It's a Matter of Style, Fit and Function


It's a Matter of Style, Fit and Function

Gardening gloves are an essential tool for any gardener. Our friends at Omni Products are gurus when it comes to gardening gloves. Below they share some top tips on what to look for when purchasing gloves for the garden and how to look after them.

Bare hands in warm, moist soil may be one of gardening's primal pleasures, but the result is often scraped, chapped, and blistered skin. The more you garden, the more you need gloves. And by making various tasks even slightly easier or more comfortable, you'll be able to spend more time gardening.

Gloves are a perennially undervalued gardening tool. What other tool offers such big returns of improved safety and comfort for such a small investment? Even if you think of gloves as an optional luxury for everyday tasks, consider using specialised ones for chores such as heavy weeding, pruning roses and brambles, trimming hedges, or operating power equipment.


Which Glove Is Right for You?

The type of gloves you buy depends on how you garden. For example, gloves used for general gardening chores -- raking, weeding, and digging -- differ from specialised gloves tailored for pruning thorny brambles, refilling a lawnmower with gasoline, or using a chainsaw. Some gloves, such as those made of leather, are perfectly suitable for most gardening tasks, but even durable leather gloves are inadequate when you work with water or chemicals.

The Perfect Fit Glove sizes aren't consistent among manufacturers, styles, and models. Many so-called unisex gloves are cut for men's hands, which are usually broader and thicker than women's. Oversized gloves may bunch or slip off, tight gloves can cause muscle aches and cramps, and ill-fitting gloves often cause blistering and chafing. 

To get the best fit, try the gloves on both hands and make a tight fist. You shouldn't feel any pinching or tightness. Try picking up small objects such as seeds or thin roots to determine the gloves' flexibility and comfort. If possible, try simulating the motions used with garden tools (rakes, hoes, or spades) to feel the glove at work. Testing the gloves with a tool may help you identify the best glove for you.

In our Glove Selection Guide below we list a selection of the most commonly available gardening gloves. We've organised them according to intended use, though these categories are only guides and can vary to suit your needs. Be sure to check the washing instructions for the gloves you buy. If your gloves are able to be washed, keep the temperature below 30ºC, use a mild detergent if necessary and air dry where possible. Do not leave in the direct sun.

Red Back Gardening Gloves

Puncture-Resistant (General Gardening)

The new generation of glove has made life in the garden so much easier. While some still prefer leather gloves, the modern gardener (both male and female) is changing to the new nitrile or latex gloves with a knit liner and open back. Each of these gloves makes it easier for you to hold onto a tool, reducing your fatigue and improving safety. This seamless style open-knit cotton glove is dipped in crinkled rubber or smooth nitrile, while the back is undipped for breathability. Because it's moulded to fit a hand at rest, dexterity is excellent. They feel so good you won't want to take them off. Ask to see these styles – the OMNI ‘Red Backs’, ‘Omni Green Glove’, ‘Gardening & Pruning’ and ‘HandsOn’.

OMNI Rose Lovers Gloves

Puncture-Resistant (Rose Gardening)

Heavy leather was the traditional choice here, but nitrile is surprisingly effective and offers more protection. The textured nitrile-dipped cotton glove (OMNI Rose Lovers Glove) stops rose and bramble thorns, but the short cuff leaves forearm unprotected. So use the OMNI Long Rose Lovers Glove with the extra protection up to the elbow.

General Purpose Cotton

General-Purpose: Cotton

Cotton and Cotton-Polyester provide minimal to average protection at low cost. Washable cotton-polyester gloves handle many light chores. These often include dotted palms that enhance grip, or reinforced fingers for weeding.

General Purpose Leather

General-Purpose: Leather

Leather provides good protection. It comes in both grain (smooth) and split (suede like). Grain leather is more comfortable and generally has more durability.

Waterproof PVC Gloves

Waterproof PVC Gloves

Used when you do not want your hands to get wet while in the garden pond or spraying. A bulky fit glove means you may need to use a poly cotton glove as a liner to ensure a comfortable fit. Avoid contact of PVC with hydrocarbons (gasoline, kerosene) and organic solvents (acetone) as this will destroy the gloves.

Chemical Resistant Gloves

Chemical-Resistant Gloves

If you work with oils, acids, herbicides, pesticides, or other caustic or petroleum-based chemicals, use either neoprene or nitrile-coated gloves. Neoprene is oil-resistant. Nitrile resists a broader range of oils and solvents including kerosene, naphtha, and turpentine; it also resists cuts and abrasions and offers some puncture protection. Use OMNI Rose Lovers or Solvent gloves for these jobs, but watch that you do not contaminate any knitted cuffs.