Thursday, February 25, 2021

Leather Glove Finger Stretching

Often, the thumb on my leather motorcycle gloves seems a bit too short. I think this is mostly because how the motorcycle grip puts a twisting force on the glove, pulling the glove onto the thumb of your hand.

I had heard leather gloves are easily stretched, especially if they don't have many seams. So this may work best with classic style gloves, because modern motorcycle gloves often have lots of stitching and synthetic materials that may not stretch.

What I used:

  • 6 tongue depressors, glued together and drilled through one end.
  • Shoe Stretch: some mystery liquid. I bet water might work just as well?
  • Steel ring with a 1-inch (25mm) inside diameter: I used the ones on my motorcycle lift. Like these.

Here is a side view of the tongue depressors. They are about 6 inches long and a little less than 3/4" wide. I laminated 6 of them so it was about finger size. I didn't want to use just one as that might put a thin ridge in the end of the finger.

First I soaked about 1 inch of the glove's thumb in the area between the last knuckle and the palm. I carefully kept the tip of the thumb and the palm dry as I didn't want to stretch the glove there. 

I used the ring mounted on my motorcycle lift. I fit the depressor thing into the thumb and then the thumb into the ring. I used a zip tie through the hole in the depressor and around the ring to pull the gizmo tight. I was careful to just stretch the glove enough... I didn't want to stretch it too far.

I left it there about 24 hours to dry... and it was perfect.

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