard the expression ”to fit like a glove”. Dress gloves should fit well, so before buying a pair please pay attention to the following steps.
It all starts in the store or, if you shop online, use a measuring tape and our size-converter to find your correct size. Measuring the circumference of your palm is the key as the other measurements are in proportion. The glove size number matches the measurement around your palm in french inches and yes, you should always measure your bigger hand.
2. Use several pairs of gloves
Damp, natural materials, wear out faster than dry. Therefore it is wise to give your pair some rest from time to time. Wearing them every other day and altering with a second pair is preferable so that the material dries out between wears. Cashmere lining especially will wear out quickly if used every day, probably even within a month.
If you can, try to build up a smart glove wardrobe for varying temperatures and occasions. Unlined gloves for early fall and spring. Cashmere lined for colder days and a pair of fur lined for the coldest winter day. By the way, when your lining wears out, replace it. The leather, however, may hold for a lifetime if you cared for properly.
3. Put on and take off your gloves
When putting on your gloves, pull them gently over the hand by pulling the palm and the back of the glove alternately down towards the wrist. Avoid pushing down between the fingers.
When trying on a pair of gloves for the first time, bend the hand upwards and make sure you get a small fold over the knuckles. Then you know the size is correct. When you take off your gloves start by gently pulling each finger and then all fingers at the same time.
4. Wash and dry the glove
If your leather gloves become dirty here is how you clean them. Washing gloves is like washing hands. Wash them under running lukewarm water, or as I do, in a bowl of water. First, put them on and soak them. In order not to dry out the leather too much use a mild soap with a lot of natural fat such as Marseille soap. Gently rub the soap in to your gloves. Rinse thoroughly under running water and make sure to get all the soap out.
When cleaned, gently squeeze out most of the remaining water and make sure not to twist your gloves to avoid damaging them. Put them in a dry towel and squeeze gently one last time to make sure there is no excess water. Let your gloves dry on a flat surface preferably on a clean towel at room temperature. Avoid any kind of heat source as this will damage the leather. Try to reshape them a bit in order to get back the original fit. Your gloves will take many hours to dry and during this time, make sure to put them on a few times and reshape them on your hands while they dry.
Hopefully, they will never get so dirty that you have to wash them. Beware that moisture may cause dark stains to appear especially on brighter colours and on thin leathers such as hair sheep. So try to avoid water whenever you can. If a darker stain appears from being wet, gently rub in some talcum powder and the stain will most likely fade.
5. Stretch the glove
The glove cutter determines the elasticity of each glove, to ensure a perfect fit. However, after a period of use, it is normal for the glove to widen over the hand. To restore the original fit, simply stretch the glove over the edge of a table, by just holding the fingertips with one hand and the cuff opening with the other. Then gently stretch the back of the glove against the table.
For your fingers and thumb stretch each finger from the bottom and work your way to the tip, ideally with four or five strokes per finger. By doing so, the elasticity of the leather will return to the original shape.
Baltzar hopes you have enjoyed the guide and that you now know how to treat your gloves to last a lifetime.
At Baltzar we carry a variety of handmade table cut gloves in different leathers. From unlined gloves handcrafted out of South American peccary for early fall and spring to cashmere lined elk gloves for colder days.
Check out our full collection or contact us if you have any other questions.