The Many Different Types of Garden Gloves

Garden gloves is one of the garden tools that I use most often, and I always keep a few pairs of garden gloves handy in the bonsai workshop as well as at home. Although garden gloves are one of my most favorite garden tools, I have always been using the cheapest type – the cotton work gloves. Cotton work gloves are not only cheap and abundant, but they are also light and breathable. However, they wear off quickly, and become very heavy when get wet. In addition, cotton work gloves provide no protection against thorns and pricks.

Many pairs of cotton work gloves and pricks later, I decided to treat myself better and get a good pair of garden gloves. And it is only then do I realize that there are actually so many different types of gloves in the market. Breathable cotton, latex, leather, water resistant, extra long, etc… And here are the major types of gloves grouped by the main material that they are made out of.

Leather Gloves

leather-garden-glovesLeather gloves can be quite bulky, but they can be a wise choice for heavy duty jobs that are more likely to injure or blister our hands (i.e.: cutting and stacking firewood, pruning trees or rose bushes). Leather gloves are strong and provide good protection from sharp edges and pokey objects, such as wire fencing and nails.

There are different varieties of leather gloves as well as different style. For example, there are leather gloves that extend up to the forearms. These leather gloves are useful to protect our arms when we are pruning rose bushes, as well as other thorny plants.

Rubber Gloves

Personally, I don’t like to use rubber gloves, for they get hot and sticky, especially in the summer time. However, I would suggest all gardeners to keep a pair of rubber gloves handy for they are very useful for protecting our hands when we are working in cold and wet environment (such as ponds), or in damp soil.

While rubber gloves that are intended for household cleaning are cheaper, I would not suggest that but the rubberized outdoor gloves. Those rubber gloves for household cleaning are not made to endure the abuse they will receive in the garden. And once the rubber gloves are punctured or torn, they will leak and lose its waterproof function.

Cotton Gloves

cotton-garden-glovesCotton gloves are cheap. They are lightweight and breathable. Some of them have rubberized dots or pads on the fingers and/or palms. Cotton gloves are the general purpose garden gloves. They are handy for keeping our hands clean while doing dirty work that does not require heavy protection, such as digging small holes, planting seeds, and weeding. Cotton gloves are best for working in cool, dry soil when no chemical is involved. Also, these gloves are neither cut resistant nor water proof.

Polymer Disposable Gloves

disposable-glovesDisposable gloves are cheap and lightweight. They are waterproof, and their primarily used to keep our hands clean while we briefly attend to a light yet dirty job. I have found it perfect for making my tabletop container gardens, and I provide my students disposable gloves in my Playful Tree workshops (workshops that show how to make tabletop container gardens) as well.

When we are handling pesticides, manure, and any other things that we would not want to touch with our bare hands, it is best to handle these jobs in a disposable manner with a box of disposable gloves. And for this reason, I would suggest using disposable gloves instead of regular rubber gloves.

Disposable gloves are available in medical supply stores as well as many grocery stores.

Spandex (or Lycra) Gloves

spandex-garden-glovesSpandex (or Lycra) is a synthetic fabric that is very elastic. It can be expand up to 600% and spring back without losing its integrity. And nowadays, many companies use spandex to make garden gloves that fit very well on our hands. These garden gloves are absolutely waterproofed and have no absorption at all. And with the hard wearing nylon on palms and fingertips, these spandex garden gloves are here to stay with hard use for a longer period of time.

These spandex garden gloves are always very stylish, with different colors and sizes for buyers to choose from. And some of these gloves even have 50+ UPF rating for maximum sun protection.

1 comment to The Many Different Types of Garden Gloves

  • The spandex gloves sounds good! Well, I have only one type of gloves i.e. cotton. Need to do some transplanting today, so I will make sure I use them 😀 Thanks for this post and the reminder.

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