HAND-CRAFTED LEATHER GOODS
Making a pair of gloves–continued
Terms used in glove making:-The main part of the glove, the back, the palm, the wrist and the backs and fronts of the fingers, is known as the trank. The thumb, and the long narrow strips of leather which join the backs and fronts of the fingers are called fourchettes, and can be either single or double. Figure 1 shows you three different kinds of fourchettes. Single ones are used when there are no triangular shaped bits at the base of the fingers. These tiny gussets are called quirks and they are sewn to the double fourchettes as shown in Fig 2. Leathers which possess a good deal of stretch are usually made with fourchettes only, but if the leather is fairly thick and stiff the addition of quirks will give a little more room for the hand and make the gloves wear better. The points are the decorative lines on the back of the hand. Various methods and stitches can be used for these.
The gauntlet is that part of the glove below the wrist, and nowadays it is usually cut in one with the rest of the trank. It probably dates back to the time when men wore coats of mail and gloves were worn under the steel gauntlet to prevent chafing. It served to cover the end of the sleeve and enabled the glove to be pulled on easily. Nowadays the gauntlet has ceased to be an important part of the glove and is almost non-existent. In former times it was often elaborately embroidered and extended halfway up the forearm. Some gloves, of course, still have deep gauntlets, particularly those worn by motorcyclists. Where this type of gauntlet is used it must be stiffened in some way or it will flop over the wearer's hand. An interlining of buckram or tailor's canvas can be used and the edge of the glove may be strengthened with parallel rows of machine stitching. Another method is to insert one or two rows of thin string or cord between the rows of stitching.
Stitches:-The way in which a glove is sewn together is important both from the point of view of wear and appearance. Leather gloves are nearly always sewn on the right side, unless the leather is very thin. Fur is an exception to this as the seams are usually over-sewn on the wrong side. The final seams, however, are done on the right side.
A close examination of a hand-made glove will soon show that the seams appear to be worked in running stitch — that is, small even stitches that are the same size on each side of the seam, Fig 3. The stitch is called "stab stitch" and it is worked in a special way. The two pieces of leather are held together wrong sides facing and the edges parallel. The needle is pushed through the two layers at right angles and the thread is pulled through, Fig 4. The second half of the stitch is made by pushing the needle through from the back to the front, again with the needle at right angles. Thus each stitch is made in two movements. Never try to use ordinary running stitch, in which a small amount of the seam is taken up by the needle, as even thin leather is too thick for this to be successful.
If you want your gloves to be extra strong you can use double running. The first half of the stitch is worked in stab stitch in the ordinary way, a second row of stab stitch is then worked in the opposite direction filling in the spaces left in the previous row, Fig 5. This stitch is extremely strong and if well done looks like machine stitching. The needle and thread used must both be fairly fine as the needle goes through each hole in the leather twice.
Over-sewing can be used either on the right or wrong side. Where extra strength is required a second row can be worked in the opposite direction to form a row of crosses. This stitch, if evenly worked, is very decorative and looks well if a contrasting colour is used, Fig 6.
Backstitching can be used for seams which are worked on the wrong side. Machine stitching can be used to good effect round the wrist edge of a glove as it is not only quicker than hand sewing, it helps to flatten and stiffen the edge. Decorative stitching can be used for the points. They can be worked in stab stitch, double over-sewing (cross stitch) or herringbone stitch. When making embroidered gloves any of the well-known embroidery stitches may be used. Herringbone stitch may also be used for sewing down the hem or binding on the wrist edge and for sewing in a strip of elastic where it is required to give a good fit at the wrist. The method for putting in this elastic is shown in Fig 7. You will notice that the stitches go through the material only and not through the elastic which is sewn down at each end. If the stitch is worked evenly, the glove shows an attractive pleated effect on the right side.