Do Leather Motorcycle Gloves Stretch? [Yes! and Here are 5 ways to do just that!]

Warm weather arrives, and you pull your trusty leather gloves out of storage so you can go for a ride. But they no longer fit! This may leave you wondering if you can stretch them back out. In case you didn’t know, there are lots of techniques to stretch your leather motorcycle gloves and make them fit your hands comfortably once again. We’ve sourced every method listed on this post from trusted sites and arranged them in a straightforward layout for easier understanding.   

You can stretch your leather gloves back into shape! Here are some of the best methods:

  • Use water and rubbing alcohol.
  • Soak them in lukewarm water
  • Heat the tight areas with a hairdryer
  • Spray some shoe stretcher spray on the leather
  • Take them to a cobbler

You’re probably wondering how to go about some – or all – of the methods listed above. Please keep reading to find out how to approach each one the right way, along with tons of other information we’re sure you’ll find helpful. Without further ado, let’s dive right into it, shall we?

A close up photo of a leather glove of a motorcycle rider, Do Leather Motorcycle Gloves Stretch? [Yes! and Here are 5 ways to do just that!]

Do Leather Motorcycle Gloves Stretch?

You can stretch motorcycle gloves in a variety of ways. Here’s a comprehensive list of how to stretch your gloves:

1. Use Cotton and Rubbing Alcohol 

If you find that your leather gloves are getting smaller, one way to stretch them is by using water and rubbing alcohol. Alcohol helps in loosening the leather fibers by allowing the gloves to stretch without completely drying it out. 

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Pour some rubbing alcohol on a sizeable cotton ball, and then apply it gently on the inside of the glove. Put your hands inside the gloves and stretch them out. Spread the alcohol evenly by gripping and releasing your motorcycle’s handles. After 24 hours or so, you’ll notice your gloves have a considerably better fitting. 

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DO NOT apply the rubbing alcohol on the outer leather part of your gloves. The alcohol will only dry up fast without achieving any beneficial stretching effect.

2. Soak the Gloves in Lukewarm Water and Newspaper 

What you’ll need for this method is a page from a newspaper and a container of water. Dunk your gloves and the newspaper into the water and let it stay for approximately 10 to 15 minutes.  

Next, pack in chunks of the damp newspaper into the glove. If you want to either stretch the length of the fingers or widen the fingers, we recommend that you use a tool such as a wooden dowel or a ¼ or 3/8 inch ratchet extension for sufficient stuffing.

Click here to view this product on Amazon.

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As you stuff the newspapers, ensure you don’t ruin the leather stitching on both gloves in the process. Place the gloves in a sunlight-free location to make the gloves dry slower. 

After a day or less, the gloves will be stretched enough, and the newspaper would have served its purpose.

3. Heat The Tight Areas With A HairDryer 

An alternative way to stretch out your motorcycle gloves is by heating things up a little. Start the process by immersing the gloves in a sink or container full of water (the rubbing alcohol can also be quite useful at this point). Get them out of the water and wring them thoroughly to get rid of the excess water. 

Next, put on the wet gloves and turn on the hairdryer. Hold it with either hand and use it to heat the areas of the other hand where it feels tight. Take your time on the glove, and be careful not to burn yourself in the process.

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Wiggle your fingers during and after heating to add some extra pressure to the leather. This helps in improving the stretching process.

4. Spray Some Shoe Stretcher Spray On The Leather 

Shoe stretcher sprays are the best alternatives to rubbing alcohol. Since the sprays are also alcohol-based, they also dry fast and aid in the stretching process a great deal. 

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Though they were initially for shoes, these sprays can work the same for any leather product. They loosen the leather and stretch it to a sizeable extent. They also contain some conditioner that keeps the material softer for longer. Using a shoe stretcher spray on your gloves is a reasonably straightforward process.

Spray the inside of your glove until it gets somewhat dump. Next, put on some thin gloves, then wear the motorcycle gloves on top. The thin gloves will prevent any risk of skin irritation. 

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Have the gloves on for three to four hours and allow them to stretch out completely.

