A new pair of gloves arrived yesterday from Chester Jefferies, an English glove maker based in Dorset. I ordered an unlined pair made from a soft, mocha brown, calf suede, and had a slit put in, which can be secured with a small leather loop and wooden button. The slit can be closed before you put the gloves on, so you don’t have to fiddle with the button later. This makes the wrist area big enough for your hand to fit through, but not so big that it flares out when your gloves are on. Finally, three lines on the back of the hand with “Trussade” stitching complete the look.
Chester Jefferies is a small, family-owned business that has been operating since 1937. The production process during this time has changed little. Leathers are still cut individually by hand before they’re passed on to seamstresses, who will then sew the pieces together. Once sewn, the gloves are then put onto a form, where they’ll take their shape. Both ready-to-wear and custom gloves are made this way, with the exception of the latter needing custom patterns to be made. Here, a customer can just send in a tracing of his hand and then wait six weeks for his perfectly fitting gloves to arrive. I recommend photocopying your hand instead, however, since the angle of your pen can affect how well the tracing actually represents your fingers and palm.
Surprisingly, custom gloves aren’t terribly much more expensive than a pair of ready-to-wears you might find at anywhere else. The gloves themselves are about £50, while a special, one-time fee for making your pattern costs £20. From there, you can choose from about a half dozen kinds of leathers in no less than fifty different colors, and then specify the kind of model, lining, and buttons you want. Future gloves can all be made from the same pattern, putting you back at the £50 pricing.
I wasn’t able to get a hold of Chester Jefferies before this post, but I believe their deadline for a Christmas delivery is this Sunday, November 11th. Orders placed after that will be delivered in January. Should you be able to trick a loved one into photocopying their hand, these seem like they could make for a nice gift. Perhaps the way to do it is to have them believe you’re planning to get an engagement ring, and need to get the correct sizing. I imagine that should add another layer of surprise when you pull out custom gloves instead.