How to take care of your fencing glove
mending the glove
Inevitably, holes develop in fencing gloves from wear and tear, or an unfortunate incident with the tip of a blade.
In my situation, my son's glove doubled as our dog's chew toy at one point creating some rather large holes.
After asking around the moms at the fencing club about how they patched up holes, a very experienced fencing mom said she uses dental floss to mend the holes.
So, as soon as I got home that day, I retrieved the dental floss from the bathroom cabinet, and found a needle with a large enough "eye" to thread with dental floss. I started sewing close the large and irregular holes created by our dog. My stitches were placed as close together as possible and were tightly pulled through. There were holes in awkward places on the glove, but I managed to sew them up with the dental floss.
I wasn't sure that the glove would ever pass an equipment check. But I decided to give it a try. We took the glove to Summer Nationals in July 2016 and presented the glove at equipment check. It passed with flying colors, with no comment whatsover from the armorer.
That glove has passed many equipment checks since at NACs, JOs and regional events. The glove is still going strong!
Dental floss works very well because it's made with nylon or Teflon fibers, and is, therefore stronger than string or thread, easier to work with than wire and you can get it cheaply at most grocery and drug stores.
In a pinch, you can still use thread, or glue (if appropriate), but these options cannot beat dental floss for strength.
washing the glove
The glove can be hand washed or machine washed. I prefer hand washing as it preserves the little non-slip rubber dots on the glove. Machine washing removes these rubber dots immediately.
Hand washing a glove is quite simple. I like using the thoroughly cleaned kitchen sink filled with warm water and a generous dash of mild detergent (Woolite, 365 brand natural detergent or equivalent). I soak the glove for 10 - 15 minutes and then use my thumb to rub off dirt marks as much as possible. I then rinse the glove and make sure all traces of detergent have been rinsed off. I squeeze out as much water as possible (without wringing the glove) and place it on a rack to dry. Drying takes up to 24 hours.
Note: Washing the glove causes the tournament stamps on the glove to fade.
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