Monday, November 3, 2008

Womanswork™ Gloves - A Review

Time for fall cleanup! I know I should wear gloves while working in the garden at all times and while I try to do that, sometimes I just don't. But the fall season motivates me to wear them more often. Cleaning out the garden at this time of year can mean sharp edges due to the plants going dormant for the winter and drying out. Spiders and other insects abound. And pruning and raking can mean blisters if I don't wear gloves.

So when I received two pairs of Womanswork™ Garden Gloves in the mail to test, it was good timing. I have other gloves - some that I like very well - but as I looked these over, I was anxious to see how these would work for me.

The first pair was the
Original Womanswork™ Work Glove. Made of sueded pigskin, it felt durable enough for heavy duty tasks, and when I put it on, it fit comfortably, though a bit looser than I was used to. A smaller size would likely be too short in the fingers for me, so it's probably the right size for me.

I went out to the garden with pruners in hand and set to work cleaning debris and clipping seed heads from the plants I wanted to save for next year. I pulled the annuals that had been killed by recent frosts. They handled those well, and when I pulled the large, tough Brandywine tomato plants out, they gave me good gripping power.

The palms of these are a bit padded, so they served me well while raking leaves. I've had many a blister from this task, but no signs of any irritation were present after wearing this glove while raking.

The glove got wet several times while I was using it, yet the pigskin remained soft when it dried. I was surprised, because previous experiences with gloves left me with stiffness in the fingers after drying, until I had the gloves on a while.

This is my first experience with a heavier glove like this and while I liked it, the elastic at the wrist wasn't enough to keep bits and pieces of leaves and plant material from finding their way into the glove. They make another
heavy-duty glove with an adjustable wrist tab that likely takes care of that problem.

The other glove I tested was their High-Performance Glove. I'd seen it at one of the garden centers that Mom and I had visited earlier this year, and wondered how it compared to another company's similarly-designed glove.

The glove fit well and I liked the Velcro® tab at the wrist, which not only keeps debris out, but allows for optimum fit. It has a ventilated back that helps keep your hands cool, but the little holes aren't really open, just thinner fabric, which is a good thing. Again, no dirt or debris can get in.

The fingertips and the upper part of the palm of the gloves are reinforced with Toughtek®, a high-tech synthetic (polyester coated with Neoprene rubber) that's supposed to hold up longer and keep its grip power whether it's wet or dry. I found the latter to be true and time will tell on the former. The bottom part of the palm is lightly padded.

This is a very comfortable stretchy glove that fit me well. As with other lightweight gloves I've used, there are still tasks where I'll likely remove the glove and not wear any, but for most garden tasks, it will be one of my gloves of choice. I also won't use it for pruning roses, since the knit backing will snag, but I can use the Original Womanswork™ Work Glove for that.

Oh, and I really love this feature of the High-Performance Glove: It has tabs on each glove that loop onto a carabiner (included!) so you can attach them to your belt loop! Now that will prove to be invaluable to me, since I'm known for taking my gloves off and walking away from them, only to forget where I left them when I need them again. It comes in three fashion colors: Aqua, Pale Lime, and Pale Peach.

When I spoke to the Defiance County Master Gardeners last month, I took these gloves with me. A couple of the gardeners there had these and liked them. Another gardener who has trouble finding gloves with the proper finger length tried on the High-Performance Glove and was pleased to find out that they fit her perfectly. Both gloves are washable in cold water. The High-Performance Glove is machine washable, while it's recommended to hand wash the Original Womanswork™ Work Glove.

Womanswork doesn't just make gloves and they don't just make gloves for women (16 styles!). There are four styles for men. They've got other garden essentials and apparel in their online catalog. You can search for stores that carry their products here.

The product or merchandise being reviewed in this blog post was the sole compensation for testing and reviewing the product. All opinions expressed here are mine, with no suggestions whatsoever by the manufacturer or distributor. If I like it, I'll say so. If I don't, I'll say that, too.


TC said...

Ms. Kylee, this glove review fits like a glove for those who wear gloves. I don't, unless I'm foolin with my roses or other task that might do real harm to my palms or fingers.

F Cameron said...

I wear out several pairs of gloves each breaking through the tip where I'm always pulling weeds by digging a bit to get at the roots.

My experience with the sueded/skin types has been the dried-out factor and I hate stiff gloves.

The High-Performance may be more suitable for me. I'll check those out.

Thanks for the review.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the very comprehensive review, Kylee.

Shady Gardener said...

It's nice to read your recommendations. (How did you get into doing this?? - with everything else you do??) :-)

Cindy Garber Iverson said...

I like the looks of the high performance glove. It looks like just what I need.


Kylee Baumle said...

TC ~ I used to never wear gloves either, but I think it was because I was never happy with the way they fit. I do still have to make myself wear gloes on occasion, when I'd rather not, but I know it's much safer and healthier to wear them, and these gloves fit a glove!

Cameron ~ I think you'll really like the High-Performance glove. I like the work glove, too, but as I said, it fits looser. I'd like to try the heavy duty one with the wrist tab. I really think I'd like it much better.

Nancy ~ Thanks! Whenever I test a product, I try to include observations and results about features that are important to me or that might be important to other gardeners.

Shady Gardener ~ It just sort of happened as a result of blogging! I think I got my first product to test in March of last year - Great Big Garden Plants - a sort of compost tea. It was just one bottle of the stuff, which really wasn't enough to determine if it worked, but I like the principle behind it and I can't see why it wouldn't work.

Cindy ~ I really like this glove. Very comfy!

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