4 Types of Leather That Can Protect Your Employees' Hands

IWhen it comes to getting the job done, it's always important to protect your hands. That's why it's important to know the strengths and weaknesses of the materials your gloves are made from. While gloves come in all manner of materials, many employees still prefer the unique properties of leather gloves when they're on the job.

Whether your gloves are made exclusively from leather or if leather is one element in your glove's design, knowing what materials best fit your employees can go a long way toward protecting their hands.



Leather made from cowhide is the most commonly used of the grain leathers. Because cows are commercially raised and are large enough to provide more hide than other animals, cowhide is plentiful and affordable. Its benefits are that it's cost-effective, versatile and the high fiber density equates to high abrasion resistance and strength. This makes cowhide great for construction, roofing, fencing and other outdoor jobs.



Like cowhide, pigskin gloves are economical since pigs are also raised commercially. Its benefits are a higher abrasion resistance and greater puncture resistance compared to cowhide. It also provides greater water resistance, so they're good to have if your employees are likely to get their hands wet on a regular basis. Pigskin gloves are great for landscaping, maintenance and high-abrasion operations.



Deerskin is a softer leather which provides employees with tactile flexibility and sensitivity for jobs that require a finer touch such as driving or operating equipment. Deerskin is also a good natural insulator which helps keeps hands warm in colder weather. Because deer aren't commercially raised, deerskin gloves tend to cost more than other leathers.



Goatskin has a dense fiber structure that allows them to stay strong, compared to cow leather. Even when stretched thinner, goatskin's high lanolin content makes these gloves soft and pliable, while their excellent tensile strength means that they're also cut resistant. This makes goatskin gloves ideal for medium duty jobs. When combined with a durable liner, these gloves can have cut resistance up to level 4 and arc-flash resistance up to level 3. Goatskin is a good mid-priced material, more expensive than cowhide, but less expensive than deerskin.


Of course, while the leather is an important part of glove construction, many other factors affect the overall properties of the glove.

  • How has the leather been tanned and treated?

 Newer leather gloves are being treated in new ways which enhance or improve on the natural benefits of each type of leather.

  •  What kind of liner does the glove have?

 Is it made from breathable fabrics that keep hands cool, protective materials like Kevlarâ„¢ that provide addition cut resistance, or insulating rubber to protect against electrocution?

  •  Does it have back of hand protection?

Many work gloves such as Truline's Tactician 440 feature thermoplastic rubber (TPR) which is incorporated into the design to provide additional protection against impact-related injuries.

Looking for the right gloves for your employees? Talk to one of our safety advisors today. You can learn about our custom PPE options and schedule a site assessment.

Arbill is a safety solutions company. We are all about protecting your workers in the workplace. Our mission is to keep workers safe and return them home safely at the end of the day. Visit arbill.com for more information about being safe and subscribe to Safer Every Day, the definitive digital magazine for workplace safety.

Have a safe day!