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There are three primary types of leather used for working gloves: pigskin, cowhide, and goatskin. They can be characterised by different qualities and are briefly summarised below:

Cowhide Grain
Very strong hard-wearing, tear resistant and robust hide which tolerates tough use. Relatively good protection against moisture. Cowhide provides the thickest leather which is ideal for all-round gloves and specifically in aggressive wear and tear environments.

Pigskin Grain

The most common leather material used for working gloves. The reason may be because pigskin is an inexpensive alternative and the leather ”breathes” through small holes left from the pigs hair follicles. Does not protect against moisture. By way of different treatment methods, very soft yet strong leather can produced.

Goatskin Grain

Very pliable and durable hide. Goatskin is slightly thinner and therefore well suited for gloves requiring good sensitivity and finger dexterity. Good protection against moisture as goatskin contains natural fats.

Grain & Split Hide
Grain hide is the leather’s upper side - the smooth surface.

Split hide is the under side of the leather, obtained when the leather is split length-wise. The surface acquires a rough, napped texture which provides good grip. Split leather is more porous resulting in poorer moisture protection compared to grain leather.

Grain leather is used for, among other things, heat protection gloves and welding gloves as it provides better protection against heat radiation than does split leather.