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Coats stories

Hand in glove…

Our hands have 27 bones and an intricate network of tendons....

We take for granted the range of dexterity and skill that our hands allow us but did you know that in the US alone over one million work related hand injuries are recorded every year (US Bureau of Labor Statistics), with the effects ranging from the annoying (trouble doing up a button) to the life-changing (amputation).

Over half of all work-related hand injuries are lacerations, with crush, avulsion (tearing/detachment), puncture and fracture injuries accounting for many of the other. Providing gloves as part of an employee’s personal protective equipment (PPE), where the working environment calls for such protection, can dramatically reduce the risk of hand injuries, but these must be matched to the specific requirements of each workplace. 

Specific requirements might include: UV resistance; anti-wicking (keeping moisture out); anti-static; and conduction. The gloves themselves need to provide the required level of safety without compromising comfort, grip or dexterity. And appearance can be important too: in a 2012 survey ‘unattractive looking equipment’ was one of the reasons workers cited for not wearing PPE. Catering for these more specialised requirements often means replacing traditional yarns (cotton, leather, synthetic) with customised blended fibres and coatings. 

Coats Flamepro Cut is an advanced range of flame resistant, electric arc and cut resistant yarns. It is often used in the weaving and knitting of gloves (and other PPE), and comes in natural or dyed colours, or can be spun from dope-dyed fibres. It can be further tailored with a custom blend of up to five different fibres, working in partnership to tailor it to customer needs and specifications.

So, for instance, a yarn with flame retardant properties would be used when heat protection is a requirement, and applications requiring gloves with a high cut resistance, might use yarns with fibre glass or stainless steel used in the core. Different fibre types can be combined in a final yarn blend, to arrive at a product that keeps costs down without compromising on performance. 

The future of gloves (and PPE more generally) also looks set to become more specialised and high-tech.

Imagine a future in which your gloves:

·         can indicate whether or not they are being used for the correct application

·         track themselves using RFID

·         provide touchscreen capabilities by using conductive yarns

·         give biometric feedback by monitoring temperature and vital signs

For more on Hand safety and what it looks like today and could look like tomorrow see 


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