A glove Brian, Lance and other sheep guides could not destroy. A glove that works when wet, dries fast, durable, tough and has dexterity. I researched to find a material to protect hands from falls in the rocks, bush wacking and the other tough technical work that punishes a glove.
This research lead me to ice climbing gloves. Ice Climbers deal with many of the same issues, requirements and abuses. The best technical ice climbing gloves all use Armortan oiltac leather produced by Pittards Leather Company. Pittards, based in Yeovil, England,has been a purveyor of fine leathers since 1826.
The acknowledged superior material for gloves and soft shoe leather comes from the Hairsheep (‘Cabretta’) from Ethiopia and other sub tropical regions. This leather is thin and tough with a structure that gives it both strength and dexterity, which is hard-wearing and comfortable. To ensure continuity of supply and quality, Pittards works with local farmers and tanners in Ethiopia. The skins are all by-products of the local meat industry.
After removing the hair, all skins must be tanned. It converts the skin into a stable, consistent condition that can be worked on in many ways to produce different types of leather. After tanning, the leather has a distinctive blue shade, “WET BLUE”. This is a function of the chrome(III) salt used in the tanning process. The skins are dried and sorted according to type, weight and quality. This sorting ensures that only the best material for the particular product is used in the manufacturing process.
After the material has been sorted it is dyed and the leather begins to have some of its final characteristics. Different processes are used to produce different properties in the leather, such as water repellency or oilskin for tackiness. Once dyed, the leather is dried and worked to develop the natural inherent suppleness skills.
Leathers are tested for various technical properties such as water resistance, color fastness, oil and stain resistance and strength, depending on the specifications of each product. European (CEN and BS) and International (ISO) test methods are used, and Pittards staff are included in the committees who establish these tests for the whole leather industry. Pittards research and development team is committed to innovation, development and understanding of new technical properties.
We have designed the KUIU Guide glove with Pittards Oiltack leather on the palm and fingers wrapping around the fingertips to ensure durability, dexterity and protection. The back of the hand is Toray’s Primeflex Softshell that has a microfleece backer for comfort, stretch, breathability and fast drying. Toray’s DWR gives you water resistance without decreasing breathability. This glove has tested out incredibility well this fall, after 3 months of guiding, Lance is on his original pair.
**Please note the photos of the Guide glove are a prototype that has seen over 30 days of testing. This camouflage print has not been color adjusted.
I hope you find this research and information helpful, I look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments of the Guide Glove.