Gloves are vital if you're a fighter, of course, but they can also be used to add that final touch to any costume, especially for nobility.
While it is certainly possible to make gloves from scratch, I do not recommend it. Every person I've talked to who has made gloves describes it as a trying experience, to say the least. So what to do? You can buy a serviceable pair of leather work-gloves from most hardware or garden-supply stores. Some things to look for in your gloves:
Once you have your gloves, you'll want to dye and decorate them. Use a standard leather dye, available at any leather supply shop or most western-wear stores. If the gloves have a smooth surface, rough them up thoroughly with either a green scrubbie or fine steel wool. Then dye the gloves, as many coats as you need to get the color you want, and seal the dye with a commercially available sealer. Helpful Trick: If you are dying your gloves black (and I know many of you will), after your last coat of dye is dry, rub the gloves down with ordinary generic hair conditioner. This will help set the color particles in the dye, and bring out a truer black. Do this before you put the sealant on.
- Avoid gloves with external straps.
- Avoid also gloves with the maker's logo impressed into the glove.
- Look for all-leather gloves, and avoid suede, if possible.
- If you are planning to dye your gloves (and this is recommended), make sure you get gloves that are light-colored (it's tough to dye red gloves green, for instance).
Now the fun part: decoration! This is where your gloves will gain their distinctive character. You have a number of options. Most commonly, you may add gauntlets to your gloves. This is probably the best option if you plan to wear your gloves for fighting. The gauntlets will offer a little bit of protection, and help keep your sleeves fron getting caught on your cross-gaurd. Here is my pattern for gauntlets:
For "dress-gloves," there are some other options available. You can simply add a line of trim around the cuff, or (if you're feeling really fancy) add loops of trim all along the cuff.
Gloves can also be made out of fabric, especially for Ladies. Just be sure that your gloves match your gown, and you will be the hieght of fashion!
More on Period Gloves.
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