Knit Glove Basics
Knit gloves are made on knitting machines with a limited range of needle density. Thick gloves made from large yarns are generally knit on machines of 8-10 gauge (8-10 needles per inch). These yarns are the same size you find in winter coats. The larger yarns require the larger needle spacing. Many high cut level gloves (level 4-5) use these large yarns and 8-10 gauge knits. For finer and thinner knit gloves the most common knitting style is 13 needles per inch. The 13-gauge knits often use small yarns such as 210 denier nylon. This is about the size of the yarn you use in an oxford shirt.
Openness in Knit Fabric
The knitting machine gauge and the yarn size controls how open the glove textile will be. As an example, for 13-gauge knits using our 210 denier yarn there is perhaps 30-40% open area in the textile. The % openness in the knit affects how the glove feels and how much stretch it will have. Most users would agree that more open knits result in cooler more comfortable and dexterous gloves. The down side of more open knits is that it is much harder to create high cut level gloves with small yarns with open space. (More on this in another post.)
The Knit Needs to Work with the Dip
Most users like the grip and durability that palm coated knit gloves offer. Knit gloves with high levels of openness have an additional benefit for dipping and coating. With high open area the dip coating can penetrate the textile and encapsulate the yarn on the palm of the glove. The dip can by nitrile, polyurethane or NR latex. When the dip can penetrate the knit the coating has the best possible attachment to the textile. We all want our gloves to be durable and comfortable. For comfortable gloves with good dexterity the coating and the knit must be thin, no more than 2-4mm in thickness total. For this type of thin coating layer to be durable it must be well supported by the textile. The rubber in the coating does not have good tear strength. The yarn in the glove provides the reinforcement to prevent premature failure of the coating layer.
When the knit works with the dip you can build a thin comfortable durable glove.
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