Text Header

Village History


Glove Making

During the 19th Century in most poor homes in Gosditch gloves were made by the women, and this continued up until the Second World War. A factory in Cricklade distributed parcels of leather cut to shape for the women to sew. T he gloves were usually sheepskin workgloves, but sometimes it was doeskin, horseskin or chamois, or embroidered silk, which might be trimmed with tassels or fur. The pay was very poor and tales are told of children sewing gloves after school until midnight, and even in their lunch hour.

Many women were ashamed of having to take such badly paid work and kept a cloth at hand to cover the gloves if a visitor came. The thread for sheepskin had to be waxed, or strengthened with pitch, and needles regularly sharpened with a file. The pay as recorded was 2 shillings for 6 pairs, which would represent dozens of hours of work. The cottages smelt of leather as the women bent over their work, their clothes protected from the dye with a cloth.