We have enjoyed another busy week at South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre. One of the highlights was a visit by two Bristol-based fashion entrepreneurs. They currently produce a wrist warmer made of performance fleece but wanted to move into the production of fabric gloves.
They had been recommended to visit by the Museum of Costume at Bath, which underlines the significance of the gloving collection stored and cared for at CHAC.
We toured them around the premises and showed them the many tools used to make gloves in Yeovil. This also helped to provide the background for what was once Yeovil’s main industry up until the mid 1960s.
They were very interested in the many designs of glove we had available. This was illustrated by the gloves themselves, with a particular interest in the fingerless variety. One notable example, were the fingerless gloves used by Ann Daniels who was one of a five women team to reach both North and South poles, and was also living in Yeovil at this time.
They were also keen to see the glove sketches and the gloving donkeys, which ignited some ideas in their heads. The gloving donkeys, which were very well behaved, were used to hold the glove as you stitched it. The clamp would hold it in place and the serrated edges would allow you to pass through your needle and keep even stitches going along.
The designers were also keen to learn the terms for the parts that go into a glove – hence the reason for our title – a quirk – being a small diamond-shaped piece of leather which goes at the base of each finger.