Bamboo is natural fiber made of herbaceous plants and it is very soft, velvety and slightly glossy. It has anti-microbic and anti-fungal properties that are retained even after numerous washings. Due to this feature there is no unpleasant odor when wearing products made of 100% bamboo. This fiber can be considered ecological as no pesticides are used for bamboo cultivation. The bamboo fiber is capable to absorb moisture 3-4 times faster if compared to cotton and it dries quicker by 2 times. The bamboo fiber does not irritate the skin, thus gloves that are made of this material can be an alternative to people with allergies and sensitive skin.
Cotton (CO) is a plant that is usually processed to yarn, suitable for soft, air permeable textile production. Woven or knitted cotton textile features great moisture absorption, it is easy to wash; it does not acquire electric charge and does not change its features for up to 150°C. Thus it is perfectly suitable for clothing that is in direct contact with the skin. The recommended washing temperature of cotton textile is up to 60°C. Cotton is often mixed with different yarns, especially polyester and polyamide. These synthetic fibers ensure durability of the fabric. The cotton fiber is not elastic, thus it is often mixed with elastane.
Leather is durable, pliable and supple and has exceptionally good breathable properties. Furthermore, it has the ability to absorb moisture, which means a leather glove rarely feels moist, but is instead dry and comfortable.
To soften the leather, Chromium is added during the tanning process. This can cause allergic reactions in certain individuals. An upper limit is therefore specified for Chromium (VI) content in leather gloves. EN 420 specifies this limit as max. 3 mg/kg Chromium (VI).
Latex is elastic and highly durable material that is made of rubber tree sap. Rubber is elastic because of its macromolecules form spirals. The molecules elongate when stretched and coil into spirals when released. This specific feature enables latex to adapt naturally to different hand shapes. It is very elastic (elongations limit 750 %) and has long life span. Latex provides good protection against majority of alkaline products and detergents. Latex is very durable, tear resistant but it can be punctured with sharp objects. The major drawback of latex is its composition that contains proteins and chemical allergens.
Nitrile is synthetic acrylonitrile and butadiene polymer. Nitrile gloves were developed as a solution for the growing group of people who are developing allergies to latex gloves. Nitrile has more advantages, as it is made of synthetic rubber that is not an allergen. Another important feature of nitrile gloves is their durability. The nitrile glove is 3 times more puncture resistant than latex or a vinyl. After having improved production processes, the characteristics of nitrile gloves can be closely compared to their latex counterparts with their level of comfortability, elasticity (elongation limit 500%) and adaptability to hand shape. Nitrile gloves are widely used in machine repair shops and households when there is direct contact with lubricants, automotive petrol or other chemicals. Nitrile gloves are suitable to use at high temperatures. However they should be stored at low temperatures, in a dry and dark places. Nitrile is not as “sticky” as latex and the majority of people do not have problems when putting on and taking off the gloves. However nitrile is not as elastic as latex, therefore it is imperative to choose correct size gloves.
Neoprene is synthetic chloroprene rubber. Neoprene is non-flammable, more durable than natural rubber and it is oil and solvent resistant. Neoprene features both good chemical stability and elasticity within a wide temperature range. This material contains millions of pores (air gaps) in which air is warmed to human body temperature. Thus it has good heat protective features. The thicker is neoprene, the better thermal protection feature. This material is often used for glove cuffs and production of cold and moisture resistant gloves.
Vinyl is not as durable and elastic as latex or nitrile. It can be torn more easily; it also has an unpleasant odour and can be easily punctured. Vinyl is easier to obtain and is less expensive than latex and nitrile. Vinyl gloves do not fit snugly around the wrist, and they do not protect sufficiently against liquid penetration if the material is being stretched. Their low elasticity limits their comfortably and snug fitting on the hand. Vinyl does not contain natural rubber proteins or chemical accelerators and is therefore the most skin-friendly material available. Vinyl gloves are economic choice for the activity that does not require high touch precision. Thus, vinyl is a perfect choice for low risk activities.
