Palm Glove

"Pen them up together, and they will devour each other without a second thought... Human nature, in'it? Or... fish nature... " ~ Jack Sparrow


Jack Sparrow wears a sailor's leather guard on his right hand. Supposedly this was used in "days of yore" to protect a shipman's hands from the rigorous daily work, like rowing and handling and sliding down rope. Unfortunately there are not many images of Jack's glove, and for certain not any "full" high resolution images - couple that with the fact that the glove appears to change in shape and color in each movie - which leaves the costumer with either an easy or extremely difficult task in recreation. Easy because it could really look like anything and nobody could argue with you - difficult because to say it's truly "screen accurate" you'd have to ask someone who has really seen it in person.

To begin you will need a piece of scrap leather about the size of your hand fully extended both in height and width. Confessions of a Jack-A-Holic has an amazing tutorial on making one from scratch.

I personally didn't have any leather scraps or tools, so I was given a free natural leather glove, pre-cut from a fellow Jack on KTTC. This is what it looked like when it was mailed to me:
You could also copy this glove pattern seen here.

All of the pictures I have seen of Jack's glove show it to be very dark in color. So the first thing I did was dye it with dark brown Tandy leather dye. I didn't water it down, and I only applied one coat. After 24 hours of drying, this is what it looked like:

The next thing I wanted to do was shape it, so it had a more lived in look and so that it fit my hand more naturally when I wore it. If you think about it, a pro baseball player doesn't walk out onto the field with a brand new glove that he has never worn. He first has to break it in - and that's what I would do here. If you want, you could go out and get glove oil from a sports store, but if you have the time, you could work it in slowly. One of the things I did was went the whole thing down [be prepared for some dye to leak out] and then I paper-clipped the edges over where I wanted the leather to lay flat. As seen in the picture below:

This is also how I store the glove when I am not using it - I find that the clips help keep the "memory" of the leather.


So after another 24 hours the glove had a little shape..... The next thing I did was beat it up a bit. I took a piece of rough sandpaper and went to town all over the outside. Then I took a thick wire brush and scraped up the side facing my palm to soften the leather for comfort.


But it still wasn't the right shape for my hand I trimmed the wrist straps to fit the circumference of my wrist and I made new holes for the leather ties. I didn't have leather punches, so I made my holes with a nail. I held the leather against the wall and then hammered a nail through it. Then to make the holes a little bigger I used various screw drivers and thin metal blades to wedge in there and wiggle back and forth. I also replaced the hemp chording with a much more manufactured tie. Mine is not very accurate to the period - the hemp would have been better. But I knew the ties would not be seen and I wanted something that would take a beating when I put it on and off. I was worried that the hemp would fray and eventually wear and break.


These are close ups of the glove:


This is what it looks like with the rest of my costume


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