Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A glove (Middle English from Old English glof) is a type of garment which covers the hand. Gloves have separate sheaths or openings for each finger and the thumb; if there is an opening but no covering sheath for each finger they are called "fingerless gloves". Fingerless gloves with one large opening rather than individual openings for each fingers are sometimes called gauntlets. Glove which cover the entire hand but do not have separate finger openings or sheaths are called mittens.
, . Gloves can serve to protect and comfort the hands of the wearer against cold or heat, physical damage by friction, abrasion or chemicals, and disease; or in turn to provide a guard for what a bare hand should not touch. Latex, nitrile or vinyl disposable gloves are often worn by healthcare professionals as hygiene and contamination protection measures.
Fingerless gloves are useful for cold environments where dexterity is required that gloves would restrict. Cigarette smokers and church organists often use fingerless gloves. Some gloves include a gauntlet that extends partway up the arm.
Today gloves are made around the world. Most expensive women's gloves are still made in France, with some made in Canada. For cheaper male gloves New York State, especially Gloversville, New York is still a world centre of glove manufacturing. More and more glove manufacturing is being done in east Asia, however.
Types of Glove
Commercial and industrial
- hospital gloves
- firemen's gauntlets
- Welder's glove
Sport and recreational
- Archer's glove
- Bicyclist's glove
- Billiards glove
- Driving and motocycling gloves
- Falconer's glove
- Gardening glove
- Hockey mitt
- Riding gloves
- Yachting glove
Gloves for formal and semi-formal wear come in three lengths for women: wrist, elbow, and opera or full-length (over the elbow, reaching to the bicep).
The most expensive are full-length gloves custom-made of kid leather. Satin and stretch satin materials are extremely popular and there are mass-produced varieties well within the average budget.
Gloves appear to be of great antiquity. According to some translations of Homer's The Odyssey, LaŽrtes is described as wearing gloves while walking in his garden so as to avoid the brambles. (Other translations, however, insist that Laertes pulled his long sleeves over his hands.) Herodotus, in The History of Herodotus (440 BC), tells how Leotychides was incriminated by a glove (gauntlet) full of silver that he received as a bribe. Among the Romans also there are occasional references to the use of gloves. According to Pliny the Younger (ca. 100), his uncle's shorthand writer wore gloves during the winter so as not to impede the elder Pliny's work.
Gloves are also used for fashion, ceremonial, and religious purposes. British and European Ladies in the 13th century began to wear gloves as fashion ornaments. They were made of linen and silk and sometimes reached to the elbow. It was not until the 16th century that they reached their greatest elaboration, however, when Queen Elizabeth set the fashion for wearing them richly embroidered and jeweled.
Embroidered and jeweled gloves also formed part of the insignia of emperors and kings. Thus Matthew of Paris, in recording the burial of Henry II of England in 1189, mentions that be was buried in his coronation robes with a golden crown on his head and gloves on his hands. Gloves were also found on the hands of King John when his tomb was opened in 1797 and on those of King Edward I when his tomb was opened in 1774.
Pontifical gloves are liturgical ornaments used primarily by the pope, the cardinals, and bishops. They may be worn only at the celebration of mass. The liturgical use of gloves has not been traced beyond the beginning of the 10th century, and their introduction may have been due to a simple desire to keep the hands clean for the holy mysteries, but others suggest that they were adopted as part of the increasing pomp with which the Carolingian bishops were surrounding themselves. From the Frankish kingdom the custom spread to Rome, where liturgical gloves are first heard of in the earlier half of the 11th century.
Latex gloves, ubiquitous in surgery and forensics, were developed by the Australian Ansell company.
External sources and references
- Pliny the Younger: Selected Letters
- The History of Herodotus by Herodotus, Volume VI, at classics.mit.edu
- Baseball glove or catcher's mitt: in baseball, the players in the field wear gloves to help them to catch the ball and prevent injury to their hands.
- Boxing glove: a specialized padded mitten
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details