As we highlight on the opening leather page, leather goods are one of the oldest known commodities made. MCR Safety has been supplying leather gloves to multiple industries since the 1970s. Initially operating as Memphis Glove, today, companies recognize us only as MCR Safety. Since 1988, MCR Safety has been manufacturing our own high-quality, cut-n-sew leather work gloves that protect the hands of workers across multiple industries. Today, with the recent expansion of NXG Intelligent Manufacturing, one of our most distinguishing qualities is that we directly manufacture over 2/3 of all gloves we offer!
Our knowledge as a manufacturer helps us evaluate leather sources of supply to assure reliable quality and competitive pricing. With leather work gloves, this is especially important as the market is influenced by demand from industries such as automotive, furniture, sports, and apparel. Other factors, such as the cost to raise beef cattle, grazing conditions, drought, and people’s overall consumption of beef, also affect the price of hides. With our knowledge of production costs, we have been able to better evaluate other leather glove vendors for sourcing many of our economy leather glove work styles.
So, how do you make leather work gloves? There are three stages to manufacturing leather, with a multitude of sub-stages involved during the process. Here is a quick look into the world of leather manufacturing.
1. Raw material sourcing - Hides are sourced
All the steps involved up until dyeing, which takes around 16 hours to complete.
2. Soaking - Hides are soaked for 24 hours to remove salt.
3. Liming - leather hides are immersed in an alkali solution; liming opens up the hide, eliminating unnecessary oils and greases.
4. Flaying and Fleshing - removes excess properties from the flesh side.
5. Splitting - the outer layer of the hide is split into multiple layers.
6. Tanning - is a process that involves tannin, the agent that displaces water from the leather hides and cements the fibers together. Making raw hides into leather involves chromium salts and sulphate that make the leather soft. At this point, the hide is referred to as a blue hide.
The Greeks are attributed with creating the first tanning formulas by harnessing certain tree barks and leaves soaked in water to preserve the leather.
The first chrome tanning process was developed in 1184, with the introduction of the tanning drum.
7. Sammiering - presses the water out of the hides.
8. Shaving and Trimming - removal of leather hide parts, such as outer edges.
9. Dyeing - leather hides are put into a large drum and then tumbled, allowing the dye to penetrate the leather fibers.
The steps outlined below involve enhancing the physical properties of the leather.
10. Dying - requires specific climate conditions; otherwise, hides are damaged.
11. Staking - improves softness and feel of leather.
12. Dry Milling - hides are tumbled in rotating drums to soften or enhance the grain.
13. Buffing - hides are run through a machine with an abrasive cylinder designed to remove the top surface.
14. Finishing - improves color and abrasion resistance.
15. Quality hide selections – hides are graded based on scars and flaws.
16. Pressing, Plating, and Printing – add carving and logos to hides.
17. Trimming – excess areas of leather are trimmed up.
18. Packing – final leather raw materials are stored before manufacturing gloves.
What we’ve covered above is only the necessary stages involved with manufacturing leather. Now begins the leather glove manufacturing stage. Glove manufacturing requires great sewing skills and is extremely labor-intensive.
Leather Glove Processing
Each sewer has a specific sewing operation, adding one component in an assembly process until the glove is completely constructed inside out.
1. All glove components are die cut with the use of hydraulic stamping machines.
2. A visual grading process of the components is performed to ensure greater consistency of color and cosmetic appearance.
3. The last component to be added is our cuffing material.
4. Gloves must now be turned right side out.
5. Another visual inspection is performed before packaging.
NXG Gloves worn by an auto mechanic
MCR Safety became the exclusive manufacturer for Summit Breeze® FR technology in many of its garments. Workers requiring flame-resistance will be supported by the coolest FR products on the market. You can view more about this technology on our Summit Breeze® Technology page.
We also directly manufacture welding apparel, t-shirts, and vests at our Mexico operations.
Workers are cutting fabric for welding garments.
Last but not least, MCR Safety manufactures safety glasses in directly-owned operating facilities. In 2019, MCR Safety upgraded its eyewear manufacturing facility to produce the first-ever UV-AF eyewear incorporating highly efficient, environmentally-friendly product equipment.
Consistent quality was, and remains, the foundation for MCR Safety. Our logo, which incorporates Max, represents the three core products of MCR Manufacturing as each head represents one of the pillars of products that make up MCR Safety. Max means protection.