Gloves Terminology

Here are some terms frequently used in glove making and usage:


Types of Leather


Cow leather / Cowhide :

The leather from fully grown cows. This is the most popular leather due to ease of availability. It’s a great combination of durability, comfort, dexterity and resistance to abrasion. The finish may be smooth or rough.


Calf Leather :

The leather from young cows or calves upto a few months old with skins that weight upto 15 lbs. This leather has a finer grain, is lighter and more supple than cow leather.


Buffalo leather :

The leather from the domesticated water buffaloes of the far east. The leather grain is more pronounced than cowhide and the fibers are thicker which makes it very durable.


Goat leather :

The leather from goats. This leather is very durable and softer due to the presence of natural lanolin inn goats. It has an interesting grain and is recommended for light to medium protection.


Split :

When thick leather is split through the middle into 2 thinner pieces, the top layer will have grain and the bottom piece will be suede on both sides. The bottom piece is called split.


- Cowhide Buffalohide Goatskin
Dexterity Good Good Very Good
Durability Good Excellent Fair
Flexibility Good Good Excellent
Abrasion resistance Good Excellent Good
Dries Soft & Flexible No Fair Yes
Cold Blocking Very Good Very Good Good
Breathability Fair Good Good
Puncture Resistance Good Very Good Good


Types of Grain


Grain :

The outer, smooth surface of the leather (also called the epidermis). It has a superior wear resistance as compared to split leather.


Full Grain :

Leather with the original grain surface of the hide is retained. It is the best raw material of gloves as the natural state has been retained thus giving it great fiber strength and enhanced durability. Instead of wearing out, it develops a rich texture and gets better with time. The finest quality gloves are made from this.


Top Grain :

Top grain leather is fuzzy on one side and smooth on the other. The side where the natural grain and hair were is called the smooth side. It is low tensile strength as the natural grain has been sanded off.


Corrected Grain :

Grain leather that has had an abrasive used for a uniform appearance. This is done to cover imperfections like scratch marks. It is used to give a soft texture also called buffed, fluffed or snuffed.


Glove Thumb Patterns & Cuts


Wing Thumb :

This pattern has an angled thumb without any seams on the palm side allowing greater flexibility and no obstruction to work. It is mostly used in drivers, welders and leather palm gloves.


Keystone Thumb :

This classic ergonomic thumb pattern gives the wearer ease of movement and comfort. It is mostly used in drivers gloves.


Straight Thumb :

This pattern has the glove thumb lying straight with the index finger. It gives the wearer a superior grip. It is mostly used in drivers gloves.


Slip on Style :

This pattern has no cuff. Drivers gloves are examples of this pattern.


Clute Cut :

This style has a one piece palm without any seam at the finger base. The seams are all along the inside of the fingers. This flexible design is best for lightweight leather gloves and not recommended for heavy use.


Gunn Cut :

This design has a single seamless back piece and the two middle fingers are sewn separately onto the palm piece. This makes the gloves durable and provides a better fit and comfort. This the standard cut for leather gloves.




Cuff :

The portion of the glove extending beyond the palm is called the cuff. It provides added protection to the wrist and forearm.


Safety Cuff :

A cuff which has a slit opening on the side that allows the wearer to quickly throw off the glove.


Rubberized Cuff :

A rubberized cuff is made with material bonded in layers by rubber cement for protection and durability.


Gauntlet :

A very long cuff that provides protection to the forearm




Lining :

The inner material used to line the glove to ensure extra comfort and warmth.


Full Lining :

The inner material is used to line the entire interior of the glove and is also called "a glove within a glove".


Fleece Lining:

This is a soft cotton material used to line the glove to ensure additional warmth and also to reduce the abrasive chafing in gloves.


Flock Lining :

This is a material with fine cotton fibers that help in absorption of moisture and also ensures that it can be easily slipped on.


Jersey Lining :

This is a material called brushed cotton


Interlock Lining :

The material is a lightweight cotton interlock knit fabric used to line the glove.