What are Quilting Gloves?
Quilting gloves are worn by quilters and are used when sewing together the layers of a quilt. They assist in providing a firm grip on the quilt to prevent slippage and ensure greater precision when quilting out the stitched design.
However, having said that, it’s important to note that there is another type of quilting glove whose purpose is to protect your hands from cuts when using a rotary cutter.
For now, we will start with the former and we’ll get to those protective type quilt gloves further on below.
How Do Quilting Gloves Work?
Quilting gloves are generally made with rubberized fingertips. This allows you to grip the quilt and move it around under the needle without it slipping. This makes them great for people who are new to quilting and still practicing.
Different versions of quilting gloves are now available that are fingerless and involve wrapping around the palm of the hand. This is considered to be better ergonomically as it encourages you to lay your hands flat to quilt. It is said to reduce neck, hand and arm pain.
Advantages and disadvantages of quilting gloves
- They help to grip the fabric when quilting to enable you to better control the quilt. What this means is that you have greater control over the movement of your quilt which ultimately leads to a better quilting result.
- They can help to reduce muscle fatigue and pain so your arms and hands don’t tire as easily and start to ache. This means you will be able to quilt for longer.
- They may need to be removed each time you need to rethread the machine or change out the bobbin.
- They can make your hands hot and sweaty.
- They can get dirty and grubby looking pretty quickly.
Are they necessary?
No, you do not need them in order to quilt however many find them beneficial since they provide greater control when moving the quilt as you free motion quilt. Plus there is less stress placed on hands and arms which can make a big difference if you are quilting a large quilt.
What to look for when buying
- Look for a breathable type fabric to reduce sweating
- Ensure that the gloves are going to provide a good grip.
- Check out the washing instructions prior to purchase – some can be machine washed whilst others can only be hand washed.
- Comfort is important. This involves getting the right size – don’t be afraid to return it if it is not the right fit. Also, consider the type of fabric the gloves are made from. You don’t want anything thick and bulky. This is why going with garden gloves or another alternative may not be the best choice. Quilting gloves are made specifically for quilters and therefore are made from lightweight fabrics.
- If you don’t want to have to remove the gloves each time you need to thread the machine or change a bobbin, then ensure that the product description specifically states this.
What are the best quilting gloves?
The best quilting gloves are the ones that work for you. Now I know that’s not a very helpful answer but when it comes down to it, it’s a very personal thing. Some might like the 5-fingered gloves and others might like the 3-fingered gloves. And there are others who hate any type of traditional glove and prefer a band or a palm grip type glove.
With this in mind, we have found the most popular quilting gloves on the market today to help you make your decision.
These were perhaps one of the first quilting gloves available on the market and they are used by thousands of quilters. We use these ourselves and yes they definitely provide a much better grip on the quilt.
However, we gotta be honest here, neither of us are expert quilters as we get most of our quilts professionally quilted. Sure, we can stitch in the ditch and do some straight line quilting but when it comes to the free motion stuff we are still very much beginners.
Every now and then we get enthusiastic and we create some mini quilt sandwiches and practice away but that doesn’t last for long. Nevertheless, as a beginner, I know that these gloves make a massive difference when I am practicing. I have so much more control over the fabric and I wouldn’t quilt without them.
How do you pronounce Machingers?
Benefits of Machingers
- You don’t need to remove the gloves in order to change the bobbin or thread the machine although I must admit I still do.
- It’s made from breathable fabric so it reduces the possibility of your hands getting sweaty.
- You can machine wash them – keep them out of the dryer though
- They come in different sizes – Available in four sizes—XS, S/M, M/L and XL
- They are comfortable to wear
- Threads don’t stick to the gloves
Touch Screen Compatible?
I wasn’t able to find any indication of whether these quilting gloves are touch screen compatible so I decided to do a test on the Dream Machine 2 and yes I was able to press the screen and make changes. However, they don’t work on my iPad.
How to Choose the Right Size Machingers for Your Hand
Machingers come in a variety of sizes so you’ll need to measure your hand before buying. This is super easy and just requires you to measure from where your wrist ends and your palm begins right to the top of your middle finger.
If the measurement is:
- less than 6.25” then you will need the XS size
- 6.25” to 7” then you will need the S/M size
- 7” to 7.75” then you will need the M/L size
- greater than 7.75” then you will need the XL size
How much are they?
You can get a pair of Machingers for just under $10. You can check the latest price on Amazon here.
Where can you buy Machingers?
You can buy Machingers at most craft stores as it is one of the most popular styles of quilting glove. If you want to buy online then you can purchase at:
Similar Brands to Machingers
There are a number of brands that are similar to Machingers that you might want to consider:
2. Regis Grip Quilting Gloves
These three finger quilting gloves are relatively new to the market but they are getting a lot of attention for their unique design.
As you can see from the image, the gloves only cover the thumb and the first and middle fingers.
What are they made from?
These gloves are made from 95% viscose and 5% elastane. This makes them both light and comfortable as well as provide enough stretch so that it fits the hand precisely.
The palm side of the glove contains non-slip dots which is what gives you the grip on your quilt.
How much are they?
These aren’t as cheap as the Machingers at $24.99USD (£16.50 in the UK) but if you are looking for something a little different or if the Machingers just aren’t working for you, then you might want to give these a try.
Watch the quick video below to see these gloves in action.
- You can easily remove the gloves from your fingers without having to actually remove the gloves completely. (Watch the video above to see this in action.)
