Monday, 21 October 2013

Wanted: left-handed gardener...

... who uses Gold Leaf "Winter Touch" gloves, and who wears out only their right-hand gloves the same way that I wear out only the left-hand gloves.

Exhibit A, m'lud:

My current Gold Leaf glove pile, five pairs of gloves: five ruined left-hands, four perfect right-hands.

Now, in case you're thinking "what about that one damaged right-hand glove, then, eh?" I'm still confused about it:  I seriously think this came from a faulty batch, as the rights never normally show any damage at all. I shall be sending it back to Gold Leaf, to see what they say, as these gloves are not cheap, around £25 a pair, but they are brilliant winter gloves: toasty warm, with the Thermalite lining, and they really, truly are waterproof.

Some days I take them off after work, and they have to come home in my yellow bucket, as they are dripping water and are too wet to be put back in my tool bag, and yet my hands are dry, warm and comfy. These are the only waterproof gloves I have found - other than Sealskinz, of course, which are so waterproof that you can plunge a gloved hand into a bucket of water and not feel a thing. Which is pretty amazing for a glove that is more or less knitted! However, because they are knitted, they are really not up to the job of gardening.  So in winter, I live in my Gold Leaf gloves.

But as you can see, I am accumulating a pile of wasted "rights".

A couple of years ago, I wrote to Gold Leaf about this, and they very kindly sold me a "pair" of left-hand gloves, ie two lefts, which I then matched up with two of my spare rights, giving me two pairs for the price of one, in effect.

How's that for obliging? I think I'm going to have to write to them again - unless I can find a left-handed gardener who has a similar pile of undamaged lefts. We could then negotiate a swap of half our piles, so that we both end up with some usable pairs again.

So if you are left-handed, and recognise my plight, do get in touch!

Oh, and this is not just a Gold Leaf problem (not wishing to alienate a supplier who, I hope, might once again hand over some left-hand gloves!!),  far from it: I always wear out the lefts first. Here is my current pile of spare rights:

Working clockwise, that's three pairs of Briers very nice leather Gentlemen's Gloves which come up very small, hence me buying the Gents' ones, and not the Ladies' ones: oh, also the Ladies' ones were bright pink (yuk) and cost £9.99 whereas these cost £4.99. Blatant sexism, huh.  I wrote to Briers, returning two of the ruined lefts in the hope of getting replacements,  and they replied that they were no longer making these gloves, which I thought was a shame, as they are very good lightweight summer gloves. However, they kindly sent me two pairs of the next ones in the range, "Professional", to try.

They are retailing for £15.98 which I think is a bit steep for summer-weight leather gloves: they are slightly thicker than the Gentlemen's ones, which is good (although I have already gone through the left of the first pair)  they have some rather  unnecessary features about which I will be writing back to Briers, and they are totally and utterly not waterproof. The slightest hint of wet foliage and they, like most thin leather gloves, are slimy at the fingers, and your hands are getting wet and cold on the inside. The inside of the glove, that is, not the inside of your hand, ha ha.

Oddly enough, reading the website to which I linked, they are described as "synthetic leather" which sounds like a contradiction in terms, quite apart from the fact that if they are not leather, why aren't they waterproof?

Anyway, so far Briers seem to be a good supplier, I'll let you know what they say when I return the Professional lefts, with my comments.

Next are the five current Gold Leaf "Winter Touch" ones, my favourites. Their only drawback in autumn/spring is that the Thermalite makes them very, very warm: and I find that when my hands get too hot, I can't easily pull them on and off. So I'm still looking for a waterproof but cool glove, something with more thorn protection than those thin rubbery "Master Gardener" ones, which are not bad, but aren't warm enough for autumn, when the cotton backs soak up the water and they get to feeling too cold for comfort.

The red ones, bottom row, are very nearly very good for summer/autumn working, as they are fairly resistant to wet foliage, and I can often get through a four-hour morning in one or two pairs of them. Sadly, I can't remember where they came from - I could have sworn it was one of the sheds, but I can't find any more of them, and they have no maker's name on them. Otherwise I would be out there buying more of them, for those days when it's a bit wet, but far too warm to wear the Winter Touch gloves.

Next is the little yellow Town and Country leather glove, which has been a good summer glove: leather, but more resistant than most to the problem of leather gloves failing in the wet. The leather is quite a bit thicker than many of the others I have tried, which might be the reason.

Then we have the yellow-and-red Town and Country ones, which I am still buying, despite the same problem in wet weather.  I have two pairs ready for use, plus a pile of these spare rights, and I'm considering turning some of the spares inside out to become lefts.

Finally, an annoyingly brilliant glove, pink and white, looks like leather, but was surprisingly water resistant, able to hold off water ingress for quite some time,  and didn't dry out into concrete-hard glove sculptures after a soaking. They were made by B&Q, I bought about six pairs of them two years ago, and when I got to the last pair (these ones) I couldn't find them for sale again. Close inspection showed a label saying "made of pvc" which probably explains their water-resistant qualities...  I have just bought some new pink gloves from B&Q, which look rather similar, but are labelled "supple leather palm". Not pvc. So they may not turn out to be any good.

I'll let you know.



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  1. I'm right-handed, and I always wear out the right glove first - I wonder what we are doing differently? I prefer gauntlets, though; like you I spend a lot of time wrestling with brambles! Thorn-proof quality is more important than waterproof to me.

  2. Hi Alyson *waves* *glances at hand - aargh, holes in gloves! Waves other hand*

    Technically, I'm not right-handed, I do most things with both hands, but I tend to hold the secateurs right-handed, and I hold my daisy-grubber right-handed. I have assumed that I wear out my lefties because I have a tool in the right hand, so I'm using the left for holding things, pulling the weeds, scrabbling in the ground and so on.

    It would be interesting to film the two of us doing the same jobs, to see the difference!

    I've even tried keeping my fingernails really short, especially on the longest finger, which is generally the one that goes first, in case I'm actually wearing out from within, but that does not seem to be the case!

    Gauntlets - I don't get on with them as I hate things dropping "up" my wrists into my gloves, and with gauntlets I find I spend the whole day pulling them off, tipping out the bits, and pulling them on again.

    Ah, the old thornproof V waterproof issue! Agreed, I really need some degree of thorn protection, which I why I rarely use the lightweight waterproof rubber-covered gloves (I think "master gardener" is the brand) and which is why Gold Leaf Winter Touch are so good - waterproof, thorn-proof (well, thorn-resistant at any rate) and thermal lined.

    But they're too hot for summer use...

    Good luck with those brambles, they do get everywhere, don't they!


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