For the diving enthusiast, surfing fan, or avid biker, what completes the stylish and safe look of the athlete or hobbyist is the gloves. But not just any gloves – you want neoprene material gloves of course! Neoprene is a wondrous synthetic, waterproof rubber with a warming effect. But despite it being an amazing material for wetsuits, sometimes it gets a little too big for your needs.
Why Need to Shrink Neoprene?
Reasons include an overestimation of your hand size when you bought it or maybe, you just want to hand it down to your kids or younger nieces and nephews who want to get into diving. It would be a hassle to return the things or just throw them away. But no worries! Here are some easy and cost-effective ways on how to shrink neoprene gloves.
Neoprene is a relatively sturdy material. You can go through the trouble of cutting it up then re-sewing it, but that might ruin its quality and integrity. So, the best way to shrink it is using heat.
First off, you need to find out how much you want to shrink it. Your two options to fit your desired size are:
- Measure the exact or estimated dimensions of the hand you want to wear it on.
- This one must be done with caution! Keep the glove on while doing the process. For added safety, wear another set of latex or cloth gloves underneath the neoprene ones. Also get some cool water in a bucket nearby.
The reason for all this caution is because what you have to do is soak the glove in a bucket of hot but not boiling water for 10 seconds. If you’re worried it will do damage, no worries. The material is quite heat-resistant. Afterwards, you can dry it with a weak heat blowing appliance like a hair dryer. Hang it inside or outside your house and wait for about 24 hours. Voila! You’ve shrunk your neoprene gloves!
Don’t Go Overboard!
This process can usually shrink the gloves by 5% every time you do it. So if you need to shrink a few more centimeters from its diameter, just do it a few more times. To help control how much you want it to shrink, it would be best to dip the glove in the bucket of hot water up until around the wrist joint so you still have some allowance for the bulk of your hand to at least fit through the wearing hole.
It is known that neoprene material tends to shrink over time even without using this process. However, the shrinkage is only by a very small amount – in a matter of years. This occurs because the nitrogen gas that is a component of neoprene escapes over the lifespan of the material. Although a cheap way to shrink gloves of this material, it is not a particularly time efficient way.
Does Neoprene Shrink in The Dryer?
Many plastics shrink in the dryer with heat. Neoprene, a type of synthetic rubber, is no exception. This is partially because neoprene contains a natural oil that becomes concentrated when exposed to heat for an extended period.
While some manufacturers have found a way to reduce shrinkage by sealing the neoprene with a metal layer, others have not been able to prevent shrinkage from becoming a problem after prolonged exposure to heat.
How to Dry Neoprene Gloves?
Many people are surprised to learn that neoprene is not naturally waterproof. Because of this, it is important to find the right way to dry neoprene gloves in order to keep them clean and prevent any bacteria or fungi from growing.
A great trick that will keep your hands clean is to run your fingers under the faucet until they are damp. Put them in a sealable sandwich bag and place in the freezer. The frozen water will act as an ice pack and help suck out any excess moisture in the rubber.
Neoprene Vs Latex
Neoprene and latex are both great products to use when wetsuits or water equipment is needed. It’s not that one is better than the other, but it’s about what you’re trying to achieve.
Neoprene can be a more durable material and will keep you warmer in colder temperatures while latex will allow for more movement when in the water. In the end, it depends on what your needs are.
They both have their pros and cons. However, we’ll take a closer look at what each material has to offer and help you decide which is best for your needs.
Neoprene is typically more affordable than latex and this makes it ideal for those just getting into diving. It is easier to move around in than rubber, so it can be worn for longer periods of time comfortably.
Latex, on the other hand can last longer but you have to be careful because it’s more likely to lose its shape if stressed. In addition, Neoprene and latex both provide similar levels of protection against the elements.
Can You Shrink Latex
A common misconception is that wetsuits can be shrunk if they are made of latex. This is not the case, as the wetsuit will need to be dry cleaned and then hang-dried completely before it will shrink.
One reason for this is because the sizing has been sewn into the suit after it was wet, which won’t work out well if you try to wash and dry it first.
In conclusion, neoprene gloves are not just for surfers, they can serve many purposes around the house, shop, or boat. They’re also very easy to care for and will remain in good condition if cared for properly. So now you know everything you need to know about these great gloves! Be sure to follow these instructions so your neoprene gloves will last long and keep you warm.