If a glove is examined, it will be found to consist of four or five separate parts—the hand, the thumb, the gussets between the fingers (known as ‘forgets’), tiny straining gussets at the bases of the ‘forgets,’ and the facings. All these parts, must be taken into consideration when buying a skin. A skin which looks large enough to scheme out a pair of hands with a little over, is not sufficient ; an experienced glover can scheme out a pair of gloves from a skin which appears barely big enough to furnish a pair of hands, but the beginner who risks this is asking for trouble.
A sufficiently large skin, then, is obtained, and all weak spots, holes, unsightly flay-marks, &c, accentuated with pencil. The patterns are then laid on the skin, with the hands pointing along the stroke of the leather—I.e., from neck to tail. The patterns of the various parts must be so laid as to avoid the weak spots. N.B. Be careful not to cut both gloves for the same hand. Patterns may be obtained from any of the Women’s Magazines which deal with handicrafts. Cutting out should be done with a sharp cobbler’s knife. Be careful not to stretch the material.
It will be found that the thumb will present the greatest difficulty to the beginner. In the pattern, a loose oblong flap will be found just above the ball of the thumb, and the pattern for the thumb will be found cut somewhat eccentrically ; the best plan will be to take an old glove to pieces carefully and copy the make up of that.
The ‘forgets’ must first be seamed together in twos, with the tiny quirks between them ; they must then be joined to the hands —palm side first, and back side after. By the time the ‘forgets’ are affixed, it will be found that the glove is taking shape, except that the side of the hand is open. This must be seamed from finger tip to wrist.
So far, all gloves are made alike. If a gauntlet glove is desired, the gauntlet is prepared, and also a large gusset, extending from the palm of the hand to the extremity of the gauntlet. These are sewn in place; a piece of elastic band fixed inside the glove across the front of the wrist, and when the ‘pin-tucks’ (I.e., the three rows of stitching down the back of the hand) are completed, the gloves are finished.
If gloves of the hole-and-button pattern are required, a narrow facing of leather is sewn round the palm-vent (where the buttons and holes are placed), and right round the bottom of the glove. This should be put on the right side of the glove, and turned over to the wrong side (leaving just the merest piping of leather on the right side) and felled down in place. The button-holes are made in a similar manner to the facings ; small facings are sewn on, with two narrow rows of stitching exactly the length of the holes ; a slit is cut between the two rows, and the facing pushed through the holes, rubbed out gently until the button-hole forms a neat piping, and then felled down on the wrong side. A piece of leather or binding should be stitched down the button side, on the inside, to form a ‘stay’ for the buttons. If lined gloves are desired, they should be made slightly larger than unlined ones.
The amount of leather required for an ordinary hole-and-button glove should be about 20 inches by 26 inches. This will allow quite enough to scheme out both hands and all the accessories. Skins should be selected for uniformity of thickness, minimum of holes in the body of the material (holes are inevitable round the edges, where they have been pegged for tanning), and for fastness of dye. If a ‘piled’ leather is wanted, be careful that the pile is uniform and not badly bruised.
Triangular-pointed needles are made for gloving, and may be obtained from most leather dealers, but an ordinary one with a long tapering point will do tolerably well. Needles with short, stumpy points are difficult to drive through the leather.
Only the best cottons, threads and silks should be used. Mercerized cotton and artificial silks always rot. The best stitch for lighter gloves is a stab stitch, two steps through and then back again ; for very heavy buckskins, as in reinforced riding and motoring gloves, a saddler’s stitch is recommended. This is a lockstitch performed simultaneously with two needles, one at each end of the thread.
Beginners will do well to practice by making a pair of rough housemaids’ gloves from a large wash-leather purchased from any oilshop or grocer. A fair sized chamois at about 2s. 6d. to 3s. should be quite good enough for this. As we have suggested earlier, take an old glove carefully to pieces and study it. As a matter of fact, an old glove, if not too much stretched, will make an excellent pattern for cutting from.