Using Traditional Buttons For Sizing Vintage Gloves
2-button: Also known as “shorties”, these are wrist-length gloves, generally 8 to 9 inches long.
4-button: These gloves are 10 to 11 inches long and cover the wrist, reaching a couple of inches up onto the forearm.
6-button: 12 to 13 inches long, these gloves reach well up onto the forearm. Many “gauntlet” type gloves (i.e., these gloves with flared arm pieces in the style of equestrian gauntlets) are this length. A favorite length for daytime wear.
8-button: 14 to 15 inches long, this type of glove reaches to the upper forearm. This is also known as the “three-quarter” length glove, and is the style most closely associated with the great actress Audrey Hepburn.
12-button: Approximately 18 to 19 inches long, this type of glove reaches up to and just over the wearer’s elbow. Known as “elbow-length” in common parlance, and many have mousquetaire wrist openings, but not to be confused with:
16-button: 22 to 23 inches long – this is the classic OPERA length, and as a general rule comes with the mousquetaire wrist opening. The very longest length of glove is.
21-button: 27 to 29 inches long, this glove generally reaches all the way to the wearer’s armpits. This is possibly the most dramatic length of glove, and is generally worn only with strapless or sleeveless evening outfits.
Care Of Vintage Gloves
Keep your gloves in a dry place preferable wrapped in clean non dyed tissue paper or a glove box away from sunlight. You can also keep them in a clean plastic moist free container. If the glove is made from leather your goal is to keep that leather as soft, smooth and supply as you can. Another thing I have seen done to cottons and silk gloves is rolling them up and then storing in a clean box. This allows no creases over time that will and can stain the fabrics.
A good cleaner for leather vintage gloves is Horseman’s One Step which is a lanolin based cream, or Lexol a liquid that comes in cleaner and conditioner. For other fabrics such as cotton you can soak these in oxi clean and or borax for odor removal, however, let drip dry and do be careful in washing them in a machine washer that can stretch and wear causing damages and loose thread in the delicate fabrics of old gloves.