Work Gloves: A Guide To Selecting The Correct Coating & Fabric

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This guide is going to help you select the right type of coated or fabric gloves for the task you need to undertake. Sometimes it can be difficult to know which type of coated glove to use, as there are several different coatings on the market such as Nitrile, Polyurethane (PU), Latex and more.

Coated or fabric gloves are best used when attempting projects which demand a higher degree of precision, as they are more flexible and stretch better than leather, canvas or mesh gloves. Whilst they don’t afford the same heavy duty protection as the former, coated or fabric gloves can protect worker’s hands against harmful substances and can be used in sterile environments, such as in hospitals, construction sites or laboratories.

Types of coatings

Nitrile: A synthetic polymer. It effectively repels against hydrocarbon, oils and grease. Nitrile is flexible and can withstand abrasion and puncturing. Also it is resistant to chemicals, especially non-ketonic solvents.

Examples of use: Mechanics, Construction workers, General Labouring and anywhere where grease and oily conditions are encountered and a good grip is required.


Polyurethane (PU): A elastomer that is resistant to wear, tear, abrasion, harsh oils and chemicals.Stays supple in cold and hot environments. It is micro porous and provides the hand with good ventilation. Very elastic and adapts to all of the hand’s movements providing superior feel through the glove.

Examples of use: Precision assembly work, Packaging, Electrical component work, Works where feel and sensitivity are paramount.

: Natural rubber that is supple, elastic, robust, highly resistant to mechanical impacts and hazards. Waterproof and detergent-safe.

Examples of use: Construction, bricklaying and heavy duty works.

Types of fabric/material

Cotton: Supple and soft, cotton is non irritating and provides protection against minor vibration, bumps and iron filings. Cotton absorbs perspiration very well which makes for all day comfort.

Nylon: A lightweight elastic polyamide which is largely lint free. Nylon dries very quickly and is resistant to abrasion.

Kevlar: Lightweight, supple and very comfortable. Kevlar is also washable. It provides excellent protection from cuts.


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