If they are made and fitted properly, good leather gloves should give you a lifetime of attractive, comfortable service. We’ve put together some essential glove-care basics to help you keep your gloves looking and feeling their best.
Waterproofing For Leather Gloves
Getting your hands on (or rather in) a new pair of leather or capeskin gloves is a wonderful experience. It’s entirely common to ask, at this point, is there anything you can or should do to protect your new gloves from the elements?
For a start, take comfort in the fact that leather is a natural and extremely durable material. It can stand up to adverse weather quite well on its own. Unless you take it into your head to wear your gloves into the ocean, they shouldn’t suffer much in the way of weather damage.
All this being said, you’re probably well aware that there are many different waterproofing products available to you in the high-street shops. These can enhance your gloves’ resilience, but you should bear in mind that many of them can alter the colouring of your gloves. The effect tends to be more marked with light-coloured gloves.
When it comes to leather gloves and water, the most important rule to bear in mind is not to dry your gloves with external heat (like a radiator or clothes dryer) if they do get very wet. Let your gloves dry naturally; this will minimise the chance of the material cracking or drying out. Have faith in the resilience of your leather gloves.
Cleaning Leather Gloves
Good leather gloves are like anything else made of leather: They need extra care taken with them when they are cleaned or washed. Do not attempt to clean your gloves unless you are sure they need it.
Leather gloves are made from ‘full blossom’ skins, and this makes their colour delicate. The additives used in the tanning and dying processes are natural and capable of safely altering the colour of the leather, but introducing new chemicals to the gloves could damage the material or ruin the gloves’ finish.
If you find yourself with lightly-marked gloves and want to clean them, the following recommendations should help:
- Make a lukewarm cleaning solution by adding pure soap flakes (e.g. ‘Lux’) to clean water.
- Wipe your gloves down gently with the solution. A cloth is preferred to a sponge, as the latter might crumble.
- As noted above, let your gloves dry naturally.
- Put your gloves on a few times during the drying process. This maintains the proper fit as the leather dries.
- Never put leather gloves in a washing machine or submerge them in water.
Keeping Leather Gloves From Stretching
‘How do I keep my leather gloves from stretching?’ is an extremely common question for us. Our answer is always the same: ‘you shouldn’t need to do anything.’
Leather is an incredibly strong and versatile material for gloves. It has natural elastic properties that make it easy for narrow part of the glove to reform around the wearer’s hand and wrist after they are put on.
Skilled glove cutters select each piece of leather with a careful eye on how its elasticity will work when it’s being worn. When picked and assembled properly, the leather in your gloves will retain the perfect shape for decades.
Invest in gloves that are assembled with this level of care and stretched gloves become a non-issue. Make sure that your gloves are sized properly; this is another vital part of the process. Gloves can become permanently stretched if they are sized too large or too small for the person wearing them.
Cleaning Leather Gloves’ Lining
Many makers install silk or wool linings in their leather gloves. The external leather shells cannot be submerged fully in water; this does complicate the job of cleaning the linings.
Our advice is not to attempt to clean your gloves’ lining on your own. The chances of damaging the leather are too high. When you feel that your linings absolutely must be cleaned, we recommend entrusting them to a specialist dry cleaners.