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Gardening Articles: Care :: Tools & Equipment

Glove Affair (page 3 of 4)

by Shila Patel

General-Purpose: Leather

Leather provides much more protection than cotton at a slightly higher cost. Cowhide (both smooth and suede) is most common. Grain leather is more comfortable but doesn't match suede's durability. The compact fibers of pigskin tolerate abrasion and rewetting, but goatskin treated with lanolin is luxurious and suited to light- and medium-duty jobs.

These combine the breathability of cloth and durability of brushed pigskin but may have bulky interior seams that reduce dexterity. Often in men's sizes only. By Carolina. Widely available retail and from A.M. Leonard; $8 to $10.

Grain leather exterior is lined with cotton flannel. Gunn-cut offers seamless back but a short, thick seam at base of middle fingers. Often available in men's sizes only. Various manufacturers. Available from American Arborist and other outlets; $9 to $13.

Suede pigskin is available in various models from different manufacturers: standard, long cuff center, unlined, or Thinsulate-lined. This one is proportioned for women and features interior seams and reinforced palms. Sizes for women, men, and children; single gloves also available.

By Womanswork. Available from Womanswork and Kinsman Co.; $17 to $26 (single gloves $10 to $14).


Spectra and Kevlar synthetic fabrics offer more protection against sharp edges. Seamless, ambidextrous design. Neither material is cutproof, and knits never prevent punctures.

Kevlar gloves resist cuts and flames. Nitrile "Ns" enhance grip. Men's sizes L-XL. By North. Widely available; $8.

Spectra and silicon blend provides maximum cut resistance, but satiny surface may slip. For best protection, wear under leather gloves. Sizes XS-L. By Wells Lamont. Available from American Arborist; $29.


Heavy leather is the traditional choice here, but nitrile is surprisingly effective, and usually at lower cost.

Textured nitrile-dipped cotton glove stops rose and bramble thorns, but the short cuff leaves forearm unprotected. Washable. Men's sizes S-L. By Best. Available retail and from Gempler's; $4.

Suede pigskin work glove by Womanswork is similar to general-purpose leather glove but features a 4-inch cuff.

Thick, unlined goatskin glove covers the hand, and a 9-inch suede goatskin cuff protects forearms almost to the elbow. An adjustable nylon wrist strap holds the glove snug. Given the forearm protection, this glove is ideal for pruning prickly shrubs or for carrying armloads of firewood. Clean with a damp cloth or leather soap. Sizes S/M or L/XL (specify men's or women's). By Little's Good Gloves. Widely available, including Little's Good Gloves, Earthmade, and Langenbach; $40.

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