How I think about the extended wrist on string knit coated gloves

As we know, many string knit coated gloves from Japan like the Showa Atlas 451 on the following picture,  has a long wrist. You can see the wrist is so long that it takes a very large portion that belongs to palm area.

Atlas glove with long wrist

You may wonder why they make the wrist so long. What is the advantage of doing so? Ok, I think some of the possible reasons for them to do this is below:

Making gloves fit our hands better

The character of human hands is that upper palm is wider than lower palm. See the following picture.

human palm

On the other hand, the palm area of string knit liner does not like our human palm. String knit liner has the same width for both upper palm and lower palm. This character is decided by glove knitting machine itself which has a fixed knitting method, meaning you can not get a narrow lower palm by adjusting knitting machine.

This brings a problem. These string knit liner can not fit our hands well because of the loose lower palm. After the string knit liner is covered with a  coating, the final coated glove still has the same problem in spite of a little bit improvement. So people figured out a solution to solve this problem, that is , to make a extended longer wrist. The wrist is made by adding elastic rubber band, so the wrist becomes elastic. When the wrist covers a big part of lower palm, the lower palm will stick to your hands that makes a better fit to our hands. That is one reason we like long wrist.

Making glove less likely to slip off 

It’s no doubt that a longer wrist makes glove less likely to slip off than a shorter one. The more important thing is that when lower palm is covered by elastic wrist, the lower palm becomes tighter which makes stronger attachment between palm and glove that prevents glove from slipping off. This is the second reason why gloves are made with a long wrist.

A long wrist has such two advantage that makes people like it, but it can also bring in new problems for them. Some of the problems are:

Increased pressure between thumb and index finger

When the wrist extend to cover part of lower palm, the pressure between thumb and index finger will increase which makes glove less comfortable to wear. The is a necessary result when you extend the wrist length toward lower palm. But when you take a look at those Japan gloves, you find this is not true. These Japanese gloves do increase their wrist length, but you do not feel any uncomfortable. Why is it so? That’s because they use another process in their production in which a special glove former is used  to expand the area between thumb and index finger so that you have more space to move and bend your thumb. As a result, pressure on this area is decreased. Take a look at how the expanded area looks like in the following picture:

expanded area between thumb and index finger

So before you are going to extend your wrist length, you have to consider if it is necessary to do this. If it will sacrifice comfort to exchange for better fit, is it worth doing? Besides using a former to expand the area between thumb and index finger to decrease the pressure, instead you can use some flexible yarns for liners like spandex, which can also soften the pressure of that area. So extend the glove wrist only when you have a way to deal with the pressure added as a result.

Increased cost

Longer wrist means more extra rubber band yarn is used. And rubber band yarn is very expensive, so extra cost will incur. This extra cost is not that small as you imagine. So you have to think about whether the end users are willing to take that cost before you make this decision. For lower end gloves, never ever do it because this extra cost definitely take a very high percentage of overall production cost and customers won’t accept it. So this is the second problem brought by extending the wrist length.

Less harmonious look

The long wrist takes a very big part of overall length which makes the look not harmonious. But this also depends on your personal point of view. I think there are really some people who might think this is a better look than ordinary gloves.  Just take a  look at how popular Showa’s Atlas glove is in some countries, you would think the wrist look may be not a problem that could affect it’s sales.  People might care about how it feels more than how it looks if it is not a good look.

Extended wrist on string knit coated gloves is an effort that is supposed to improve glove fit. It is also proven on Japanese gloves that this method is quite useful when it is done right. But you have to make sure comfort is not sacrificed while doing so. It is not suitable for lower end gloves because of the increased cost.

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