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I Forge Iron

cotton/ramie jersey gloves

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Hi. I just notice that our local home improvement store has stocked some cotton/ramie jersey gloves. How flame resistant are these?

A web search does not turn up much. It says that cotton, polyester and ramie are cellulosic fibers and all fit in the class of most flammable. Blends of cotton and polyester are worse than either alone, because the cotton holds the polyester up so it can burn and melt instead of just globbing up.

My unpleasant experience with those cotton/polyester gloves is that if they get just one tiny spark or flea on them, that area degrades rapidly. Eventually (after a very short while), they get really threadbare and look silly. Kind of like a spider web. I don't stick my hands in the fire, so they never burn, but they just wear out really quickly when used in a hot shop. Plus, I hear that they are dangerous. Often, the cheap Chinese gloves do not mark the fiber content, so you discover that they are cotton poly after they get those cheesy holes in them.

Anybody have any experience with the ramie blends? For clothes, they seem to work OK.

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Insist upon 100 percent cotton or (even better) get kevlar or nomex gloves. The synthetics will do worse than you have experienced. In a serious situation they will melt to your hands and cause serious injuries. I like to use just a sleeve on my hammer hand and glove my tong hand. Leather won't melt on like synthetics but it does dry and shrink and has minimal protectivity.

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Barnes Distribution has a closeout sale on hot mill gloves at .90 cents a pair; I just ordered a dozen for myself and a dozen for the company shop i run. I wouldn't use cotton gloves for any hot work. I rarely use any gloves at all when forging, and never on my hammer hand.

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