Everything you need to know
about leather driving gloves
The summary that makes you want driving gloves
Petrolheads do take spectacular effort in maintaining their car into every little detail, but they usually do not take any effort in upgrading their own appearance by driving in style. How you are thinking? By wearing men's driving gloves, which is serving a purpose besides a bold fashions statement. We have got you covered with the whole A to Z story about our driving gloves, so let's get you started.
The Driving Gloves history and why they were worn.
The driving glove made its appearance during the 1890s. At that time, wealthy people mostly wore pair gloves while riding, shooting, and hunting. Cars made their appearance in the 20th century, but these were not as well equipped as we are now used to. Steering wheels at that time were made from uncovered metal or wood. Both expose the driver's valuable hands to either extreme cold in winter times or a heated metal steering wheel in summer. Moreover, having a wooden steering wheel wasn't a walk in the park either, having the possibility to gain splinters. Back then, most of the cars lacked cabins so, besides the protection from the elements, driving gloves also protected the driver's hands from any mud or dust when driving or oils and lubricants the driver might encounter when performing the regular service early automobiles often required. It was rather a necessity than it was a fashion statement.
The used gloves looked like thick leathered gauntlet gloves and were usually lined, meaning they had an inner layer of wool, fur or lambskin. It was not that important in the early days to have great sensitivity and contact with the steering wheel, rather a firm grip and some muscles to go in a straight line. A funny little detail to share; driving gloves are the reason for the term Glove Box that we still use today. The name derives from its original purpose which was to store driving gloves. Dorothy Levitt, known from the book "The woman and the car", quoted: “Never wear woolen gloves, but gloves made of good soft kid. You will find room for these gloves in the little drawer under the seat of the car.”
As the history of cars dictates, there have been made many upgrades in terms of comfort, so as internal heating, even climate control, and powered and grip-featured steering wheels. This led to less use and interest in driving gloves.
The rise of the Driving Gloves
With the evolution of cars, driving gloves also underwent a significant change. In the 1930s, leather processing techniques became better making it able to produce shorter and tighter driving gloves available in a variety of colors and leather types. The driving gloves were not like a gauntlet no more, instead, they were well sort after with which we are familiar today. The sleeker series of driving gloves offered many of the similar benefits of the larger driving gauntlets, but in a far more stylish way.
As the internal heating systems of cars improved after World War II, driving gloves were no longer as essential for retaining heat. Similarly, as plastic or wrapped steering wheels became more common in the late 1960s and 1970s, driving gloves were no longer necessary for grip.
Fortunately, revived interest in Classic Style during the 2010s saw the resurgence of many classically-inspired menswear accessories, including driving gloves. This renewed interest in driving gloves was buoyed by the accessory’s prominent position in many popular films, especially the 2011 film Drive, starring Ryan Gosling, a contemporary actor known for his unique personal style.
Today, driving gloves are associated with stylish gentlemen who take driving seriously and want to look the part. They are especially associated with drivers active in the vintage car scene, amateur racing leagues, or owners of high-end, luxury automobiles.
The 5 reasons to wear Driving Gloves in 2022
1. Driving gloves preserve your interior
The steering wheel has a rough time during its cycle. It's along with the seats the most used interior part of your car and probably the first thing you look at the moment you step into your car. Being a car fanatic, everything needs to look neat, including your steering wheel. The steering wheel leather suffers from your lovely human oils and sweat thus falling apart bit by bit. Especially Alcantara can be easily damaged and worn out. Driving gloves will protect your steering wheel against yourself and makes sure your steering wheel remains to be in a better shape over time.
2. Better control with driving gloves
Sure, nowadays steering wheels are not made of slippery materials and especially Alcantara provides good grip with bare hands. But we are confidened that driving gloves support you a lot in terms of steering wheel grip. Imagine yourself driving on a sunny day on a beautifull curvy road trying to push your car a bit more (of course the road is completely yours and no other road users can be seen). 100% concentration, focus and holding tight to your steering wheel. It isn't inevitable your palms getting sweaty thus your steering wheel slick and that's not particularly desirable in that sharp U-shaped curve.
Driving gloves will overcome this and deal with your hand moisture. Especially the leather species we use, Peccary leather, allows maximum grip. We have experienced lamb leather tends to become slippery. Peccary leather is by far the strongest, durable and most flexible leather species used for driving gloves, and that's just what you need on a nervous breaking road.
3. Driving gloves that protects you from burning
With the earth temperature slowly heating up, it isn't inevitable to find yourself in a car, which is parked in the summer sun, with a steering wheel that's that hot you think it's made of lava. A pair of driving gloves will make it much more comfortable to continue and keep on driving.
4. Eliminate hand fatigue
5. Driving gloves to upgrade your driving experience.
Really, be honest; doesn’t it look neat when wearing mens driving gloves behind the wheel? Certainly when the colour of the driving gloves matches with a car exterior, interior or a detail like a caliper. Remember Ryan Gosling in the movie Drive? Jason Statham in the movie Transporter? Christian Bale in the movie Le mans '66? The movie director didn’t let these guys wear driving gloves to look silly or prestigious … they needed to look awesome!
