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A Brief History of Leather Work Gloves and Their Uses

A Brief History of Leather Work Gloves and Their Uses

A Brief History of Leather Work Gloves and Their Uses

Leather work gloves have an extensive history when it comes to physical labor. They’re protective, offer a snug fit, and last for many years. So it's no wonder that many workers prefer using them over other options.

But how did leather gloves come about, and what made them become one of the most reliable pieces of personal protective equipment in the industrial workplace? Here’s a brief history of leather work gloves and their uses in everyday jobs.

How Leather Work Gloves Came To Be

The earliest known evidence of leather being used for protection dates back 2 million years ago during the Stone Age. Ancient ancestors often used leather for protection against tools and equipment, eventually developing leather soles for shoes roughly 30,000 to 40,000 years later. Jumping forward to ancient Egypt, an estimated 12,000 tanneries were built and offered leather items for chariots, bow cases, and harnesses.

As society became more sophisticated, leather drifted away from being used as protective armor and developed into gloves during the Industrial Revolution. Manufacturing plants relied heavily on leather gloves to offer protection against machinery, oils, and skin irritation for their workers.

Why Leather Work Gloves Are So Popular

After looking at the brief history of leather work gloves and their uses during ancient times, it’s easy to understand why they’re so popular today. These gloves are available in various types of leather, including:

  • Cowhide: popular, cost-effective, abrasion-resistant, durable, and heat resistant
  • Deerskin: very soft, flexible, comfortable, and lightweight
  • Pigskin: soft, flexible, doesn’t harden, breathable
  • Goatskin: high tensile strength, abrasion-resistant, soft, and flexible
  • Synthetic: water-resistant, comfortable, lightweight

Leather gloves have become more sophisticated in design by offering a high level of protection and fit in numerous industries that require heavy labor.

The Most Known Uses for Leather Work Gloves

Leather gloves often provide numerous uses for any worker. For those working in the oil and gas industry, gloves have been designed to provide a more rigid grip without risking physical contact with hot oils. For fire and rescue teams, gloves were designed to provide rugged, durable, flexible, and reliable protection to handle extreme environments. Lastly, leather performance work gloves have been adjusted to control high-impact interaction and protect against vibration damage.

Leather has been used throughout history, leading up to the leather work gloves used today. While they may seem like another type of gloves, they have a lot more to offer.

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