5. Take Your Motorcycle Gloves To A Cobbler 

If you’re not exactly a DIYer (Do-It-Yourselfer), or you don’t have some extra time on your hands, leave your gloves at a trusted cobbler. Yes, cobblers deal with shoes, but some will help you in sorting out other leather-related items such as bags, belts, or gloves. 

Before they do anything, though, they usually ask how wide or how long you want to have your gloves stretched. 

Taking your gloves to a cobbler is your best option if you want some professional input. Then again, it might cost you a little extra. Glove stretching costs can vary based on the design of the motorcycle gloves, glove size, and the type of services offered by the cobbler. 

It’s wise to weigh your options and do your research first before following this step. 

What Is The Best Leather For Motorcycle Gloves? 

Cowhide is the preferred material for almost any kind of motorcycle gear, from jackets to boots. The glove-tanned types, more specifically, offer a splendid blend of qualities such as durability, smooth finish, softness, and stretch. 

The durability of the cowhide leather gloves will depend on which area of the hide the leather is from, as well as how well the hide is processed. Glove grade cowhide is recognized as the best when it comes to providing the best supple hand and durability. The texture of the hide itself is enough to maintain a firm, solid group on the handlebar. 

Other leather materials worth considering for your gloves include: 

  • Deerskin
  • Goatskin
  • Sheepskin
  • Kangaroo leather

Do Leather Gloves Improve Handlebar Grip? 

Leather gloves provide that much-needed tight grip that also serves as a primary safety feature. Riding without leather gloves is a considerable risk to you and your fellow motorists. Your bare hands are bound to get sweaty, especially during the summer heat, and you obviously can’t keep making a stop to wipe off the sweat.

What you need are leather gloves with silicon hands that provide extra safety when you need to ride for long distances. On that note, have you ever wondered just how far your motorcycle could go? If your answer is yes, read How Many Miles Can A Motorcycle Last? to find out.

Whatever the distance, trust leather gloves keep your hands gripped to the handlebars and keep you from accidentally tripping and falling off. 

A close up photo of a riders leather handglove

Do Leather Gloves Keep Your Hands Warm? 

During cold weather, leather gloves provide that much-needed warmth to your hands at times when the weather isn’t all that great for riding. If you need additional forms of safety gear for rainy days, read Best Motorcycle Rain Gear That Will Keep You Safe And Dry.

Leather gloves are undoubtedly winter and waterproof. In case you’re on the road when the weather is chilly and cold, you can rely on the internal materials to keep your hands warm. 

Most leather gloves are lined with snug materials such as wool or cashmere. Even though they’re made specifically for riding on motorcycles, there’s no harm in wearing them while taking care of heavy domestic chores. 

How Do You Determine Your Glove Size? 

The following are two straightforward methods to determine your glove size: 

1. Measure Your Hand’s Width

Use this method to determine your US glove size. Just measure the area all around the largest part of your hand, minus your thumb. Round up your result to the nearest half-inch, then match it to the five US glove sizes (XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL).

2. Measure Your Hand’s Length

Measure your hand length from the tip of your middle finger to the bottom of your palm. Round off the result to the closest round number, and there you go! For instance, if you measured five and a half inches, round it up to six. Your glove size is, therefore, size 6.

Can You Machine Wash Leather Gloves?

There’s no harm in washing your suede or smooth leather gloves in your washing machine. However, you need to steer clear of using harsh soaps that can easily remove the natural oils that occur in the leather. The absence of the oils may stiffen the gloves and cause them to become brittle, thereby shortening their comfort, use, and longevity.

Use mild soaps such as Marseille soap that contains an impressive amount of natural fats. Also, use cool water to avoid damaging the leather. Air dry your gloves instead of hanging them out in the sun to prevent shrinkage.

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Alternatively, you can also dry clean your leather gloves. By doing so, you get to keep the oils in the leather and enjoy all the benefits that it has to offer. 

Conclusion

The stretching tips provided on this post only apply to new and gently used leather gloves. If your gloves are way past their prime, replace them. Stretching them will only make them far more dangerous to use while riding.

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