The truth is, the biggest advantage of wearing driving gloves: they will contribute to your personal perfect driving experiences, and that’s the best argument we petrolheads can think of! A real paramount contribution to the driving aesthetic!
Driving gloves styles and types
Picking the right pair of driving gloves is essential for your driving experience.
In this section, we will explain the differences to help you pick the right pair.
1. Fingerless driving gloves(touchscreen driving gloves)
Fingerless driving gloves, as you might expect, do not cover your fingers. The biggest advantages are that your hands can breathe enough while these driving gloves are offering plenty of grip on the steering wheel. Another big advantage is that you can still operate the touchscreen of your phone or modern vehicle instrument panels without taking off your driving gloves. If you regularly need to make a phone call, check your online maps or operate your car's infotainment system, a pair of fingerless driving loves might be worth for you.
The disadvantage will be that your fingers can leave moist and human oils on the steering wheel and it is a bit more of a hassle putting fingerless driving gloves on and off.
2. Full finger driving gloves
The full-finger driving gloves are most commonly sold. They offer great grip, do expose your style in a more visible way and preserve your steering wheel to a full extent. Besides they offer the full package as mentioned in the previous section.
3. Unlined driving gloves
To have the best driving experience, we usually advise to go with unlined driving gloves. To be more specific, nowadays driving gloves are almost always unlined to have a better sensitivity. The leather of the driving gloves will act like a second skin and offers direct communication with the steering wheel.
4. Lined driving gloves
Lined with wool, cashmere or fur, lined driving gloves will offer you protection to the cold elements.
We are not recommending lined driving gloves for active driving, but on cold winter days, it is a perfect solution.
Lined driving gloves are also often being sold for wearing them outside your car.
5. Driving gloves with or without knuckle holes
Driving gloves that are equipped with knuckle holes provide ventilation to ensure a continuous flow of air that helps keep your hands cool and comfortable and reduces the accumulation of sweat. Similar to the cutout around the back of the hand that besides the increase of ventilation, also improves the mobility of the fingers and hand in general.
6. Driving gloves leather types
Driving gloves can be made of a variety of leathers or synthetics/fabrics. We will only highlight natural materials in this section.
Animal leathers that can be and often are used for driving gloves are lamb nappa, hair sheep, camel, deerskin and peccary leather.
We have chosen to make our driving gloves mostly of peccary leather because of its great specifications and durability. We found that lamb nappa was a great leather too, but very fragile especially when being put under heavy use.
To read all about our development and the reason of us going for peccary leather, we kindly like to refer to our dedicated page by clicking on the link.
Keep you driving gloves in a good condition.
1. Driving gloves maintenance
Did your beloved driving gloves get wet and injured? Just let them dry naturally. Do not try to dry them by heating them or putting them near a heat source! This will cause the leather to dry out and become stiff. If your men's driving gloves got wet, use a dry cloth, but do not rub! Let your hand gloves dry flat at room temperature.
CAUTION! In case you have a duo-tone design or contrasting thread, and your driving gloves got wet, dry them as stated above but do avoid the two leather colors touching each other by placing paper towels inside the gloves and fingers. This way you can try to avoid colors running into each other. Even though our strict colorfastness tests, it's almost inevitable to avoid running colors when our driving gloves are getting wet.
If the driving gloves are dirty, put the gloves on, then was your hands as usual(gentle) while wearing the gloves. You may use a drop of mild soap or body wash (not a sanitizing hand soap that contains alcohol or a grease- fighting dish liquid). Pat the gloves dry and lay them flat on top of a towel, making sure the fingers lie in a natural position.
CAUTION! Do not wash your gloves when you have a duo-tone design or a contrasting thread color. It might be that the leather color bleeds into the lighter color.
2. Stretch your driving gloves
Peccary leather driving gloves can become a bit stiff over time. Every so often, make sure you give your gloves a gentle, lengthwise stretch across the edge of a table, and stretch each finger individually. Leather is a tough material, and careful yet firm stretching keeps the leather flexible and strong for prolonged satisfaction.
3. Give your pair of driving gloves a break
Keep your leather in cool, dry places away from sunlight and direct heat.Using our Essentials case is the best solution. When you store your gloves, also make sure they are positioned horizontally to avoid wrinkling or discoloration. Do not store your gloves wet – make sure you completely dry them first.
For more tips and tricks to expand the lifetime of your pair of unique driving gloves, please check our dedicated page by click on the link.
So, what are the best driving gloves for you?
You have learned the history, the reason why to wear driving gloves, the different styles and types of driving gloves, and to end; how to maintain your driving gloves. Now we leave it up to you to decide whether you drive in style or you don't, but we highly recommend doing and joining the community!
- Read about driving gloves that match a Porsche