Dents has a distinguished heritage producing the finest leather gloves, and there is a lot more to it than meets the eye, whether we're making a pair of shooting gloves, or a pair of peccary driving gloves.
So then, what exactly goes into making a pair of Dents leather gloves?
The leather used by Dents for its gloves is a by-product of the food, wool and dairy industries. It is a completely renewable resource.
Leather is a natural product with special characteristics that make it comfortable to wear, and give it great strength and flexibility. Because it is a natural product, with its own unique variations, nuances of colour and markings, every piece has its own individual characteristics and natural beauty.
Together with Dents' designers, Dents’ leather buyers select only the finest leathers and materials for their gloves.
The world’s rarest and most luxurious gloving leather, originating from wild hogs in South America. Dents is one of the few glove manufacturers in the world that still uses this very special leather. The major reason is that only a master glove cutter with unique skills can cut it. It is also a difficult leather to sew, as it requires a hand sewer with special skills.
Peccary leather is very hard wearing and peccary gloves are found in fewer and fewer shops, due to the rarity and exclusivity of the leather.
It is generally acknowledged that the best leather for gloves is hairsheep cabretta leather.
This top grade of leather is mainly sourced in Ethiopia and Nigeria. It has great strength, plus the important benefit of natural elasticity, which helps the glove to fit properly.
The sheep that provides the leather grows hair not wool, hence its name. As a consequence of its environment, its leather is ideal for making fine gloves. Hairsheep leather is finer and less bulky than other leathers. Its major benefits are softness of touch, suppleness, strength, and lasting comfort.
Hairsheep is very durable and is particularly suited for the manufacture of dress gloves.
The finest deerskin comes from North America, which is where Dents buys its deerskin leather. Deerskin, like hairsheep leather, has the benefit of great strength and elasticity, but has a more rugged appearance with more grain on the surface than hairsheep. It is most popular in men’s gloves and some ladies’ styles of weekend gloves. It is very hard wearing and heavier in weight than hairsheep leather.
Sheepskin & slink lamb
The finest lambskin comes from New Zealand and is often referred to as slink lambskin. It is used only in the most expensive lambskin gloves.
Sheepskin leather is often called shearling. It is widely used for casual and country gloves. It is very warm in cold weather, and has its own natural wool lining from the wool on the sheep. The leather is heavier and firmer than slink lambskin.
Lambskin and sheepskin gloves are normally a looser fit than other types of leather gloves, and are often worn with casual or country clothing.
Cowhide: some lower priced gloves are occasionally made from cowhide leather. This leather is generally considered too thick and bulky for the majority of glove styles, particularly finer dress gloves. It is however, used for some casual styles of glove.
Goatskin: occasionally used for gloves, it is hard wearing but coarser than other leathers. It is normally used for cheaper gloves.
Many of Dents' glove linings, particularly in cashmere, silk and wool are made as a completely separate glove before they are inserted into the leather glove shell, in order to ensure a perfect fit. While this is a more expensive process, it does make for a better fitting glove, and it is one of the many reasons that Dents gloves are recognised as being special.
The most popular glove linings are:
This luxury natural fibre is superbly soft and is knitted specially for Dents gloves, using the finest cashmere yarns. It is warm, light in weight, and very comfortable to wear. It feels luxuriously soft on the hand. Cashmere yarn comes from the hair of mountain goats, whose fleece allows them to survive the extreme weather conditions they are exposed to. Originally these goats were indigenous to Kashmir, but most of today’s production comes from China and Mongolia.
Dents uses a Milanese silk specially knitted for its fine gloves. The linings come in a sparkling variety of colours. The knitting process ensures the silk does not ladder if caught on a sharp object such as a ring. Silk is warm in winter and cool in summer, and has superb softness next to the skin, a real feeling of luxury.
Silk linings are used both in men’s and women’s gloves, but are more popular in women’s.
Wool: well known for its natural warmth and comfort, as well as having a natural elasticity for improved fit, each lining is specially knitted to fit a Dents glove.
Some gloves, (generally men’s), are made with a chamois fine leather lining for warmth and comfort. Dents is possibly one of the only glove manufacturers in the world that still uses this very expensive and special lining. Chamois leather originally came from an alpine antelope known as a chamois; today, however, it mainly comes from lambskin.
There are many other types of linings used by Dents, including wool mixtures and acrylics – in fact there are almost too many to list here. They are all specially chosen to stretch around and with the fingers to ensure a proper and comfortable fit.
STITCH IN TIME
The most popular types of leather glove sewing stitches used today are:
Mainly used on women’s gloves, but occasionally on men’s dress gloves.
Most popular in men’s gloves and some women’s styles. It takes up to 8 hours to stitch one pair of hand sewn gloves.
This stitching is also sometimes named brosser. It is a fancy stitch only rarely used, and then mainly on women’s gloves.
Mainly used for men’s gloves.
SOME GLOVE TERMS
Points are the three lines, or sometimes single line, of decorative stitching on the back of the glove.
These are the inside panels on the fingers of some glove styles.
Found on only the most expensive hand sewn gloves, these small diamond shaped pieces of leather are sewn at the base of the fingers, where they are attached to the hand of the glove to improve the fit.
The measurement in inches from the base of the glove thumb to the cuff of the glove.
Strap & roller
The strap used for adjusting the closeness of the fit around the wrist. It is used in the main on men’s gloves.
The ‘V’ shaped cut out of the gloves, which is sometimes at the back of the glove, but is more likely to be on the glove palm. It gives the glove an easier fit around the wrist.