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What Should I Consider when Buying Wool Gloves?

Wool is shorn from sheep.
Woman in wool hat and gloves.
Merino sheep provide the finest, softest grade of wool.
The style of the gloves should be the first consideration before purchasing.
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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 28 August 2014
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There are some things to keep in mind when buying wool gloves which will make the shopping process easier. Wool gloves are great for keeping the hands warm and snug in cold weather, and they are a definite must for people who live in snowy climates. They can also make great gifts, especially for someone who is relocating to an area which is known for being extremely cold.

The first thing to think about is the style of glove. Basic gloves will cover the hand and run partway up the wrist. Gloves of different lengths may run up as far as the elbows, providing additional warmth and protection. Fingerless wool gloves are also an option, for people who want more manual dexterity while wearing wool gloves. It is also possible to find lace wool gloves, which are designed to be primarily decorative, with lacy or cut-out designs in a fine wool which allow the skin of the hand to show.

Wool type is also something to consider when buying wool gloves. Merino wool is the softest, finest grade of sheep's wool available, and it tends to be common for wool gloves. Coarser grades of wool tend to provide less insulation, and they can be chunky and scratchy. Wool from other animals, such as cashmere, mohair, and angora, is also an option. Cashmere is soft, very fine, and highly insulating, in addition to being very durable, while angora and mohair are famous for being very fuzzy to the touch.

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Glove liners are also a consideration. Some wool gloves are lined with silk and other materials to make them more comfortable to wear, and others are not. Wool gloves can often be worn without liners just fine, but a liner adds a layer of insulation and comfort. If liners are going to be worn under gloves, it is important to purchase a pair which is big enough to accommodate the hand and the glove liner, and to find a glove liner which fits snugly.

On the more aesthetic end of things, most people like to think about color and pattern. Black wool gloves are handy because they accessorize with a range of outfits, but other colors are also available. It is also possible to find gloves which have been knitted in various patterns, including ribbed wool gloves and cabled wool gloves, in which the pattern includes a raised design.

Ideally, wool gloves should be tried on for fit before purchase to ensure that they are a good purchase. Good gloves should allow some freedom of movement, with the hand fitting snugly but not tightly. If the gloves are too loose, they will not provide enough insulation. At the same time, the gloves can be tested with some gentle tugging to confirm that they are soundly constructed and they will not start to unravel or fall apart with use. If gloves are being purchased for someone else, his or her approximate hand size should be noted to get a glove with a reasonably close fit.

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