Leather is a popular material for countless fashion items, from jackets and pants to belts and bags. Outside of these uses, leather is a durable material highly suited for utilitarian garments and accessories like that of leather gauntlets.
Leather gauntlets began life as a thick protective garment for knights and soldiers, covering the hand, wrist, and upper arm during combat. Later, gauntlets were adapted for similarly protective use by tradesmen like welders, blacksmiths, and automotive mechanics.
Let’s explore more and dive into the world of leather gauntlets.
What are Leather Gauntlets?
Leather gauntlets are protective leather garments meant to protect the hand and wrist. Historically, these garments were made from thick, hard leather and worn by soldiers and knights. As time progressed, leather gauntlets became the protective method of choice for skilled craftsmen whose work involved extreme heat, hazardous materials, and dangerous tools.
Today, gauntlets are the extended protective wrist of gloves. Leather winter gloves have gauntlets to protect from the cold by preventing wind, rain, and snow from blowing into the wearer’s sleeves. Craftsmen still use leather gauntlets to protect themselves from injury, and similar leather gauntlets are worn by outdoor workers and motorcycle riders to protect against the elements and injury.
Types of Leather Gauntlets
Leather Gauntlets Gloves
Leather gauntlet gloves are leather gloves whose wrists extend past the typical length, adding extra protection for the wrists and forearms (depending on length). Leather gauntlet gloves are derived from historical leather gauntlets, which were used by soldiers and knights to protect their hands and wrists during battle. Today, these garments are used for a wide array of protective purposes.
In the fashion world, leather gloves with gauntlets are found on leather winter gloves. The gauntlets of these gloves extend past the cuff of the wearer’s coat to protect against cold wind, rain, and blowing snow. Leather gauntlets can also be found in plain and spiked varieties, which are worn by those looking for an edgy addition to their wardrobe.
Leather gauntlets are made for protection even in today’s world. Gardening gloves can often be found with leather or faux leather gauntlets to protect against sharp branches or thorns. Motorcycle riders often wear leather gloves with gauntlets to protect themselves from the elements, as well as from injury during potential accidents. Skilled craftsmen and artisans like welders or glassblowers wear leather gauntlets to protect against sparks, heat, and hazardous materials.
Medieval Leather Gauntlets
Medieval leather gauntlets are usually made from thick, heavy leather and cover the hands and wrists of the wearer. These garments are typically fingerless and can range from simplistic to heavily worked. These gauntlets are often made by leatherworkers specializing in reproduction pieces.
Leather Wrist Gauntlets
Gauntlets that cover only the wrist, also called bracers, are mainly used as a fashion accessory today. These leather gauntlets resemble long, heavy wristbands and may feature embellishments like buckles, lacing, or studs. Leather bracers were popular during Medieval times as a means of protecting the forearms from the elements.
Spiked Leather Gauntlets
Spiked leather gauntlets are strictly a fashion garment. Spikes are not ideal on a protective garment, as metal conducts heat and can be hazardous during falls. Spiked leather gauntlets are incredibly popular in the alternative and punk music scenes. Interestingly, these accessories are derived from traditional armored gauntlets and inspired by a history of using metal spikes and studs as a means of intimidation and protection.
Viking leather gauntlets
Viking leather gauntlets are similar to traditional Medieval leather gauntlets, but may be slightly more rugged or embellished with natural materials like fur or leather trims. Viking gauntlets are often embossed with intricate designs and fastened by lacing rather than buckles.
Leather Motorcycle Gauntlets
Motorcycle riders wear leather gauntlets to protect against the elements and potential injury. Leather motorcycle gauntlets are most often found as full gloves with attached gauntlets, since these offer the most protection and wearability.
Leather Gauntlet Gloves For Welding
Leather welding gauntlet gloves are usually made from heavy, full-grain leather with a padded interior for further heat protection. These gauntlets extend to at least halfway up the forearm for maximum protection against heat and sparks.
Leather Gauntlet Gloves Renaissance
Costume leather gauntlets, made from either genuine or faux leather, can be found from specialty retailers, on Etsy, or even from Renaissance fairs! These gauntlets range from highly accurate to simplistic and comfortable. Many confuse Medieval wear for Renaissance fashion, but the two are not alike – Renaissance gauntlets are often full gloves, worn for fencing, hunting, or even falconing (training and hunting with falcons).
