Gloving Glossary

Gloving glossary

Glossary of gloving terms

Block Cutting A cutting method by machine using dies to stamp out the trank and other pieces.

Brosser A modified whipstitch.

Cutter The person who cuts out the basic glove pattern.

Cutting The process of cutting leather into parts to make a glove. See also table cutting, pattern cutting and block cutting.

Donkey A wooden stand to hold gloves for sewing - see here.

English (Bolton) The thumb quirk is cut in one piece with the back and the palm.

Finger Stretchers See bottom of this page.

Fourchette Fourchettes are the inside panels on the fingers of some glove styles.

Gaunter Glove maker (Early English, archaic).

Glover A dealer of gloves (Early English, archaic).

Half-Piqué A combination of piqué and inseam in which the back of the fingers are sewn piqué while the palm side of the fingers have an inseam.

Inseam The glove is turned inside out and seamed.

Outseam A general term used to describe seams sewn on the outside of the glove. See also overseam, whipstitch and prixseam.

Outworkers Those who worked at home, not in the glove factory. Usually women and children sewers.

Overseam A seam in which stitches pass over the two edges of the leather.

Pattern Cutting A hand cutting method although not as accurate as table cutting.

Piqué Piqué is where one edge of the leather is lapped over the other and sewn.

Prixseam (PXM) A variation of the outseam, made on a special machine, in which the stitches run horizontally.

Quirks Triangular inserts at the base of the fingers and thumb.

Set-In A round thumb that is cut in one piece and has no quirk. Used in expensive gloves..

Sewers Women and children who sewed gloves, especially as a cottage industry.

Silking Sewing of the decorative stitching found on the back of most gloves.

Slitting The act of slitting the trank at the fingers and cutting a hole for the thumb.

Table Cutting A hand cutting method that ensures a perfect fit for a specified hand size.

Taxing Determining the number of gloves that can be cut from a skin. Allowances must be made for imperfections.

Thumb A separate piece of leather, the thumb is stitched to the trank. See also set-in, English (Bolton), French and inserted keyhole.

Trank The palm, back and fingers of the glove.

Wet Glover Leather glove maker (Early English, archaic).

Whipstitch An overseam popular in sports gloves.



From my collection

Spring-loaded wooden finger-stretchers for leather gloves from Hannam & Gillett of Yeovil, ironmongers of the Borough and therefore dating to the period from 1843 to 1870.

This pair of glove stretchers might have belonged to either a man or a woman. They were used to help ease tight kid gloves so that they would fit over the fingers. They also helped restore the fingers of the gloves after washing, which made them wrinkled and stiff. The user would place the pointed end of the glove stretcher into the finger of a glove and then compress the handle together so that the two ends splayed out, hence stretching the kid leather. During the 19th century the essential mark of a lady was to have small hands and feet and it was partly for this reason that close-fitting gloves were worn. A well-fitting glove was also an important complement to the tailored appearance of men's clothing. Glove stretchers therefore became a vital wardrobe accessory as they assisted the wearer in easing their gloves.