Most boxing glove brands have their own manufacturing processes that slightly vary from one another.
That is basically why boxing gloves come in different shapes and styles.
In this article, we’ll talk about how are boxing gloves made before they end up at the sports equipment shops.
The Skin of a Boxing Glove
Let’s start with a boxing glove’s skin. The materials used for this would define the glove’s quality.
Typically, boxing gloves are cut from synthetic leather or thin cowhide. However, synthetic leather is more commonly used because it’s cheaper, but the quality won’t really match that of areal leather.
Authentic leather gloves naturally have better quality and durability.
One of the best materials is top grained tanned leather, usually goatskin or cowhide, due to its flexibility and stability.
Another lesser-quality material is vinyl—something not worthy of a recommendation.
Most sanctioning bodies, however, really require leather gloves, especially in amateur and professional fights.
Also Read: Best Boxing Gloves For Beginners
What are boxing gloves filled with
In the ancient times, cotton batting was used as padding. In fact, some factories still make use of this to pad a portion of their models.
There are also some who use horsehair. Horsehair was widely used before, and some top brands still use it, but it’s no longer a fad in the modern boxing arena.
Today, most boxing gloves are already stuffed using a combination of layered foams or Injection Moulded Foam.
These foam layers enable various densities in various areas of the glove.
The brands on the market have their unique padding combination, holding their gloves’ shape partly using leather and partly using the right layering method.
IMF is molded to naturally hold the shape of the boxing glove.
Boxing glove sewing pattern
All boxing gloves are basically processed by hand. The cutting, assembling, stitching, stuffing, and polishing are all done manually.
The factory process starts by forming the pattern of each piece. Manufacturers use various patterns, but the basics are just the same.
First, we have the palm that’s cut with slit down the middle which eventually forms the glove’s closure section.
Next is the pattern for the knuckle area that’s always created from a piece of leather to get rid of seams.
And then we have the thumb, made from 2 halves, and the cuff, cut as a wide strip (a thin strip folded over and sewn onto the cuff’s edge and the closure section to finish the boxing glove).
Its knuckle piece is cut larger than the finished size to give enough space for stuffing.
The leather used to form patterns come in large pieces and are laid out on huge cutting tables.
The sewing patterns are then placed and arranged on the large leather piece to make the most out of it.
Then, they’re traced on the leather and then cut using large scissors.
The same patterns are traced onto its lining materials, and then the pieces are cut again.
These pieces are set to line the palm, the cuff, the thumb, and the knuckle part.
Read this: Review of the best boxing gloves for women
How to sew boxing gloves
The stitching part is crucial as it forms the shape of the glove before the padding is stuffed. Here’s the general sewing process:
- The boxing glove’s leather shell is sewn together inside out.
- An industrial sewing machine is often used while the smaller pieces and finishing touches are done by hand.
- Some of the highest quality gloves are 100% handmade and double-stitched.
- The oversized piece for the knuckle is stitched to the palm cut.
- These two are tailored over a buck to ensure that the shape is right and the seam is assembled in a way that the knuckle part slightly balloons.
- Mustering the seam also enables the glove to form its clenched fist shape.
- Next, the liner pieces are sewn onto the assembled area.
- The palm is then stuffed with padding. Its liner is left open right at the bottom of the boxing glove where the cuff goes.
- On some glove models, the thumb piece’s back halve is cut as a part of the knuckle piece.
- Then, the inner half is stitched onto the palm and knuckle pieces.
- There are also some models wherein the thumb is sewn together separately—the lining is attached, and the padding is stuffed.
- The gathered thumb piece is then sewn onto the boxing glove.
- The last piece to be sewn onto the glove is its cuff.
- It’s stitched together with its lining and then stuffed.
- The ends are not sewn together since the piece will form as a part of the glove’s closure section.
- The assembly is sewn onto the open end of the glove piece, finally sealing the open pockets and closing off the glove’s padding.
- If the glove is closed using laces, a template is used and laid over the opening formed on the underside of the glove through the palm’s slit and the cuff’s open ends.
- Lace holes are then punched using an awl.
- Every hole is fortified with further stitching. The whole lace area is polished with multiple rows of stitching.
- If hook and loop materials are to be used in closing the glove, the loop side is stitched on to the cuff’s outside face.
- The hook site, on the other hand, is sewn to the opposite edge of the cuff.
- One thin strip of leather is folded over the cuff’s open edge, and the lace section is sewn in place to finish the model.
- The manufacturer’s label or any necessary sanctioning body labels are stitched on the back of the cuff.
- The glove is ready for packaging and shipping.
How the Gloves are Tested
There are authorized organizations that will further test the safety and the appropriateness of the boxing gloves distributed.
The test usually involves fitting the boxing glove onto a maple block in the average shape of a human fist.
Then, the block is attached to a hydraulic ram which is fired at certain rates of acceleration.
The gloved block is tested at a test dummy (a biometric human form) which has sensors that measure impact.
These impact readings are ranged according to their severity index. The gloves must belong to a safer range for it to be approved.
Boxing gloves are the most essential boxing equipment you need for the sport. Understanding what are they made of can help you get the right one for you.
As mentioned above, boxing glove brands hold their own processes that may slightly vary.
Also, the sanctioning bodies all over the world may have their unique rules and regulations in terms of how are boxing gloves made and what materials should be used in the manufacturing process.
The commercial boxing gloves produced also go through a testing process to ensure safety among boxing matches.
The kinds of gloves we have today are not totally different from the ones used decades ago.
Some parts are just tweaked, improved, and optimized, and so we can expect the future ones to also come better.