A Frenchman, Xavier Jouvin, is the person we have to thank for today’s almost universal system for measuring the hand to establish one's glove size. He developed the system in 1834 after more than five years researching the human hand. He discovered the most reliable method for establishing one's glove size was by measuring the hand you write with around its widest part at the knuckles, excluding the thumb. Because finger length and thickness may vary widely, Jouvin decided hand measurements were best compared by their "mathematical width". The measurement used was called the "Pied de Roi" or King's Foot, which was approximately 3/4 of an inch longer than the English foot measure. Prior to 1834 and the introduction of Jouvin's glove sizing system, there was no reliable method to establish one's glove size, and as a consequence many a King or Queen, or person of noble birth, could be seen wearing ill fitting gloves.
Today, as in the past, Dents still uses Jouvin’s glove sizing method for the sizing of our fine glove collection. Dents would normally use its specialist glove makers tape measure based on Jouvin’s measurements to establish its customers’ glove sizes; however, with internet selling, this is obviously not possible.
You can easily find your glove size by using any household tape measure – see our sizing section on this website.
In 1856 G Wykes was appointed by Dents to open its Paris office on Rue D’Hauteville.
In 1877 George G Field was appointed to represent Dents at its new offices at 85 Fifth Avenue, New York City.
In 1905 J.A. Roberts was appointed as the company’s first full time representative in Australia. Mr. Roberts arrived in Perth on a very hot day, splendidly dressed as a gentleman should be in the year 1905 in "spats, top hat and morning coat".
In 1909 Dents opened offices and a distribution centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
A ROYAL OCCASION
In 1937 Dents had the honour of manufacturing the Coronation Glove worn by H.R.H. King George VI at his coronation.
In 1953 Dents was honoured again, when the company was asked to manufacture the Coronation Glove worn by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at her coronation.
Dents made the Joker’s gloves worn by Jack Nicholson, playing the role of the Joker in the hit film Batman. The company also made the gloves worn by Batman. More recently, Dents made the gloves worn by Daniel Craig in the James Bond film "Skyfall".
Today it still takes Dents craftspeople 32 different operations to make a single pair of leather gloves.
Today, as in the past, Dents gloves are still cut by hand, one pair at a time, as is a finely tailored bespoke Savile Row suit.
In the early 20th century Dents manufactured gloves, shirts, collars, ties, pyjamas, scarves, belts and ladies’ blouses. The average wholesale price for a pair of leather gloves was 35s 9d for ladies and 39s 9d for men in old money.
Dents once held the patent for the clasp on men’s braces. The braces, made of Indian rubber and calf hide with a Dents patent clasp, sold at a wholesale price of between 8s 9d and 42s in old money.
Dents has more than 250 concession shops located in leading department stores in the U.K. and Europe.
STITCH IN TIME
The words pique, prixseam, brosser, inseam and handsewn are used to describe different types of stitching for gloves. Handsewn is the most popular stitch for men’s gloves and inseam is the most popular stitch for women's gloves.