Black patched gloves
When I started welding, the only gloves I could find were carbonized cotton gloves, which gave decent heat protection but would melt away with sparks.
Then I started calling companies that sell Nomex, a meta-aramid fiber invented in the 60’s, animal free and superior to leather in spark and heat resistance, bought my own sewing machine, and made two pairs of gloves at a financial investment of 400$ and 40 hours. Obviously this wasn’t going to work for a sustainable solution even if I became a much better and faster glove maker. Additionally, the homemade Nomex gloves lacked the durability of leather and would wear through. Finally it occurred to me that the big brother of meta-aramid is para-aramid, AKA Kevlar, known for incredible heat and spark resistance.
New KVM Welding Gloves
After a ludicrous amount of research and running around, I was able to have a custom glove made in India by spectacular people, with a para-aramid outer and heavy cotton inner, finally give the glove a test, and was blown away. I could overhead stick weld fearlessly. I could brace myself against the metal and be completely covered in sparks without getting burned. They were better than my friends leather gloves; got softer with use, didn’t burn, degraded at 500C rather than 212C…. Incredible abrasion, spark and heat resistance. Boom. Vegan welding gloves.
KVM Welding Gloves after 50+ hours of helmet arc time/3+ months fabrication time.
This is what the gloves look like after 50+ hours of helmet arc time with SMAW and GMAW. Months of welding work. Handling metal. Working grinders. You can see I’ve made a few repairs to them, which is something you can’t do with traditional gloves as the leather degrades and becomes crusty. For the same price as a quality pair of leather gloves, we now have ethically sourced, leather free, animal-free, vegan welding gloves superior in every way. Made in India, the world’s largest democracy, where they understand not wanting to kill cows. Big ol’ puppies.