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Knit Work Gloves

Uncoated machine knit gloves, also sometimes referred to as string knits, can be used both alone and as a liner under another glove for added comfort or protection. Manufactured by one of the most economical ways possible, machine knit gloves come in a variety of materials and weights and. Depending on their composition and construction, they are well suited for general purpose as well as speciality applications.

Types of Materials:

Much like textile gloves, natural and synthetic fibers are the building blocks for the yarn that is used to manufacture machine knit gloves. There are generally three main types of fibers used in their construction:

  • Natural fibers – The world’s most used fiber, cotton is a soft natural fiber with absorbency and comfort-enhancing qualities. Other natural fibers like wool are often used to construct knit gloves with thermal properties.
  • Man-made or manufactured/synthetic fibers – A lightweight fiber, nylon has low absorbency, dries quickly, and is resistant to dirt, chemicals and perspiration. Polyester is a strong fiber that is resistant to stretching and shrinkage, easy to care for and washable. Synthetic fibers also have some advantages in resisting abrasion and cuts. Machine knit gloves made from synthetic fibers with greater cut resistant properties can be found in the Cut Resistant Gloves section of this catalog.
  • Blends of natural and synthetic fibers - Polyester and nylon fibers blended with natural fibers such as cotton extend the durability and strength of these blended fabrics while maintaining the comfort enhancing features of the natural fibers.

Types of Materials:

Knitted glove fabric consists of consecutive rows of loops of yarn, called stitches. As each row progresses, a new loop of yarn is pulled through an existing loop. The active stitches are held on a needle until another loop can be passed through them. This process eventually results in a complete, seamless glove that can be more form-fitting and comfortable than gloves made by other methods.

Different yarns and knitting needles may be used to make knit gloves with different colors, textures, and weights. The thickness or weight of the yarn is a significant factor in determining the gauge, i.e., how many stitches and rows are required to cover a given area for a given stitch pattern. The gauge and thickness of the yarn used to make a glove, in turn, determines the overall weight of the glove.

  • Lightweight to Medium Weight – Ranging from as high as 15 gauge to as low as 7 gauge, lightweight to medium weight gloves are well suited for applications where a good degree of dexterity is needed. A glove made with a higher gauge (or more needles) tends to be of a lighter weight because thinner yarn must be used in its higher-density construction. This doesn’t mean, however, that the glove may not have greater resistance to abrasion, dirt or wear than a lower gauge, medium weight construction.
  • Heavyweight – The use of thicker yarns with lower gauge constructions (generally 7 gauge) result in heavyweight gloves that can deliver enhanced protection and durability. Although not as much as terrycloth, the heavier construction typical of heavyweight knits may also provide better resistance to heat.
  • Terrycloth – Soft and highly absorbent, terrycloth gloves are characterized by knit shells made of thick, uncut loops with soft pile on one or both sides of the fabric. The loops increase the surface area of the fabric and also make the fabric heavier, since more yarn is required to construct it. Loop-out styles provide heat, cut and abrasion resistance, better grip in grease and oil applications and enhanced comfort by providing more cushioning. Loop-in styles’ smoother outer surface may reduce snags while providing cushioning and comfort against the hand.
  • Lisle Lightweight, form-fitting gloves knit from cotton thread that has been processed to give it a smooth finish. The process burns off lint as well as fiber ends, leaving the thread with a smooth edge ideal for gloves needed for product protection.
  • Cleanroom Designed for controlled environments where it is critical to minimize contamination from dust and particles, cleanroom gloves are knit from low lint fibers and threads such as nylon. Additionally, the gloves may be manufactured, laundered and packaged in a cleanroom environment to avoid contamination.

Additional Selection Considerations:

  • Color – Darker colors effectively hide grime and dirt possibly extending the use of the glove by reducing disposal. 
  • Reversible – Due to their seamless design and construction, knit gloves are reversible allowing them to be worn on either hand. This feature may extend use as well as simplifying dispensing and sorting.  
  • Cuff Type – Most machine knit gloves feature knit wrists although some do also come with safety cuffs. Knit wrist cuffs help keep the glove firmly in place on the hand enhancing dexterity and comfort, and safety cuffs provide additional protection to the wrist. Most knit gloves with knit wrists feature colored cuff over-edges to help designate size and prevent unraveling.  

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