Leather gloves don't just have to be purely practical. With a twist and a bow at the side, Fleur is glove is full of feminine charm.
Ethiopian Lambskin Leather with a lining in pure Silk
2 bl (button length). This is the length of the glove, in inches, from the hem at the top of the glove to where the thumb meets the wrist.
How to size your gloves
We make our gloves in sizes from 6 to 8½, and for our longer gloves we include an arm fit to ensure the correct sizing.
To ascertain your glove size:
- Pass a tape measure around the widest part of your hand - usually over your knuckles, excluding the thumb.
- The result, in inches, is your glove size - e.g. if your hand measures 7 inches, you are a glove size 7.
- If you are between two sizes, round down to the lower of the two.
Of course, there are times when you might not know the glove size, perhaps if you are buying our gloves as a gift. In that case, we would recommend a size 7 or 7½, because these are the median sizes, and there is a good chance that they will fit. Of course, if your glove doesn't fit perfectly, we are more than happy to exchange it - just contact us, and we will do our best to help. Special size requirements are always available on request.
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 or sleeve of the glove. Traditionally, glove sleeves were buttoned and the buttons were spaced at intervals of approximately one inch. Button lengths typically start at two buttons (the wrist), and can climb as far as 21 inches (the underarm).
The Bolton thumb is a more intricate design than the regular ‘round thumb’ that is used on many fabric gloves in that it incorporates a quirk (see below). This allows for increased mobility and flexibility when the glove is made of leather or fabrics that are not lightweight. All our sueded cotton gloves have a Bolton thumb.
Quirk or ‘querk’
A small, triangular or diamond shaped piece of material attached to the bottom crease of a fourchette in the 'vee' of the fingers. Quirks allow for extra finger room, as well as mobility. With modern fabrics and supple leather, the quirk is not much used.
Fourchette, ‘fork’ or ‘forge’
A fourchette (French for ‘fork’) are strips of material running between the fingers and holding 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.
An 'inseam' glove is a glove which has been made inside out so that, when the glove is turned right side out, the stitching is concealed inside the glove. This ensures a smooth appearance and sharp finish on gloves ranging from cotton to silk.
A small, approximately three-inch opening at the inner wrist which allows for easy removal of the wearer's hand from the glove. The hand remains attached and may be tucked inside the sleeve of the glove for dining or an exchange of rings. The Mousquetaire is sealed with dainty buttons or bows. An elegant, versatile touch.
The v-shaped, vertical stitching on the back of the hand of a leather or suede glove. This feature was, traditionally, a means of allowing greater mobility for the hand in a heavy leather glove. Today points are more of a design detail than a practical necessity.
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 cut edge of the material.
Caring for your leather gloves shouldn't be hard - if the quality is there in the first place you should have little to do at your end. A good leather glove, like ours, should retain its shape and definition for decades and very easily repay the initial cost. Nevertheless, we have seen first hand how 'well-loved' a pair of gloves can end up. With gloves that last this long, they are bound to need a little TLC...
But there are so many questions! Can you wash leather gloves? How do you clean the lining of leather gloves? Will leather gloves shrink when they're wet!? Don't panic... we're here to help with all your glove related woes.
From how to waterproof gloves to how to prevent them stretching - we have put together our complete guide to caring for your leather gloves so that you can continue to enjoy them for as long as possible... you can thank us later...
How to waterproof leather gloves
Let's start at the very beginning... When your new leather gloves arrive is there anything you can do to waterproof them and protect them from the elements?
It's worth remembering that leather is a 'skin' so has a natural resistance to the elements. As long as you don't go for a spontaneous dip in the ocean... your gloves should be fine.
Nevertheless, there are a number of high-street brands making products that will enhance the natural resistance of your leather gloves against the rain. Nikwax is the most famous of these. While these are useful, however, they may compromise the appearance of your gloves -particularly if your gloves are light in colour.
The MOST important thing to remember is that, protection or not, if your gloves do happen to get very wet, NEVER TO DRY THEM WITH EXTERNAL HEAT i.e a radiator, a fire or a tumble dryer. Your gloves should be left to dry in their own time to prevent them from cracking and drying out. Leave them be... they know what they're doing.
Once your gloves are dry, we would suggest rubbing in some neutral leather creme so keep them soft. Leather cremes are available to buy in most of your local department stores.
How to clean leather gloves
Like most things with high quality leather, cleaning or washing your leather gloves should be done with the upmost care and only if absolutely necessary.
The colours are always delicate because the skins are "full blossom" - tanning and dying additives are natural and so fixing the colour is fine but washing with inappropriate chemical additives will damage the gloves.
However, if your gloves have been lightly marked and you do wish to clean them, the following steps may work...
- Prepare a lukewarm solution using pure soap flakes - such as 'Lux'.
- Gently wipe down your leather glove, using a cloth rather than a sponge that will crumble.
- Never wash them in a washing machine or fully submerge them in water.
- Allow them to dry naturally & as they are drying put them on the hands of the glove wearer a couple of times to allow the gloves to stretch and to restore to the appropriate fit.
How to prevent stretch with leather gloves
Over the years we've had many people ask, 'how do I prevent my leather gloves from stretching?' and we have a simple answer to this... 'you shouldn't have to'.
Leather is nature's gift to the glove maker. It's natural elasticity and recovery allows the hand to pass through the narrow part of the glove and then for the glove to reform around the hand and wrist.
It is the glove cutter’s skill in selecting the right piece of leather for each different part of the glove and then preparing the leather so that it retains exactly the right amount of elasticity that makes for a perfect leather glove.
So our advice to you would be - make the investment for in a high quality pair of gloves that will last a lifetime, and make sure to pick the correct size glove for your hand. Do this and you should never have to worry about your gloves stretching out of shape...
How to clean the lining of leather gloves
At Cornelia James, our gloves are lined with either silk, wool or cashmere for extra comfort and warmth. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the leather, they should not be fully submerged in water and therefore it is rather tricky to clean the lining.
We would advise against attempting to clean the lining of your gloves, as you are quite likely to damage them. Should you feel that you need to clean them, we would suggest taking them to a specialist dry cleaners.
High quality leather gloves should last a lifetime. For us, only the best will do. Our leather comes from Pittards, the doyen of gloving leather, and some natural tanneries in Italy, where there is a centuries long tradition of tanning. They truly are, the best of the best. But... don't just take our word for it - why not see for yourself?
Fleur in the wild
Our box, like our gloves, is built to last. For us, it's about the product, not the packaging, but when we designed our box we made sure it was beautiful and timeless.