Motoring gauntlet repair questions

Discussion in 'Skills and Smarts' started by Keith Garrison, Jan 19, 2021.

  1. Keith Garrison

    Keith Garrison Familiar Face

    Messages:
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    I’m wondering if anyone has any input on these. I found a great old pair of motoring gauntlets that could also be used for motorcycling.
    135A82F4-B06E-48FF-A395-56B51FA384D3.jpeg
    The glove part is still in good shape. The gauntlet at the wrist has a couple of deep cracks. I’m considering ways to repair the cracks. I was thinking possibly bookbinders tape (Filmoplast). I think the gauntlet at the wrist must be a sandwich with a stiffener inside, because they are much stiffer than the thin leather would indicate.
    45473D25-6E3B-4D63-953A-7EE16C45C299.jpeg 6113B7BB-E67F-4818-8886-122B4C4E3C99.jpeg
    I am also considering asking around about someone who could make a replacement gauntlet to attach to the gloves.

    I am grateful for any ideas or input that people have. I estimate these gloves are likely from 1920s.
     
  2. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    Messages:
    21,643
    Location:
    London, UK
    These were a common gauntlet shape in British motorcycle gear from the early days eight up to the post-war years; This sort of style started to fizzle out in the Sixties, I believe, as a wider range of alternatives became available. From these photos alone, 20s is certainly possible. Somewhere I still have my paternal grandfather's motorcycle gauntlets (alas, no photos of him on or with or of the motorcycle seems to have survived that I'm aware of, so all I know is he had one, and I have the gloves and - somewhere - the goggles. Family legend had it they were bought post-war at RAF surplus, but I think it more likely they were civilian items sold in an army surplus place for motorcycling, not uncommon in those days). The ones I have - like all the repros I can find - have a soft shaft. These solid shafts were around too, I wonder if they were a way of using a thinner layer of leather on that part of the glove?

    I think you might be right that the shafts of these are slightly beyond saving, though if you have a leather-worker who is open to it, they should provide an easy pattern to remake them. Be interesting if you found out more about them - gloves seem to be harder to identify in the absence of a label than jackets, given I suppose they tended to much more uniformity of design. Goldtop are doing an impressive range of gauntlet style gloves new today; not sure whether it's a style I'd consider getting on a bike with now, but I'm still tempted by one of the Winter-lining styles for general wear on very cold, wet days in the darker months! The Mile End Road, where I live, and roads either end run straight for well over two miles - it's like a giant wind tunnel some days!
     
  3. Keith Garrison

    Keith Garrison Familiar Face

    Messages:
    62
    Thanks Edward for the reply and the ideas. It sounds like you inherited a great motorcycle kit from your grandfather. Those goggles would be fun to see.

    I also think you are right about the thinner leather layer used over the stiff-wristed gauntlets. I think it is only a thin layer of leather used there on this pair, especially compared to the gloves themselves. I have to admit, the stiff wrist gauntlet gives them a more swashbuckling look than some of the other pairs of riding gloves I own :)

    I forgot to include one important thing in my last post. These gloves have a wrist snap and the snap cover is still intact. It identifies the manufacturer as Hansen, which I think was located in Wisconsin.
    19C05980-3656-4843-A0E9-D26A40DBF5F4.jpeg
    Interestingly, I found an ad for them in a different online auction at around the same time, which was one of the reasons I thought maybe 1920s on the gauntlets.

    I have another pair that I picked up recently that also have a snap cover intact. There is some useful information about maker and possibly date (if the logo changes over time) there. One of the gloves fell apart into bits when I tried to wear it though. Tough to figure out what the old leather needs to get it to flex again without making it sopping wet.

    For the record, book binders tape will not stick to the gauntlet part and repair the tears. The adhesive on the tape is not strong enough. I like the idea of using the old gauntlet as a pattern for someone to make a new one, though.

    Maybe this can be a new collecting interest? It should be more popular at home, because a pair of these takes up a lot less room than a leather jacket :)
     
    Edward likes this.
  4. Keith Garrison

    Keith Garrison Familiar Face

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    62
    For the record, I found a local cobbler who could do a few repairs on these:
    (1) glue the cracked leather back down to the stiffener layer.
    (2) put a new layer of leather onto the gauntlet portion at the wrist.
    (3) stitch the new leather around the edge of the gauntlet portion at the wrist.
    I will post pictures when I get the gloves back from the cobbler at the end of the week.
     
    Edward likes this.
  5. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    Messages:
    21,643
    Location:
    London, UK
    Looking forward to seeing the photos. I love this stlye of glove.
     
  6. Keith Garrison

    Keith Garrison Familiar Face

    Messages:
    62
    Well...it is a good news/bad news scenario. I’ll start with the good news. The gauntlets seem to be stabilized, and they will not crack further because of the new leather reinforcement. Also, I think they are wearable again, which is nice. The glove part is still in really good shape.

    The bad news is that the workmanship on the repair was not impressive. The cutting looks haphazard and so does the stitching. Also, he did not finish the edges.
    image.jpg
    I think I have realized that this style of gauntlet could be re-covered in yet another layer of leather fairly straightforwardly. I think I will use and enjoy them until I can find someone who can do a solid re-covering in a nicer leather and with finished edges.
     
    Edward likes this.
  7. Keith Garrison

    Keith Garrison Familiar Face

    Messages:
    62
    Also, open to ideas from anybody for do-it-yourself improvements. I would like to get a nicer quality leather onto the wrist gauntlets and some type of finish to the edge.
     

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