Our gloves, why they're great and which ones you should buy...
Fit, feel and function are really important when buying gloves.
We’ve selected to stock four types of gloves (a couple more are currently being tested, so watch this space) - all from Watson Gloves, a Canadian company who have been making gloves since 1918 and who really know how to design hardwearing, and good fitting, gloves.
Here’s our summary of the different gloves we sell and why they may be the best buy for your different garden and DIY needs.
If you'd prefer to watch Edd's instagram video, where he talks you through our glove buying guide - just click on the box.
1. Flextime leather workshop glove (rated the IndyBest award best buy gardening glove)
Edd has always been a big fan of wearing his old mountain bike gloves whilst doing jobs around the garage – because they fit incredibly well and offer some protection. The Flextime is a leather palm glove with a fabric outer back (akin to mountain bike gloves). They offer great dexterity (they aren’t cumbersome to wear, and they don’t get in the way when doing detailed jobs in the workshop), but they also provide good protection of your hands. We brought these in with the sole intention of selling them as workshop or DIY gloves, but Edd started wearing them in the garden and realised they were great for gardening too. Which was validated when these gloves were voted ‘best buy’ gardening glove in the IndyBest award, run by the Independent Newspaper.
We’ve had some cracking feedback from our customers saying how much they too love the fit and function of the Watson Flextime Workshop Glove – for both gardening and in the garage. They are durable – but if you are planning to put them under some hard usage every single day (as a professional gardener or if you are in construction) please do bear in mind they cost under £15 – yes they are great and have stood up to our testing and that of the IndyBest review – but, like all gloves - they aren’t invincible!
We now stock two different types of Flextime glove (both in a men’s and women’s fit) – the original and a new Winter version which offers a bit more protection against the cold.
I’ve got long(ish) nails, which means that every pair of gloves I’ve owned in the past have blown through the finger tips due to the increased pressure from my nails. Which usually results in me gardening with two or three fingers poking out the top. The Perfect Ten gloves (14.99) are multi-layer with reinforced finger tips – so they solve the problem of the ends of gloves wearing out and your finger nails poking through. As well as being brilliantly functional, they also fit really well with a mini gauntlet that offers a bit more protection to your hands. I genuinely cannot recommend these gloves enough!
3. Eco gardening gloves
Some jobs around the garden don’t require a heavy glove, but just a bit of light protection for your hands (especially for people like Edd who gets contact dermatitis – no idea which plant it is, so he’s safer off wearing gloves at all times). But we didn’t just want to use or stock a ‘cheap’ pair of gardening gloves that would end up as landfill at the end of the season. Watson’s Hero (for men)* or Karma gloves (for women)* are a great solution – they are made from a yarn called Waste Not which is from recycled plastic bottles. They fit really well thanks to their tight, long cuff.
We love a rose in the Tinker and Fix garden and we have to cut back a couple of rambling and climbing roses regularly enough to know the pain of not using a good gardening gauntlet. Whilst only needed for protection whilst doing specific jobs (clearing brambles and cutting back hedges), having a decent pair to hand is important to save your hands and forearms. In all honesty though, we didn’t initially intend to sell a gauntlet – we only brought these in to test because we loved the name – ‘Game of thorns’ – given we are huge Game of Throne fans! But we were converted, and we hope you will be too – although we only stock the men’s size*, we share a pair (not great for my fit, but it’s a workable solution).
* Don’t get us started on the names or colour choices – we’ve fed back to Watson’s our thoughts on their colour options (which are unfortunately often variants of pink for women and grey for men). The only reason we don’t stock the women’s version of the ‘game of thorns’ is because the design is (apologies if you don’t like our phraseology) what we call ‘pantyliner marketing’ or ‘pink it and shrink it’ e.g. designed with flowers because that’s ‘female friendly’.
Well, what now seems like a lifetime ago we used to spend a couple weeks a year in Canada snowboarding (Edd proposed to me half way up a ski-lift on Goat’s Eye mountain – so it’s really quite a special place for us) and Edd bought himself a pair of leather gloves that he’d seen being worn by the locals. He still wears these gloves 20+ years later and it was when we were at Spittlefields market that a nice Canadian chap complimented Edd on them and said he rated Watson’s gloves too. We don’t believe in fate, but we’d been looking at glove suppliers and testing some that are made in England, but not really happy enough with their fit and function to stock them. So to finally know the manufacturer of the gloves we already rated (the label must have fallen out years before), seemed fortuitous – even more so when we saw just how many other gloves they make – for gardening and DIY. We ordered a lot of different gloves and began testing them – in fact we are now on our third test run – so more are very likely to pass muster and we’ll introduce them as soon as we make a final decision. So Watsons gloves feels like a reliable old friend to us – one we’re more than happy to recommend.