When perusing Cornelia James for that perfect pair of gloves, you may come across a few unfamiliar words or phrases. Fear not, dear reader, for we are here to teach you our (g)love language. From quirks to points, we’ve got you covered.

Button ('Bouton') Lengths

The button (‘bouton’ in French) length is a unit of measurement for the arm portion of the glove. Button lengths were given their name by - you guessed it! - the use of physical buttons, which were spaced at intervals of approximately one inch to to determine the length of the glove. Button lengths typically start at two buttons (the wrist), and can climb as far as 21 inches (the underarm).

Bolton Thumb

The Bolton Thumb includes an extra piece of fabric to the thumb piece called a ‘quirk’ (the definition of which may be found below). Bolton Thumbs are commonly attached to gloves with thicker fabrics (such as leather) so that the hand may remain agile.

Quirk or ‘querk’

A petite, triangular piece of material (also called a ‘gusset’ in general textile parlance) attached to the bottom crease of a fourchette (or fourchettes). Quirks allow for extra finger room, as well as mobility.

Fourchette, ‘fork’ or ‘forge’

A fourchette (French for ‘fork’) are wisps of material fit to stitch the back and palm portions of the glove together. There are usually three fourchettes per glove, though some fabric gloves use a singular fourchette for the entire hand.


A seam maintained consistently on the inside of the glove, so as to conceal the stitching on the outside. This ensures a smooth appearance and sharp finish on gloves ranging from cotton to silk.


A small, approximately three-inch space at the inner wrist which allows for easy removal of the hand of the glove. The hand remains attached, and may be tucked inwards for dining, primping, or wedding. The mousqetaire is sealed with dainty buttons or bows. An elegant, versatile touch.


The v-shaped, vertical stitching on the outer hand of a leather or suede glove. This feature was, traditionally, a means of greater mobility of the hand. Cornelia James’s suede and Ethiopian lambskin leather are exceptionally supple sans-points, but the points are maintained for that classic style and feel.


A v-shaped cut-out on the inside wrist of the glove. Vents are useful on gloves made of thicker materials such as leather, and provide a bit of extra space and ease when slipping the glove off and on.


A thin strip of material, folded over and sewn around the rough edge of the glove’s wrist line. The welt is an alternative to a standard hem, which is also intended to conceal the rough edge of the material (albeit in a different fashion).