Have you ever wondered how your boxing gloves are made? When it comes to boxing gloves, there are loads of brands, all designing their gloves to be slightly different. It’s easy to find a boxing glove with almost any colour, design or style you could ask for. But how are these boxing gloves made? Different factories all do things slightly differently which is why most brands will have their own unique build style or shape. We’ve done a little bit of research so that we can give you a quick breakdown.
The Production of Boxing Gloves
The first step in the production process is cutting the outer materials. The materials used for boxing gloves often tell a lot about the quality of the glove. Boxing gloves are almost always cut from thin cowhide or synthetic leather. We have seen some more unique materials too, such as buffalo leather, although these are less common. Synthetic leather is often used to cut costs, but as a result, they can range in quality. Some are made of really poor vinyl, and some almost indistinguishable from real leather. Leather gloves are usually of a much higher quality and much more durable.
Sometimes the thumb is cut from the same piece of leather, sometimes it’s cut as a separate piece and stitched on to the other pieces. This mostly depends on the type of build and padding used. Other parts of the glove such as the Velcro cuff, along with any patches are often assembled now too, but kept separate from the rest of the glove for now.
Usually this is when any graphics are printed onto the gloves. It’s important to get the printing done while the materials are still flat to avoid any issues when printing. If this is done when the glove assembly has started then it will be a lot harder to achieve and limit the printable area.
Then starts the stitching, forming the shape of the glove before the padding is put in. The base of the glove is actually stitched inside out initially, which means that when the glove is inverted, the majority of the stitches and seams are on the inside. This is also a time where features like breathable meshes and grip bars are stitched into the gloves.
Adding the Padding
Traditionally horsehair was used to pad boxing gloves, and still is with some premium brands. These days, however, boxing gloves typically use either a combination of layered foams or IMF (Injection Moulded Foam). The layered foams allow for different densities in different areas of the glove. Most brands have their own unique combination of padding. Usually these hold their shape partly because of the leather and partly because of the way the layering is done. IMF on the other hand is moulded and set in the shape of the boxing gloves, so hold their shape a lot more naturally.
Here’s a great video from 1v1 Fight Gear which explains the differences a little more in-depth.
The padding is then inserted into the sections which were stitched together earlier, usually along with the glove’s inner lining. This is when the glove starts to take shape and become recognisable. The cuff and its lining are then stitched together and is then attached afterwards and stitched into place on the bottom of the glove.
Completing the Gloves
If the glove is going to be using laces then a template is laid over the opening on the palm of the glove and lace holes are punched in. If the gloves are going to be Velcro however then the Velcro strap will be stitched into place. The two sides of Velcro will have been assembled earlier. Finally a thin strip of leather is folded over the outer edges of the cuff and palm and is stitched in place to finish the glove.
As we mentioned at the beginning of this section, most brands will have their own processes which all vary slightly from one another, but this should give you a better idea of the process as a whole. Here’s a beautiful video from Yokkao, which shows a great close-up look at the construction process.