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August 10, 2017

Think about the different seamless safety gloves you’ve worn in your work lifetime. Which ones were your favorite? What did they feel like? How well did they hold up on the job?

Whether you realize it or not, your answers to those questions probably have a lot to do with the materials the gloves are knit together with. When it comes to seamless gloves, you may be surprised to learn that there are several knit combinations available to choose from.

So, how do you know what materials will provide the best cut resistance? Abrasion resistance? Comfort? Dexterity? So many questions – we have the answers to help.

Let’s navigate the world of knit materials as it pertains to HexArmor’s coated seamless lineup – the Helix Series.

Materials Process 101

All gloves start off as fibers, whether natural or synthetic. These fibers are then either combed, melted, or engineered into yarns. From there, depending on what materials the manufacturer wants the glove to be made of, various yarns are then spun together onto a spool using a yarn spinning machine. Once the spools are created with the different yarn materials – the yarns are connected to a machine that will twist and knit the gloves.

Common yarns include:

  • Polyester
  • Nylon
  • Cotton
  • Wool
  • Elastane

Common engineered yarns:

  • Kevlar®
  • Aramid
  • Dyneema®
  • HPPE
  • Fiberglass
  • Stainless steel

How the yarns are knit together is important because it controls:

  • Performance
  • Hand feel and comfort
  • Flex
  • Cost
  • Thickness
  • Cut resistance

What are glove gauges?

You may sometimes hear knit gloves referred to as a “13-gauge” or “18-gauge” glove. The term gauge simply refers to the size and type of needles used in a seamless knitting machine to produce a glove. Traditionally speaking, and depending on the yarn, the higher the gauge a glove is, the thinner, more dexterous, and comfortable the glove can be. The lower the gauge of a glove, the bulkier and less dexterous it can be.  

Now that we have a basic understanding of materials, how they go from fibers to yarns and how they are knit together, let’s take a look at the materials used in HexArmor’s Helix Series to give you a better idea of how materials are combined and how they benefit workers.

Nylon/Elastane: The silky thermoplastic polymers of nylon are wound together with elastane, a synthetic fiber known for its exceptional elasticity. Together, these fibers give workers wearing gloves with this combination flexibility and movement while providing a high level of abrasion resistance. 

Dyneema® Diamond: Thinner than conventional fibers, Dyneema Diamond has similar performance to gloves with fiberglass, but with a lighter, cooler and more flexible feel. This highly abrasion-resistant knit doesn’t trap heat like other cut-resistant materials – instead, it radiates heat away from workers’ hands so that they stay comfortable and dry all day.

10-Gauge HPPE/Steel: Strong, high-performance polyethylene (HPPE) fibers are combined with specialty steel fibers that give gloves a certain level of toughness not found with other combinations. These high-cut materials intertwined together give gloves a high-comfort, high-performance fit. 

13-Gauge HPPE/Fiberglass: Fiberglass materials break down the threat of a cutting edge, and when combined with the protective cover of HPPE – a strong, composite polyethylene fiber – this knit creates a tough, mid-cut glove shell. 

13-Gauge HPPE/Fiberglass/Steel: High-performance polyethylene fibers (HPPE) and glass fiber blend combined with steel fibers provides a high-cut knit material with the toughness of steel, without compromising dexterity.

13-Gauge Aramid/Steel: Along with being one of the most thermally-stable materials, Aramid is an incredibly strong synthetic fiber with high abrasion resistance. When combined with steel, gloves with these fibers are high cut resistant, yet still have a flexible feel.  

13-Gauge Aramid/Wool: The strong, synthetic highly-abrasion resistant properties of Aramid are knit together with wool, a natural fiber that protects against both hot and cold temperatures, giving gloves flame protection with a soft, dexterous feel. 

18-Gauge Aramid/Steel: Similar to the 13G Aramid/Steel material, the 18-gauge version of this fiber combination gives gloves mid-level cut resistance with an even more flexible, second-skin type of feel than that 13-gauge version. 

By engineering smarter knit combinations, HexArmor has been able to increase protective properties while maintaining lightweight, breathable and form fitting knit gloves. We’re increasing selection and comfort for workers around the globe.

Have questions about which glove materials may be best for your application? Want to test them out yourself? Reach out to one of our Safety Solutions Specialists at 1-616-459-4144 or