What are Neoprene Gloves?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 25 December 2019
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Neoprene gloves are a type of thick, waterproof rubber gloves. Neoprene is a trademark name for polychloroprene, which has been registered by DuPont. This product is a family of synthetic rubber that has a wide number of consumer and industrial applications, ranging from wet suits and scuba gloves to fan belts and laptop sleeves.

The chemical properties of neoprene make it very popular for situations where a item requires the ability to add a layer of insulation type material while providing a snug fit. Neoprene gloves are often used in combat, fire prevention and related situations. One of the benefits of neoprene gloves is the cost. These types of gloves have all the benefit of more expensive, breathable fabrics at a much lower price point. If the situation requires neoprene gloves to be insulated against extreme cold or underwater situations, the air spaces within the gloves are filled with nitrogen.

Neoprene was first developed by chemists at DuPont in 1930. The work was inspired by a lecture given by Fr. Julius Nieuwland at the University of Notre Dame. He developed a jelly with similar properties to rubber when exposed to sulfur dichloride. DuPont purchased the patent rights to this product and worked together with Nieuwland to develop this further.


Neoprene gloves are used in scuba diving and other activities that require the ability to utilize finger dexterity while protecting the hands from cold water. They are also used as safety gloves in a wide range of labs and chemical processing plants due to their protective properties. These gloves are designed to protect the hands from the corrosive properties while allowing the dexterity required for detailed work.

All these jobs require the full use of your hands while working in hazardous environments. Due to the wide use of these gloves, they are available in a wide range of colors, textures and sizes. They are typically available from safety supply stores, hardware stores and laboratory equipment supply stores.

When purchasing neoprene gloves, it is important to ensure that they fit correctly. These types of gloves come in numbered sizes. To find your glove size, take a plastic tape measure and place it around the knuckles of your hand. If you are right handed, measure the right hand. If you are left handed, measure your left hand.

Try different styles and designs to find a glove that fits you properly. An incorrectly fitted neoprene glove can rub the skin, causing irritation. If the same glove is worn for an extended period of time, the skin will break and a rash may develop.


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Post 3

Very good article. My dad uses neoprene work gloves all the time because he works in a lab where he's often exposed to cold materials. Of course, most of the time he uses disposable neoprene gloves since he touches so many different chemicals to avoid cross contamination and that kind of thing.

I also use insulated neoprene gloves when I bike. I do extreme biking (you know, trail biking, biking through rivers, etc), and so I always keep a pair of fingerless neoprene gloves around so I can be sure to have a good grip whatever I go through.

It is really, really important to get the size right though -- I had a friend who got too large neoprene gloves, and she got blisters like you wouldn't believe!

Post 2

Hi -- I was wondering if anybody could give me advice on how to buy a pair of waterproof neoprene fishing gloves.

My father in law has asked for a pair for his birthday, and I seriously have no idea what to look for in neoprene gloves.

I mean, there's like ten thousand kinds. You've got insulated neoprene gloves and fingerless neoprene gloves and everything else in between.

Can I just go for any old neoprene gloves that say that they're for fishing, or is there some kind of hierarchy with these things?

Help me out guys, I'm totally lost here.

Post 1

I was wondering, is it possible to be allergic to neoprene gloves? I bought a pair of neoprene rubber gloves for scuba diving a few months ago, and every time I've used them I've developed a really horrible rash afterwards.

I'm pretty sure that I've got the right size and everything, and I don't have any allergies to rubber or anything like that (that I know of), so I really don't know what could be causing this.

Do you think that maybe I just leave the gloves on too long? I usually dive for a few hours at a time, and sometimes I don't take the gloves off in between dives. Could that be the culprit?

If anybody has any information about this I would be really grateful...


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