Glovemaker Chester Jeffries was founded in 1937 as a specialist in gloves from South American pigskin and carpincho. Eighty-five years later, the company is still owned and run by grandsons of one of the co-founders, and still does a significant business in pigskin.
Glovemaking has changed little this past century or so. Jeffries still cuts each glove by hand.
Sixteen individual pieces are passed to a seamstress who sews them together, and then each pair is shaped on a form.
What has changed most over the years is the way Jeffries' gloves reach the consumer. Originally a subcontractor to other glovers, today the company deals directly with many of its customers on the Internet, solving the fit issue that is the oldest problem in ready to wear clothing. One man has a hand with long fingers. Another is the same width across the knuckles but has shorter fingers. One size may fit neither of them. Jeffries is the first, and thus far to the best of my knowledge the only firm to offer a bespoke glove online. The customer measures around his knuckles and then sends the dimensions to the company with a tracing of his left and right hands. Once that pattern is on file, glove ordering is as simple as choosing a style and materials for the latest glove and lining. And they fit.
-Photographs by Christian Price