Re: [CR] Making retro (snap-closure) gloves from newfangled ones (WAS: Re: Gl...

(Example: Events:Cirque du Cyclisme:2002)

From: <>
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2011 06:43:24 EST
Subject: Re: [CR] Making retro (snap-closure) gloves from newfangled ones (WAS: Re: Gl...

Jon, Thanks for going to all the trouble of writing out these instructions. I can lace and true wheels, rebuild freewheels, but I must say this project of converting gloves sounds daunting. I'll give it a try if I can't find ready made gloves with snaps, or perhaps I'll let my wife do it which will be another way to make her feel involved in my bicycle madness! The earliest photos I've seen of riders with modern glove closures is a poster of Eddy Merckx that looks like it's from the late 70's. But I can't be sure... _ rading-card.jpg_ ( on of gloves Meanwhile, I like the selection of gloves in your store.

Josh Berger Bronx, NY USA

In a message dated 1/15/2011 12:53:51 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, writes:


Velcro (TM) was already in widespread use on cycling gloves when I re-entered cycling and became "serious" about it in 1971, so Velcro-equipped gloves like the ones Emanuel Lowi posted are most definitely on-topic and within the CR timeline:

If you wish to "antique" (retrofit to snap closures) some gloves that came with hook-and-loop closures, just go to your local fabric store. (Take both the velcro-closing gloves you wish to alter and the snap-closing gloves that are your model with you to each store to illustrate your project and to match the thread and snaps.

Buy the following:

1. A seam ripper.

2. Thread to match the stitching on your new gloves. (Usually one tone darker than the fabric will "disappear" better if you want the seams to be less prominent, but many gloves are made with contrasting thread colors. Just match what is there...)

3. Small stainless steel or brass snaps. (Match the snaps you like the most that are on the gloves you have already. Make sure that the sharp tangs/teeth on the snaps are long enough to fully engage through the thicker-than-average fabric on your gloves.)

You may need to find a good shoe repair shop, hardware store, leather shop, marine equipment store (chandlery), climbing/mountaineering store, or other supplier of snaps and related hardware if the local fabric store's selection is unacceptable.

You will need the proper snap-setting tool(s) that match precisely the snaps you want to install on your gloves - just like matching crank pullers and cranksets.

4. Sewing machine (buy, borrow, rent, or ask a friend to use his/hers or do the stitching for you). You may have to stitch the leather straps on your gloves back together once the seams holding on the hook-and-loop closure have been removed.

[VINTAGE CR TIMELINE NOTE: A sewing awl is NOT period-correct for this project. Using a sewing machine is more historically accurate since that is how gloves were manufactured in the first place, even in the 1920s. Much of my sewing is done on my grandmother's 1930s Singer 221 portable sewing machine with (of course) all-steel gearing. I also use a more "modern" 1960s Necchi on occasion, as well as an off-topic 1980s or 1990s Brother with all kinds of newfangled ("carbon fiber") electronic stitches, but I do not recommend such foolishness for this on-topic conversion. :-) ]

5. Sewing machine needles appropriate for thin leather or thick fabric. (Show the clerks your gloves and they will know what to recommend.)


1. Practice sewing with your machine on scraps of leather or fabric just like or very close to the thickness and consistency of your gloves. Use the same needle(s) and thread as you will use on your gloves. (Practice - and hist the thread tension and stitch length carefully - makes perfect.)

2. Using the seam ripper on the back side of the seam (the side that will not be seen once the gloves are on your hands), remove the stitching that holds the hook-and-loop (Velcro) on the (probably leather) fabric. Do not remove any more stitching than necessary to remove the Velcro.

3. If the leather straps that attached to the Velcro are laminated and/or have come apart from the gloves, stitch the pieces back together, carefully matching the stitch length by adjusting your machine. (Make sure that you use the appropriate needle for the fabric of your project gloves. practice on scraps first to match the stitch length,m get the bobbin tension right, etc.)

You may want to add a small piece of reinforcing fabric between the leather or fabric layers if they are very, very thin or seem weak.

4. Once the straps are fully re-stitched (minus all the hook and loop fasteners, of course), mark your now Velcro-ess gloves where the snaps will go, ("Measure twice and cut once" here- double check that the snaps will be comfortable once installed, including any sharp edges that may result.) Use the snap types and gender orientations (they come male and female) on your snap-closing gloves as your guide, both in selecting the snaps at the time of purchase and in placing/setting the new snaps on your formerly-Velcro'ed gloves.

5. Using the proper tools for the snaps you selected, install the mating male and female snaps according to the directions.

6. Test the fit and function of the "retro" gloves you just created.

7. Go for a ride.

Jon Spangler with three sewing machines (all of them power tools!) in Alameda, CA USA

......Josh Berger wrote:

Message: 8 Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2011 11:26:36 EST From: _Cino1947@aol.com_ ( Subject: Re: [CR] Glove love (Josh Berger) To: _classicrendezvous@bikelist.org_ ( Cc: _lowiemanuel@yahoo.ca_ ( Message-ID: <_79476.841781.3a61d33c@aol.com_ ( > Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"

These are cool vintage gloves, alright, but I'm always looking for gloves like these with snaps, not hook and loop fasteners (these are Velcro). I find that undoing hook and loop fasteners makes an irritating sound.; also they may not be authenticaly OT. I have a pair of Schwinn and a pair of French Gant gloves that fit the bill. Anybody know where to get gloves with snaps? If this is my biggest complaint, life must be good. Josh Berger Bronx, NY USA _cino1947@aol.com_ (_mailto:cino1947@aol.com_ ( )