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Gloves Through History

Adapted from: Fashion Times

Gloves played a substantial role in the conduct of human affairs and social interactions beyond keeping one’s hands warm and protected since ancient societies. Early Egyptian Pyramids contained hand covers without fingers. The tomb of Tutankhamen had the remains of decorated gloves.

Falconry, from De Arte Venandi cum Avibus, (On The Art of Hunting with Birds) , 1240 AC

Leather gloves were popular in the 1100s. Sturdy leather gloves were worn by laborers, falconers, and knights, whereas fashion gloves were crafted of fine leathers such as doeskin and lamb. Scented gloves were developed in the 1500s. Chicken skin gloves were worn at night to keep hands soft and white. Fabric gloves crafted from silk, satin, velvet, cotton, and linen were stylish in the 1500s.

 

Gloves had a variety of symbolic uses. The delivery of a glove to a monarch at an inauguration ceremony symbolized recognition of the new authority. Nobles received a glove when knighted.  Bishop status was granted by the delivery of a glove as well.  On the same token, Knights conveyed defiance or launched a challenge by casting down their war-gloves (gauntlet).

Gloves were used as messages of good will between sovereigns and dignitaries. They were sent to wish a person well, to congratulate them, or to console them. Gloves were also used for binding a bargain or as a bribe.

Gloves were a token of love.  They served a knight as an everlasting reminder of his love, inducing him to courage, loyalty and constancy while away. It also served as a charm against evil during conflict.

Today, gloves are practical articles that warm and protect our hands. People continue the tradition of wearing gloves at funerals, weddings, state functions, formal events, and the opera,  as gloves maintain their symbolic value and fashion statements.

No More Powdered Gloves

Adapted from Medscape

For several years, there has been a push to ban using powder in medical gloves. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently unveiled a proposal to ban powdered surgeons’ gloves and the absorbable powder lubricating them, as well as powdered gloves for patient examinations. Both synthetic gloves and those manufactured from natural rubber latex are covered.

Professional groups such as the American College of Surgeons, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, and the American Nurses Association had already taken stands against powdered gloves. Government agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention joined the chorus, as did the healthcare systems of Germany and the United Kingdom, as well as several healthcare organizations, such as Cleveland Clinic and Johns Hopkins, have either restricted or forbidden the use of these gloves.

Surgical gloves were first used in 1889, and soon, all sorts of lubricants were used to make them easier to don. Several studies has indicated respiratory complications.

 

 

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