PVC is polyvinyl chloride that is produced from oil and table salt. PVC flexibility-rigidity scale is very wide, thus it can be extruded, rolled or sprayed. This is a very durable material that is resistant to acids, alkalis and alcohol. It can also acquire any desired color. A polymer with good chemical resistance features, low flammability class and good UV resistance is widely used in working glove production.
Polyurethane (PU) is thermoplastic elastomer, and it is very elastic material with good anti-friction characteristics. Glove palm coated with solid polyurethane is thin, straight and flexible. Glove palm coated with polyurethane microfoam is soft, water and lubricant resistant. Polyurethane microfoam is air permeable and hands remain cool and dry. Polyurethane microfoam is rather flexible, it features great adhesion to the necessary surface both in wet and dry environments, and it also has good heat protective characteristics.
Water based polyurethane (PU) is polyurethane without DMF (dimethylformamide) solvent and it is commonly used coating of gloves. Water based PU features more rapid degradation in the environment if compared to the traditional PU with DMF solvent.
MicroSkin Shield® is an exceptionally elastic fabric with good anti-friction capability, the core of which consists of an exceptionally strong, abrasion resistant, water repellent polyester yarn. Polyurethane coating of microstructure pattern guarantees flexibility and a perfect grip with different surfaces; it also improves resistance to water and grease.
MacroSkin Pro® is a mechanically strong and very elastic material. It is also soft and thin, while its surface is quite smooth and, therefore, pleasant to touch. The fabric structure consists of the combination of nylon and polyester, which improves abrasion resistance, guarantees wrinkle resistance and fast moisture release. The above mentioned qualities make it possible to use the fabric for gloves production for a wide range of purposes.
KR-Grip® is a fabric that offers strong grip. The special structure surface formed of PVC enables to expel moisture when working in wet conditions and guarantees good fabric flexibility. The core of KR-Grip® is strong, soft and wrinkle resistant knitted fabric from polyester and cotton.
Typhoon® is an extremely strong (yield strength) fibre combination characterised by the highest level cut-resistance. Thanks to the applied technological solutions, the fibre combination consists of high molecular weight polyethylene, glass fibre and elastane/ spandex. The yarn consisting of such fibres is elastic, characterised by air permeability and resistance to moisture. Typhoon® is light, 10 to 15 times stronger than steel (per unit weight) and up to 40% stronger than aramid fibers.
Protex® membrane is polyurethane membrane that consists of numerous micropores that are smaller than a drop of water but bigger than a molecule of moisture vapor. The membrane structure prevents water drops from entering, however sweat can easily evaporate outside. The result of such process is a non-permeable, wind resistant and “breathing” membrane.
Cordura® is a long-lasting, very solid and abrasion resistant material. It is polyamide fabric with durable polyurethane coating that is treated with water resistant TEFLON® coating. Cordura® is a patented trademark of DuPont™ used for any durable material of this category irrespective of thickness. The Cordura® material is stain resistant, fairly easy to clean and has an exceptional strength-to-weight ratio.
Kevlar® is para-aramid fiber that is highly durable, flexible and relatively light-weight. Kevlar® tensile resistance is five times higher if compared to steel, and it is heat resistant even up to 370°C. This fiber is non-flammable and extremely cut resistant. The yarn that is made of this fiber is suitable both for woven and knitted fabric productions, technical textile, and widely used for production of bulletproof vests, military or firefighter clothing and cut resistant gloves. Usually the yarn of Kevlar® fiber is used for sewing of heat resistant gloves.
Elastane (EL) is synthetic elastomeric fiber with at least 85% of polyurethane. It is elastic, and even when stretched to triple the length it will immediately return to its original form as soon as tensile force is eliminated. The monofilament or multifilament yarns of this fiber are used as components for different fiber compositions. Yarns with elastane ensure high elasticity of polyester, nylon, cotton or other composition materials, and the clothing made with these fabrics ensure that they provide a comfortable and snug fit around the body.
