The only thing worse than cold hands, is cold and wet hands.

In a recent post, we covered warmth and insulation solutions. But client specs usually call for designing gloves that keep hands both warm AND dry.

Today, we’ll talk about windproof and waterproof barriers, and other materials we can use to protect hands from the elements.

As you’ll see, the solution we recommend varies by budget.more

Glove Manufacturer Toolkit for Rain and Wind

To keep hands dry, we add a fully sealed waterproof/ breathable (WPB) insert. The insert is a very thin film, usually polyurethane (PU) of a variation of Teflon known as PFTE.

Budget has a direct impact on performance, for the most part a measure of breathability, i.e., the ability of the glove to avoid that “clammy hands” feeling.

In simple terms, the WPB insert has microscopic pores which are big enough to allow vapor molecules to pass through (breathable) while small enough to prevent liquid to pass. (waterproof)

Protection from Wet Conditions:

There are a range of options you could choose for your project, depending on brand needs:

Guaranteed to Keep you Dry: Gore-Tex revolutionized the WPB market 30 plus years ago and remains at the top of the food chain. Gore’s focus is doesn’t end with outstanding WPB performance but guarantees results with durability.  


Waterproof/Breathable House brands: There are a number of lower cost WPB inserts on the market including Porelle and Hypora. Nearly every major brand on the market has it’s own version. All get the job done but when making a selection there is always a tradeoff between cost and performance.


Waterproof:   Waterproof inserts are the bottom end of the spectrum. They are often made of polyethylene (PE) which we all know as sandwich bags. Advantage is very low cost while the major disadvantage is no breathability. This works in extremely cold temperatures and become a big problem with moisture build up as excursion and temperatures rise.


Water Resistant (WR): The term Water Resistant” refers to a silicone based leather treatment which is added in the tanning process. Well know players in WR treated leathers are Pittards (WR 100X) and 3M Scotchguard. Generic WR leather treatments are also common and generally effective.
Durable water resistant (DWR): DWR is the water repellency application to synthetic fabrics. DuPont Teflon is a major name brand DWR finish – and as with WPB’s, there are a host of other house brands.


Manufacturing Note: Even though the film is WPB, best practice manufacturing requires the seams to be sealed as well.

Protection from Wind:

Fact is, not every consumer needs a truly waterproof glove. Sometimes simply making a glove windproof is the goal.

Windproof: Windproof is a term simply means there is a thin film (actually the same PU or PFTE as used with WPB inserts) laminated to the underside of the glove shell. The most popular name brands in this category are Polartec Windbloc and WL Gore’s Wind Stopper.



Leather, synthetic suede and PU palm materials are also considered windproof.


Wind Resistant: Wind resistant materials lack the lamination but offer wind protection by high thread count (densely knit) constructions which reduces wind penetration. Polartec Wind Pro is a wind resistant leader.
Manufacturing Note: There is a fine line between waterproof and wind proof gloves. As mentioned, any of the waterproof barriers will keep the wind out … but to insure that gloves are truly waterproof, you must take the extra step to seal the seams.

The Right Glove Solution for YOUR Project

To shield hands from the elements – cold, rain, snow, wind – we have a lot of tools at our disposal. They range from innovative materials, to time-tested construction techniques.

When it comes to keeping hands warm AND dry, the bottom line is performance, and the tradeoff is budget. But a talented design team can develop a solution for every price point.

To ensure happy customers, choose the right materials — and design team —  for the job.

Got glove challenges?

Many glove retailers and brands call us to consult on a specifc problem or challenges.  You don’t have to outsource your entire manufacturing process to benefit from our technical expertise.

Even brands with extablished sourcing and supply chains might need a consultation on glove design or manufacturing, to troubleshoot a fit, margin, or performance-related problem.

Sound familiar? If a second opinion from an experienced glove design team would be helpful, fill out the form below, or give us a shout.