HAND-CRAFTED LEATHER GOODS
Making a pair of gloves–continued
Children's Gloves:- Fingerless mittens are best for small children as they have great difficulty in finding the right finger, especially when the gloves are lined. Fur-backed gloves and those made from sheepskin should always be made without fingers. Those with a zip across the hand delight small boys, while fur-backed gloves, "just like Mummy's", will please their sisters. Brightly embroidered felt mittens are a good investment for children especially if they are worn over a pair of thin knitted ones.
It may be thought that since gloves for children are smaller than those worn by adults they will be less trouble to make, but I must warn you that this is not always so. Of course, the seams are a little shorter but the pieces from which the glove is made being smaller they are usually more fussy to put together.
Caring for Your Gloves:- When you have spent a lot of time making a pair of gloves you will not want to spoil them by not caring for them properly. Leather, suede or chamois gloves should never in any circumstances get rolled together in a ball. This creases them and stretches them in the wrong place. They should not be thrown anyhow into a drawer to lie tangled up with hankies, scarves and what-have-you. Keep them pressed out flat in a special box or drawer. If your space is limited you can always tuck a lidless box into one corner of a drawer and keep your gloves in that.
The old habit of blowing into each glove as soon as it was removed had much to recommend it, particularly as it was usually followed by the careful smoothing out and putting away of the gloves. Do not make a practice of carrying your gloves in your hand as this makes them creased and limp.
Fur-backed gloves need careful treatment if they are to retain their good looks. When you take them off smooth the fur over the finger tips and never put them away where anything hard is liable to get put on top of them. During the summer it is a good plan to wrap them up in newspaper.
Cleaning gloves is often a problem. Suede cannot, as a rule, be successfully cleaned, though it can be made to wear longer by rubbing shiny patches with a piece of emery paper. Brush the gloves afterwards the way of the pile, using a special suede brush. Suede cleaner, such as that sold for shoe cleaning, can be used, but great care must be taken when brushing the gloves afterwards that every trace of the cleaner is removed. If this is not done properly you run the risk of soiling everything you touch.
Chamois and doeskin can, of course, be washed. Put the gloves on and wash in warm, soapy water. Swish several times, using clean soapy water, then pull the gloves into shape gently and lay flat on a towel to dry away from the sun or fire. Pull the gloves on several times while they are drying, kneading them gently to keep the skin supple. Cleaning fluids should never be used on leather as they are liable to damage the surface and may remove the dye.
The woollen linings of gloves sometimes get soiled but it is a comparatively simple matter to clean them. Turn the gloves inside out with the aid of a wooden spoon and clean them with one of the proprietary brands of cleaning fluid, following the directions on the bottle. Be careful not to let the liquid soak through to the leather. Allow the gloves to dry thoroughly, leaving them in a current of air to get rid of any smell, then turn them right side out and pull into shape.
One difficulty sometimes met with in wearing unlined suede gloves is that the dye is liable to come off on the fingers. To prevent or at least to mitigate this, sprinkle talcum powder in the gloves before putting them on.
Never dry wet gloves in front of a fire or on a radiator as this will make the leather hard. Leave them to dry naturally. Fur gloves may be brushed with a soft brush as soon as they are quite dry.
Mending Gloves:- Properly made gloves will last for a long time especially if you have been careful to see that they fit well. There does come a time, however, when seams come apart and the gloves need mending. In this case the obvious thing to do is to use similar thread to that with which the glove was originally sewn and simply re-sew the seam. Go well past the ends of the split at the beginning and end and be sure to fasten off firmly.
Sometimes an actual hole may be worn in the gloves, usually at the tip of one of the fingers. There are two ways of dealing with this, one for thin leathers and the other for thick. The first method is to cut a scrap of leather slightly larger than the hole. Put the glove on and tuck the small piece of leather under the hole so that it lies smoothly and fell the edges of the hole to the patch with very tiny stitches. If the glove is lined the patch will be tucked between the leather and the lining. If the glove has no lining, turn it inside out and fell the edges of the patch to the wrong side of the leather.
For the second method use matching silk or buttonhole twist and buttonhole very closely and neatly all round the edge of the hole. Go on working, putting the second row into the top loops only of the first row. Continue in this way, going round and round until the hole is completely filled. Take the thread to the inside and fasten off very firmly.
Glovemaking is an ancient art and has some terms that may be unfamiliar to even the most ardent glove maker.
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:- 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. The Clute cut keeps the palm free of stitching. On the palm side of a Clute cut pattern the palm, and all four fingers, are cut from one piece of leather and on the back side, each finger is a separate piece of leather.
Cuff:- The cuff is the part of the glove extending beyond the palm that covers the wrist and part of the forearm.
Fourchette:- The piece of leather sewn between the fingers on some kinds of gloves. Also known as the sidewall or gusset.
Gauntlet:- A very long cuff to protect the forearm.
Grain:- The side of the leather that had the hair, the outside. Full grain has the original surface, whereas corrected grain has been abraded to make the leather smoother and more uniform.
Gunn Cut:- A glove style with seams at the base of the fingers. The seams between the fingers are on the back of the glove. Gunn cut is common, featuring the two middle fingers sewn to the palm. On a Gunn cut pattern the palm, little finger, and index finger are cut from one piece of leather and the two centre fingers are cut from another piece. On the back side of a Gunn cut pattern the entire back including all four fingers are cut from one piece of leather.
Gusset:- The piece of leather sewn between the fingers on some kinds of gloves. Also known as the sidewall or fourchette.
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.
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.