- They are more elegant looking than the Machingers gloves
- They are less likely to cause your hands to sweat due to the open design
- They come in a variety of sizes (see below)
- They come in 3 different designs (see below)
What sizes do they come in?
Regi’s Quilting Gloves come in five sizes although I am not sure how to measure for these as I cannot find anything explaining it apart from one site saying that they “run a little small”. I guess that means that if, for example, you normally are a small, you might opt for the medium, but don’t quote me on that. Check with the seller first.
- extra small – XS
- small – S
- medium – M
- large – L
- extra large – XL
Three Different Designs
I really like the modern elegant look of these quilting gloves and happy to see that they come in 3 different styles:
- Uni Gray
- Lace look
Where Can You Buy Regis Quilting Gloves?
What’s not so great about these gloves is that you might find it difficult to find them. At this point in time, it looks like there is only one seller in the US and one in the UK and none as far as I can tell in Australia. You can purchase from the official website if you are in Europe. However, that website is in German so you will need to use google translate if you don’t know the language.
You can buy Regis Quilting Gloves from these retailers:
3. Betty Bands
These are a little different to the regular quilting gloves because really they aren’t gloves at all. These are bands that only wrap around your palm.
So if you are someone that just hates quilting gloves of any type then the Betty Bands might work for you.
- You do not need to remove them in order to thread a needle or load a bobbin
- It comes in two different sizes 1 1/2” Wide. (s/m) and 2″ Wide. (m/l)
- Hand wash only
Where Can You Buy Betty Bands?
You can buy Betty Bands at:
4. Amity Swann Quilting Gloves
These are another version of a 3 finger quilting glove. It’s worth watching the short video on these gloves as it explains it beautifully. I have summarised the main points below.
- Padding in the palm causes your wrist to raise slightly
- Padding reduces the vibration of the machine on your hands if you are using a long arm quilting machine
- You can adjust the wrist to suit you
- The black pads on the fingertips are actually touch screen compatible which means you don’t have to remove the gloves in order to touch your sewing machine screen
- The padded surface is made from micro-suede
The only drawback I can see is that I would think that you would have to remove these gloves in order to change a bobbin or rethread the machine.
How to Measure Your Hand for the Amity Swan Gloves
- Slide a ruler between your first and index finger (see image below)
- Take a measurement for both fingers.
Note: If you have long nails, take that into account.
If you are having difficulty choosing a size then lean more towards getting the middle finger measurement right rather than the first finger.
Petite: Index finger 2-3/4″ Middle finger 3″
Small: Index finger 2-7/8″ Middle finger 3-1/8″
Med: Index finger 3″ Middle finger 3-1/4″
Large: Index finger 3-1/4″ Middle finger 3-1/2″
You can see in the image below for my measurement it was about 2¾” for the first finger and 3 1/8″ for the index finger. I would probably go with the Small.
Where Can You Buy Amity Swan Quilting Gloves?
- Amity Swan (Official Site)
6. Dritz Fons & Porter Machine Grips Gloves
I couldn’t find much information on these gloves apart from the short description on Amazon. However, they have received a lot of positive reviews and they are a Fons & Porter brand which are generally very good.
- These are made from 100% cotton yarn
- They are machine washable but best to not use the dryer on these. Leave them to air dry.
- Two sizes are available – medium and large.
Where can you buy the Fons & Porter Quilting Gloves?
You can purchase from Amazon in two sizes:
7. Palm Grip Fingerless Quilting Gloves
These are another option for those that don’t like the traditional style quilting glove.
The Palm Grip gloves wrap around your palm and since they are adjustable they only come in one size. That I really like.
You can watch the video below to see these gloves in action.
- It encourages you to quilt with your hands flat on the table which helps to avoid neck and arm muscle strain.
- You don’t have to remove them in order to change a thread or bobbin or touch your sewing machine screen.
- These gloves can be resized easily so you don’t need to order a particular size. One size fits most.
Where can you buy the Quilting Grip Gloves?
You can purchase these gloves from:
8. Quilters Glove Tips
If none of the above options appeal to you then there is always the Quilters Glove Tips.
I really don’t have much info to give you on these apart from the fact that they cover your fingers and provide a grip on your fabric.
The benefit of these is that you have nothing covering your palm at all so if gloves or bands annoy you then these might be your final resort.
Where can you buy Quilters Glove Tips?
How to Clean Machingers Quilting Gloves?
For some reason, it doesn’t take long for these gloves to get dirty. You can see how mine look after only a small amount of use.
Machingers can be thrown in the wash or do what one quilter recommended and just wash your hands with them on and leave them out to dry. It’s probably best not to place them in the dryer as it may affect the rubberized texture.
You can watch the video below on how to clean Machingers:
Protective Quilting Gloves
Now let’s take a look at the second type of quilting glove. These are gloves that are made to protect your hand when using your rotary cutter.
You can purchase gloves that are made for chefs and butchers but we know of at least one company that makes a protective glove specifically for quilters and that is Fons & Porter.
Fons & Porter Klutz Gloves
These gloves are woven with stainless steel which protects you from cuts when using your rotary cutter. Plus it has rubber dots on the surface which help you to grip things like your ruler or your fabric.
How to choose the right size?
Measure the width of your palm at the knuckles.
- Small will be up to 3 1/8″ (7.94cm)
- Medium will be up to 3 1/2″ (8.89cm)
Where can you buy Klutz Gloves?
You can purchase these from Amazon: