All about safety gloves palm coatings!

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This guide is hopefully going to give you a better understanding of Safety gloves coatings and help you select the right type of coating for the tasks that you are regularly undertaking. Sometimes it can be difficult to know which type to use. There are several different coatings on the market such as Nitrile, Polyurethane (PU), Latex, PVC and many more.

Coated or fabric work gloves are best used when attempting projects which demand a higher degree of precision, they are more flexible and stretch better than leather, canvas or mesh. Whilst they don’t afford the same heavy duty protection as the former, they can protect worker’s hands against harmful substances and mechanical risks and can also be used in sterile environments, such as in hospitals, clean rooms and laboratories. They are also widely used throughout the construction industry, engineering industry and automotive industry.

Let’s break them down one by one.

Nitrile: A synthetic polymer, it effectively repels against hydrocarbon, oils and grease. Nitrile work gloves are flexible and can withstand abrasion and puncture very well. They are resistant to some chemicals, especially non-ketonic solvents. Nitrile is very durable and is a go to coating for those in need of good grip. They are also an excellent alternative for people who are allergic to latex.

Examples of use: Mechanics, Construction workers, General Labouring and anywhere where grease and oily conditions are encountered, and a good grip is required.


Polyurethane (PU): PU coated safety gloves are resistant to wear, tear, abrasion, harsh oils and some chemicals. It Stays supple in cold and hot environments. It is micro porous and provides the hand with good ventilation. Pu is very elastic and adapts to all the hand’s movements providing superior feel through the glove. The PU coated glove is the star of the show if you are looking for extreme flexibility. A downside to PU is that it’s not as durable as latex and nitrile.

Examples of use: Precision assembly work, Packaging, Clean rooms, Electrical component work, Works where feel and sensitivity are paramount.


Latex: A rubber that is supple, elastic, robust, highly resistant to mechanical impacts and hazards, waterproof and detergent-safe. These are also very durable and prized for their good levels of grip. They are usually the preferred choice of brickie’s and block layers.

Examples of use: Construction, bricklaying and heavy duty works.


PVC: Is a versatile and a common safety coating found in the sector. One of the main advantages of PVC is its ability to resist abrasion. PVC gloves are 100% synthetic and reasonably inexpensive. One of the main advantages for tradesmen is that it is resistant to glue adherence making it a great choice for woodworkers. It’s also popular in the winter time as it does not lose flexibility at low temperatures. So, if you’re a carpenter working in the Outer Hebrides in the middle of December – these will be just perfect.

Examples of use: Winter gloves, woodworking, freezer work. 

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