3 Fingered gloves

This page was written by I. Marc Carlson, based on information compiled by people on the Yahoogroup "75 years".
18 February 2002.

Several people have asked me about my 3 fingered gloves.  Back in Jan 2002, a question was raised on the 75 Years Group at Yahoogroups  (A re-enactment discussion list focusing on c1300)  regarding the use of gloves in the 1300s.  Although a number of depictions of the more familiar 5 fingered gloves were seen, there were also several examples of 3 fingered gloves found  in pictures from the 1300s and 1400s by "Stella", "Roel Oosterop", "Joeri Teeuwisse", "Melanie Wilson", and "Catherine Mensforth". 

The images found were:

luttrell.jpg (21705 bytes)This is from the Luttrell Psalter showing some ploughing farmers with these gloves.  "Stella" suggested that the gloves appear to have a seam up the back of the hand, which explains her pattern (see below).



3fGloves.gif (27297 bytes) I'm not sure where this picture was taken, or by whom.

gloves2.jpg (14857 bytes) the Peterborough Psalter

golves3.jpg (19240 bytes) the Holkham Picture Bible.

nativiity.jpg (23805 bytes) The Nativity, attributed to the "Master of Flemalle" (who never really exited.   The painter is likely to have been Robert Campin (ca 1378-1444) - according to Frere, Jean-Claude. De Vlaamse Primitieven (The Flemish Primitives), Paris, 1996/Alphen aan den Rijn 1997, p.49 - quoted by Brent H.)  The picture can be found at http://www.kfki.hu/~arthp/art/m/master/flemalle/nativity/nativi_2.jpg

You may note that these gloves are found pretty much on common peasants, and I suspect that they may just be a form of working gloves that still allow a certain level of finger control.  Several people have since pointed out to me certain tasks, such as holding reins that these would be very useful for.

"Stella" also presented a pattern, which I do not reproduce here, that shows the main seam running down the back of the glove.

Pattern.jpg (117655 bytes)

I felt this was not likely, based on the pictures, and created a similar, but different pattern (below).

Based on these images, I created an easy pattern, and turned out the following test version in some scrap deerhide in a few hours.

gloves.jpg (6403 bytes)

From this pair I was able to modify the pattern to better fit my hand, producing the following:

glove1.jpg (4230 bytes)Mvc-005f.jpg (6890 bytes)Mvc-006f.jpg (6015 bytes)

The pattern for these is very simple.

pattern.gif (4499 bytes)

First trace your hand, leaving enough room around the edges of the fingers and hands to bring the top and bottom portions of the pattern (about 1/4").  You can either butt the edges, or use a small stabbing stitch.  My suggestion is to make at least one mock-up to try and figure out any changes to the pattern you may need.

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Last updated - 18 February 2002