Materials & Construction

The information presented is advisory and general in nature. We recommend that users evaluate the fitness for purpose of any glove. This includes consulting the Chemical Resistance Chart. The user must determine the ultimate suitability of the glove for a particular function by testing the product. Illinois Glove Company assumes no responsibility for the suitability of a user's selection of gloves for a specific application.

Honest Abe® gloves are constructed from the highest quality leathers which are tanned and selected to meet the requirements of even the toughest jobs. Each type of leather has qualities which determine its performance characteristics.

Types of Leather and their characteristics

Top grain cowhide is the layer of the hide that was on the outside of the animal and had the hair growing out of it. Its beautiful smooth surface is stronger and more flexible than the split or suede layer. Grain leathers will generally dry softer after wetting than their suede counterpart. Grain side cowhide is a premium product for applications where durability and dexterity are essential. Cowhide belly leather is an economical top grain cowhide for applications where more variation in grain surface is acceptable.Split or sueded cowhide is the layer below the top grain. It is rugged for applications where durability is essential and dexterity is secondary. Like top grain, the side leather is the premium quality while the belly and shoulder areas are used for economy.

The crown jewel in premium glove leather. Deerskin is extremely soft and provides superior dexterity, natural insulation with an outstanding fit. Dries the softest after wetting of any grain leather.

Once relegated to an inferior status, modern tanning advances have made our top grain pigskin a premium product in its own right. Pigskin will dry soft after wetting. Its durability and softness make it an excellent choice where top grain leather is desired.

Elkskin is a far less common leather than deerskin. Native to North America, elkskin is also thicker, more grainy and has better wear characteristics than deerskin.

Our goatskin is a nice grain leather that is soft, relatively thin and highly wear-resistant.


Woven Cotton: Comfortable and economical. Our cotton fabrics are excellent quality and come in a variety of thicknesses and colors. Woven fabrics (canvas and chore gloves) give outstanding durability. Wear can be enhanced by extra fabric weight or the application of PVC dots.

Knitted Cotton: Knitted fabrics (jersey, thermal and "knits") give an excellent fit and comfort. Our products offer a wide variety of options to varying requirements. Wear can be enhanced by increasing fabric weight, blending of synthetics like polyester or the application of PVC dots.

Ramie and Ramie/Cotton Blends: Ramie is a fiber from an Asian plant. Ramie is very strong and, when blended with cotton, produces an excellent work glove fabric which is more resistant to wear than cotton alone. Ramie blends are used in either knitted or woven fabrics.


Neoprene: Good resistance to cuts and abrasions but not as good as PVC or Nitrile. Resists acids and many other hazardous chemicals such as alcohols, oils, ketones, detergents and fertilizers. Remains flexible when used in refrigerated areas to -10ºF.

PVC (Polyvinyl chloride): Liquid resistance to mild chemicals, strong acids, oils, fats, and solvents. Outstanding abrasion resistance. Can resist alcohols but not aldehydes, ketones, aromatic hydrocarbons. Generally, remains flexible above 25ºF and should be used below 150ºF. PVC is often the lowest cost coating if it will meet the application requirements.

Nitrile: More cut, abrasion and puncture resistant than neoprene or PVC. Resists many solvents, grease, acid, caustic and many petroleum products. Cut-and-sewn styles are not liquid proof.

Latex or Natural Rubber: Excellent resistance to cuts and abrasion, excellent gripping and temperature resistance from 0ºF to 300ºF. Resists most liquids that will mix with water (acids, bases, alcohols, acetones) but not resistant to petroleum based liquids, grease or solvents. Caution: Some individuals have allergic reactions to latex rubber or powder. Individuals experiencing a reaction should discontinue use and seek medical advice.