Tillman University


Winter Glove Insulation

Posted under Material Science

Snow ShovelFinding that right winter glove that keeps your hands warm while still allowing for good dexterity can be difficult. When picking out your winter gloves for the cold season, you need to determine whether pure cold protection is most important or if maintaining your hands' dexterity is critical. According to what degree of warmth and dexterity you need, a glove's style, leather type, and insulation material are all key components in selecting the right winter gloves for your situation. Click on any of the images below for more product information.


Your dexterity requirements are most important when selecting a glove style.

Work gloves tend to be bulky to keep you warmer, so they will limit your hand's mobility.

TrueFit gloves will allow the most dexterity because of their spandex back but provide less cold protection.

Drivers gloves fall somewhere in between, giving you more warmth protection than a TrueFit glove and more dexterity than a work glove.


When selecting a winter glove, internal insulation shouldn't be the only factor. The materials making up the outside of the glove can play a very important part in keeping your hands warm and dry.1419

Top grain pigskin leather is naturally resistant to moistures like oil and water, so a drivers glove like the 1419 to the right would be great for a snowball fight.

865Top grain deerskin leather is naturally resistant to cold while offering superior all-day comfort. The 865 is a glove you'll want if you're handling all day long. It's so comfortable, you may not even want to take it off when you get home.


Polar fleece is a lightweight, warm alternative to leather. Polar fleece shouldn't be confused with the fleece liningPolar Fleece Gloves you see inside a lot of welding gloves. It's not as hairy and is more dense and softer than regular fleece. The winter work gloves to the right feature polar fleece on the back and either cowhide split or top grain pigskin leather on the palm.


A variety of insulating materials are used to line gloves for the winter season. Many linings focus on keeping your hands warm and are often quite bulky as they are less worried about your hand maintaining its flexibility. Insulation works in two ways, by trapping air and by reflecting back the body’s radiant heat. If you’re most concerned with keeping warm, you want insulation with a lot of fibers, but if you need more flexibility, you’ll want insulation with fewer fibers, meaning more air will get through to your hands. Understanding the different types of insulation can help you determine which winter glove is best suited for you.

Cotton/foam insulation is a lightweight, economical option. It won't provide the most warmth, but it will still allow you to maintain most of your 1578dexterity. The 1578 work glove to the right, made of rugged cowhide split and canvas, is lined with cotton/foam insulation and is a great value.



Pile insulation is a heavyweight synthetic lamb’s wool material, shown in the rolled down cuff of the 1450. Click the image to the left for a close-up.


Fleece insulation is a lightweight option that is warmer than cotton/foam linings and still less bulky than other insulations. We line three drivers 1412gloves with fleece for added warmth without hindering too much of the hand's dexterity.


Coldblock Waterproof GlovesColdBlock™ insulation is Tillman’s own insulation creation. It consists of a waterproof poly/cotton blend that keeps hands dry. The work gloves pictured to the left feature our ColdBlock lining. Click the image for specific product information. Our polar fleece gloves pictured above also have a ColdBlock lining.



Thinsulate™ insulation is a trademark of 3M™ that is breathable, moisture-resistant, and both machine washable and dry-cleanable. The fibers of Thinsulate™ insulation are very fine; therefore, they are more effective at trapping air. Since the fibers are so fine, many of them can be packed into a space to reflect back more body heat. Thinsulate™ insulations are broken down by grams per square meter of insulation. The colder the temperature, the higher gram insulation you’ll want. However, the higher the gram, the less flexibility you’ll have.

How Thinsulate Insulation Works

40 gram for high activity levels or cool conditions –  We line the TrueFit™ gloves below with 40 gram Thinsulate™ to minimize the bulk while offering added warmth.





        100 gram for light activity levels or very cold conditions - We use 100 gram Thinsulate™ to line some of our drivers, work, and winter gloves to maximize warmth. 





Other features to consider are a knitted or elastic wrist. This will aid in blocking out cold air and debris. If you'll be wearing a glove all day, a keystone or winged thumb will provide a more natural feel. Our full line of winter gloves is available on our website at www.jtillman.com.


Sources: 3M

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