Material guide

Several different materials are used in protective gloves. The material used depends on its properties in relation to the need. The gloves should be flexible, comfortable, durable and protect against various risks. Here is a brief description of various materials that are commonly used in protective gloves.


Did you know that your skin is extremely sensitive to temperature and moisture changes? We react to small temperature changes such as +/-0.2°. Leather is a natural material that adapts to temperature changes and protects against cold and heat. There are mainly three different types of leather used for work gloves: pig, cow and goat leather. They are also characterized by different properties which you can see below.

Cow leather

  • Very durable leather that resists abrasion and tearing.
  • Stops moisture relatively well.
  • Cow leather is the thickest leather and is therefore very suitable for work gloves that are exposed to heavy wear and tear.

Pig leather

  • Breathes through small holes left by the pig's hair/bristles.
  • Does not stop moisture.
  • Through various treatment methods, a very soft and strong leather can be produced.

Goat leather

  • Very supple and durable leather.
  • Goat leather is usually a little thinner and therefore suitable for gloves that require high sensitivity or fingertip sensitivity.
  • Stops moisture well as it naturally contains fat.

Leather can be layered in several layers and the lower layers are called Split leather. This leather has an uneven and rugged surface that provides a good grip. Grain leather is the top side of the leather, the smooth surface.

Split leather is more porous and does not provide the same protection against moisture compared to grain leather. Split leather is used for heat protection and welding gloves, as it provides better protection against heat than grain leather.

Materials for dipping and coating


  • Latex (rubber) is a natural material that has very high elasticity.
  • Provides good abrasion resistance and grip.
  • It has high chemical resistance to alcohols and water-soluble chemicals such as cleaning agents.
  • Latex naturally contains a protein that can cause allergic reactions both during manufacture and use.


  • Nitrile is a synthetic rubber.
  • It is very durable and provides both good dry grip and good wet and oil grip.
  • The material is also resistant to, for example, oils, solvents and grease.


  • Butyl is a gas and liquid tight material that provides good protection against strong acids.
  • Recommended where gas, dust and air-tight protection is needed.

PU (polyurethane)

  • PU is used as a coating for both gloves and textile materials and is used for, among other things, leather imitations (synthetic leather).
  • PU provides a microporous coating that breathes as it is mixed with a solvent in the manufacturing process that quickly evaporates and creates voids in the polyurethane layer where water vapor can pass.
  • It provides a thin and supple coating which provides good fingertip sensitivity, good dry and wet grip and good flexibility at low temperatures.


  • PVC is a plastic.
  • It is characterized by good abrasion resistance and provides good dry and wet grip.
  • PVC gloves provide good protection against several water-soluble chemicals.
  • It also provides limited protection against organic solvents.


  • Neoprene is the trade name for chloroprene, which is a synthetic rubber material with good thermal insulation.
  • As a chemical protection, it provides good protection against, among other things, oils, fats, organic hydrocarbons and acids.

Textile Fibers and Materials


  • A natural fiber with good abrasion resistance and high absorbency.

Nylon (polyamide)

  • A strong, flexible, and elastic synthetic fiber with very low absorbency.


  • A strong, elastic synthetic fiber with very low absorbency.


  • A synthetic fiber with good thermal insulation properties, high lightfastness, and moderate abrasion resistance.
  • Often used as a wool substitute.


  • An aromatic polyamide that is much stronger than regular polyamide.
  • Highly resistant to heat and has very high tensile strength and tear resistance.
  • Also a very good cut-resistant fiber.
  • Most commonly known by the trade name Kevlar.


  • A very strong and lightweight fiber made of polyethylene that provides good cut resistance.


  • A highly elastic synthetic fiber often used in stretchy textiles to maintain shape.
  • Common trade names for this fiber include Lycra and Spandex.


  • A collective name for wind- and water-resistant soft materials.
  • Consists of one or more knitted materials laminated with a film/membrane to provide wind- and water-resistant properties.


  • Neoprene is the trade name for chloroprene, which is a synthetic rubber material with good thermal insulation properties.
  • It is a stretchy material with some shock absorption, making it suitable as knuckle protection.

Synthetic Leather

  • Synthetic material that mimics the look and to some extent the properties of leather.
  • The material is durable and flexible and is excellent for both thin and flexible as well as sturdy work gloves.
  • There are two different types of synthetic leather: PU-laminated polyester or nylon. It is thin yet durable with good grip and water-resistant surface. Can resemble nubuck leather in appearance. Microfiber material of polyurethane and nylon that is soft and durable with high breathability. Resembles split leather in appearance.
  • Common trade names include Clarino and Serino, among others.