Do I need $99 Dachstein Austrian wool gloves? Visual perfection. Super sturdy. Bombproof. Check! But as my pal says, “steep price for something you are going to lose in a parking lot.” Deep inventory available through the Sweater Chalet.
Here’s a sporty wool knit glove style worth reviving. In my years of browsing outdoor clothing catalogs, I somehow overlooked what’s known as the Millarmitt (modern manufacturers have morphed the “a” to an “e”). According to catalog patter, the gloves are hand crocheted in the UK of silicone treated wool, with slip resistant cotton palms.
Millarmitts offered by Patagonia circa 1975 (full catalog scan here)
I understand that the Millarmitt is traditionally popular with technical climbers and fly fisherman. The fingerlessness provides extra dexterity and, even when wet, the wool will keep the hands warm. I’d wear these for cycling or walking the hound. My use of a smart phone makes the fingerlessness extra appealing (no touch screen gloves at Archival).
Archival Finder Alan Woods located a modern source for Millarmitts in the UK, Chester Jeffries (a company deserving of its own “shopping from” post). I have not verified that the gloves are still being knit by English women in their own homes.
Lynne F’s glove system (refab mitts with Dachstein liners)
Add German made, Dachstein (rebadged Ortovox) shrunken wool mitts to the list of disappearing archival products. Ten years ago, you could purchase these heavy duty mitts (a layering staple for mountaineers and ice climbers) at REI. Now, if you want a pair, you must mail order them from the UK/Germany or conduct a pleading email correspondence with US distributor Ortovox. Most of the message boards and google searches suggest vendor links that are either broken or out of business.
The Mountaineer in Keene Valley, NY, carries the Ortovox Arctic mitts. This is the only available style of mitts I could locate in the US (in my size).
Several months ago I was directed to the British website Rapha (http://www.rapha.cc/index.php?page=1)which sells high end cycling gear for gentleman cyclists and London bike messengers (those w/surplus tip money). Reviewing the site I became fascinated by their selection of high end, hand stiched (army sniper inspired?) cycling gloves–especially those made out of African goatskin. Since my own cycling gloves have begun to disentegrate (always a sign of genuine wear and tear) I was hoping that some sort of unpaid Rapha sportswear sponsorship might come my way. Alas, I’ve had to replace my own gloves with a farily pedestrian pair made out of rawhide and polyblend thread. However, one of my cycling companions with excellent taste in bikes and garments purchased a pair of Raphas as a reward for surviving a near catastrophic cyling accident. So though I don’t own my own goat hair cycling gloves I at least have weekly visiting rights and visual access to probably the only existing pair in Lane County.