Glove Network: 1 May Seminar

The Glove Network hosted its first virtual seminar in May 2020. In it, Alison Gowman, describes two of the featured talks.

The Glove Network seminar is proving (if proof needed) that gloves touch all of our lives in many different ways. At this time of the Covid-19 pandemic, meeting on Zoom was a make-do substitute for physical attendance but also highlighted how gloves are very much in the news and on our own hands – as we seek to comply with appropriate hygiene regimens.

Past Master of the Glovers’ Livery, Rodney Jagelman, spoke about the annual student glove competition run by the Glovers’ Livery Company. Its aim is to encourage students to look at glove design (which is not currently on the curriculum of any colleges in the UK) in order to see how gloves are made and manufactured. Prizes for the best glove design and, separately, for a health and safety poster encouraging good practice in the workplace, are presented at a formal City Livery lunch each year. Even though the coronavirus crisis prevented the formal presentation this year, the prizes were still awarded and the winners are detailed on the The Glovers Company website

I contributed a presentation about the history and current work of the Glovers’ Livery Company. I was also keen to explain the extent of current glove manufacturing in the UK. Fashion and dress gloves are the most prominent in all our minds and are well represented by:

  • Dents (founded in 1777 in Worcester and now based in Warminster);
  • Cornelia James (holder of the Royal Warrant and based in Brighton);
  • Pittards (encompassing both a tannery and glove business, the company gives Yeovil Town Football Club its nickname: 'the Glovers')
  • Chester Jefferies (a family business in Dorset, famous for their peccary gloves);
  • Southcombes (another family business in Somerset that also makes military and specialist protective gloves);
  • Bennett Safetywear makes protective military and industrial gloves;
  • Polyco Healthline are flat-out at present, making medical and disposable gloves (usually around three billion annually).

The variety of presentations bore out the aims of The Glove Network project: to review gloves in collection and on view, to aid research and learning, and to explore modern-day manufacture and training. The Network is proving its worth.

By Alderman Alison Gowman

Disclaimer: The Bath Spa blog is a platform for individual voices and views from the University's community. Any views or opinions represented in individual posts are personal, belonging solely to the author of that post, and do not represent the views of other Bath Spa staff, or Bath Spa University as an institution.



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