Motorcycle gloves

Motorcycle Gloves
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Motorcycle gloves: How it all started...

Most people would believe that the history of motorcycle gloves started with motorcycles. Well that's half the truth. In fact motorcycle gloves are a byproduct of the development of the glove industry of Gloversville. Gloversville was a town in upstate New York, just north and west of Albany . For about 50 to 70 years, late eighteenth century to the beginning of twentieth century almost every glove that was produced in the the United States of America was manufactured there.

And we are not talking just of cheap gloves. Oh no! The Gloversville industry had its roots, where else, but in Europe and specifically in Warsaw. During the severe pogroms against them towards the end of the eighteenth century, many Jews have left Poland. Among them were some of the best leather artisans of the world. The glove cutters of Warsaw.

Even though these artisans already found a flourishing glove industry in the town, they brought many new ideas and techniques. Most of all they brought their expertise as well a much needed sense of competition with the locals. The old and new world glove making methods at first antagonized but eventually merged with each other.

The result was the strongest as well as the finest glove industry the world has ever known. Someone could find anything there. Cheap or expensive gloves. Gloves made of mocha (hide of Arabian sheep), South African capeskin or perhaps seal skin or cabretta. These artisans, or handschumachers as they were called, thought very highly of themselves.

Motorcycle Gloves

They considered their craft vastly superior than that of the schuster (shoemaker) or the schneider (tailor). Naturally this type of healthy competition made new glove start-ups appear all the time. Whenever some ambitious handschumacher decided to create his own company or had a new idea about how to make gloves better.

When motorcycles begun to appear, the glove industry of Gloversville was already established. So who else was going to make the gloves that motorcycle riders needed? Of course this was easier said than done. Motorcycle gloves are not easily made. They must be not only good looking but durable, waterproof and of course warm.

Moreover, motorcycle gloves should let the rider retain the “natural” feeling of the bike. And that was a challenge indeed!

Motorcycle gloves evolution