Spandex® is the name of elastomeric fiber (elastane) that is standardized in the USA. According to ISO standard this fiber is called elastane.
Lycra® is the trademark of DuPont™ and it describes elastane (EL) without latex or natural rubber (e.g. elastane of other trademarks may contain some percent of latex).
Nylon is the trademark of polyamide fiber. This synthetic fiber is stretchy, durable and very resistant to wear and chemical reagents. It features better moisture absorption properties than other synthetic materials. Nylon is sensitive to sunlight and acquires a yellowish hue, thus it is often mixed with other fibers.
Acrylic fiber is synthetic fiber that contains at least 85% of acrylonitrile. It features flexibility, resistance to moths, petrol and chemical products, as well as direct sunlight. Acrylic fiber is usually used for knitted textile, e.g. fleece wear, sports and children garments.
PE – polyethylene is a thermoplastic, elastic and nontoxic polymer. It features high flame resistance and once ignited burns without soot. It is not soluble in any of the normal solvents at room temperature. It is chemical resistant to acids, alkalis, salt solutions and it is light-permeable. The main features of polyethylene are its density and melting index. When the density increases, the impact resistance and transparency decrease and there is a rise in melting temperature, density, strength, chemical resistance and impermeability to gas and odour. With the decrease of polyethylene melting index, its recyclability is impaired; however it features better resistance to impact, chemicals and wearing as well as has better sliding performance. In order to improve polyethylene characteristics, it has been modified by the following characteristics:
LDPELDPE – low density polyethylene (density 910 – 925 kg/m3) without extra polymerization. Such polyethylene is viscous and soft.
MDPEMDPE – medium density polyethylene (density 925 – 940 kg/m3) that combines the best characteristics of LDPE and HDPE.
HDPEHDPE – high density polyethylene (density 940 – 970 kg/m3). It is one of the most practical and cheapest materials and is very solid and durable but features less elasticity if compared to other polyethylenes.
EVA is ethylene vinyl acetate copolymer. If contains small amounts of vinyl acetate (up to 6%), EVA is attributed to high pressure polyethylene group materials. If it contains a higher percentage of vinyl acetate, the material elasticity is proportionally increased. The material is highly water and gas resistant.
Polyester (PES) is a widely used synthetic heterochain polymer that is produced from petrol. This fiber is friction resistant, almost wrinkle-free, durable, and does not absorb moisture which expedites the drying process. Polyester is often mixed with wool, cotton or linen in order to increase durability, softness and glossiness, and reduce creasing of woven or knitted fabrics. Polyester products do not require special maintenance. However it should be noted that clothing with high polyester content should be kept away from heat and direct sunlight.
Polypropylene (PP) is more durable and more temperature-resistant if compared to polyethylene. Polypropylene density is one of the lowest (approx. 0.9 g/cm3) of all plastics. The maximum polypropylene usage temperature is 120-140°C. All polypropylene products can be often sterilized by vapor or boiling as this does not influence their shape or mechanical features. PP surpasses PE by its heat resistance features; however it is less cold resistant and becomes brittle at -5°C. Thus PP manufacturers add special additives to increase its resistance to low temperatures.
Non-woven polypropylene is non-woven fabric made of very thin plastic (polypropylene) fibers. Non-woven polypropylene is very practical fabric because it is very durable, soft, light-weight and cheap. Moreover, this fabric is easily recyclable after usage. It is most often used for surgical mask and gown production.
Polyamide is synthetic fiber that is extremely resistant to friction (about 10 times greater than cotton and 20 times more than wool). The polyamide fiber is very stretchy and static charge resistant. It is very light-weight, almost impermeable to water, non-creasing and durable. Polyamide is not flame-resistant and moreover melts when burning. Thus polyamide is often mixed with natural fibers and it increases their durability and life time. Non rinsing products should be used for washing. The most popular type of polyamide is nylon.