14 September 2016

What Makes Gloves Cheaper Than Others?

In a market where prices are being driven down, it's important to be aware of the shortcuts taken to allow safety gloves to be sold cheaply.

Here at TraffiGlove we always recommend that purchasers consider the implications before simply taking the cheapest option. In this blog post, we'll explain the thinking behind this rationale.

What Makes A Safety Glove CheapER THAN OTHERS?

Factory Standards

Low-cost gloves are often manufactured in poorer quality factories which fail to meet today’s ethical and working environment standards.

Quality Control

One off batch tests are conducted, rather than continual monitoring of production, and this leads to inconsistent material and coating quality.

Out of date/Inaccurate Certification 

Test data may be old (over five years), flawed and not even pertain to this countries' glove safety specification; if the importer just uses the factories own basic testing rather than carrying out their own.

Yarn Properties

Decreasing spinning time when making the yarn allows for a cheaper process, but results in gloves that are liable to shed glass fibre, nylon or steel content – leaving a glove which no longer reflects its EN388 markings.

Cut Level 1: To sell budget cut level 1 gloves, the grade of polyester used in the knitted liners is compromised - making a glove with little stretch and lower tear strength.

Cut Level 3-5: In order to up the level of cut protection but keep costs down, high levels of glass fibre are added whilst HPPE/Aramid levels are reduced. Such gloves are classed as having medium or high cut protection as the composition tricks the blade on the coup test, but in truth this offers a low degree of cut protection after the first use.

Glove Coatings

Both the thickness and the actual compositions of the glove coatings can be downgraded to save costs. However, this is with detrimental effect as the thinner coating can offer less protection. Additives which ‘bulk out’ cheaper coating formulations can also result in inconsistencies in the penetration and bleed through.

Bad Fit

The sizing and cuff length of the glove may be inaccurate in the quest to save fibre/yarn, and here the certified size and reported dexterity isn’t necessarily a true representation of the actual glove.

Finishing Off

The last part of the production process, in which any chemical traces of wetting agents and other additives should be washed out of the gloves, is often shortened or completely omitted and these substances still remain when the glove reaches the end user which may cause irritation to the skin. 

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