Western Leather Gauntlets
Western leather gauntlets are often quite rugged, simplistic garments. Typically full-gloved, these gauntlets are often made in natural-toned blonde leather and may or may not be embellished with leather fringe. Western leather gauntlets protect from the elements and injury while working outdoors and with animals.
Today, gauntlets are the extended protective wrist of gloves.
Where Can I find a leather gauntlets pattern?
Patterns for leather gauntlets can be found on the internet for free and for purchase. If you need detailed instructions, printable patterns, or have a bit of extra crafting skill, Etsy is the best place for quality leatherworking patterns. Patterns on Etsy are available for purchase for around $5-$10.
How do you make leather gauntlets?
Patterns for leather gauntlets can be found for free online. This pattern is for simple costume gauntlets secured with metal rivets. For functional gauntlets, professionally-made garments are preferable.
What were gauntlets used for?
Historically, leather gauntlets were used by knights and soldiers to protect their hands and arms from injury during battle.
What is the difference between a glove and a gauntlet?
While gauntlets are technically a type of glove, they are not the same. A glove may include a gauntlet, but a gauntlet is not necessarily a glove. Gauntlets are extended pieces of leather which protect the hand and wrist. Some gauntlets are part of gloves, adding further protection to the hand itself. Gloves that do not extend to cover the wrist do not have gauntlets.
How do you sew a gauntlet?
A heavy-duty sewing machine or leather sewing kit is needed to sew a leather gauntlet. In addition, leatherworking tools are necessary to properly finish and seal the leather. Leather gauntlets can be complicated, but simple gauntlet wrist cuffs can be made by creating a pattern – wrapping paper around the wrist and measuring is an easy way to do this – and adding lacing or snap closure.
What is the meaning of gauntlets?
Gauntlets are a protective leather garment that covers the top of the hand and wrist from injury and exposure.
Here is how to care for and take care of your leather gloves/gauntlets
What do you call an Armoured glove?
An armored glove is called a gauntlet. Gauntlets are traditionally made of either metal armor or, more commonly, leather. These garments protect against injury or exposure by covering the wrist and hand.
Where did the gauntlet come from?
Gauntlets derived from simplistic chain mittens and gloves worn by Medieval knights and soldiers. These gloves protected from cuts, but not exposure or crushing injury, making sturdier protective gear a necessity. Gauntlets were originally made from a combination of metal plate and leather for optimal protection from any possible injury during battle.
Where to Buy Leather Gauntlets
|Amazon||Amazon’s selection of leather gauntlets is limited to faux leather options. Gloves with faux leather gauntlets for pruning and gardening can be found here, along with fashion gauntlets. Amazon’s prices usually fall between $10-$80.|
|Etsy||Etsy is a prime source for genuine leather gauntlets. Here, you can find leather gauntlets for work or fashion use. Many crafters on Etsy focus on Medieval and Viking reproduction gauntlets, which are beautifully detailed and flawlessly constructed. Etsy’s pricing is dependent on the material and craftsmanship, but most leather gauntlets for sale on the site start at around $40.|
Others popular online stores/sellers
For protective gauntlets for work, home improvement stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot are an easy local source. Leather retailers are a great place to find leather gauntlet gloves for motorcycle riding.
Leather gauntlets are an intriguing leather garment. Emerging from necessity, they have made a full evolution to fashion accessory while retaining their reputation as the most practical method of protecting the hand and forearms.
Leather gauntlets are a true testament to the adaptable, variable nature of leather, and an excellent example of how incredibly diverse its uses can be. If you’re interested in other protective wear, click here for my article on leather aprons.
How much does a gauntlet weigh?
Depending on the material used, gauntlets can be quite heavy, True protective gauntlets are made of thick, heavy leather, but the gauntlets of winter gloves are lightweight.
Are gauntlets gloves?
While gauntlets are technically gloves, there are some fundamental differences between true gloves and gauntlets. Gauntlets are worn similarly to gloves, but they do not necessarily cover the hand, palm, or fingers.