The usual design is for the mitten cavity to be stitched onto the back of the fingerless glove only, allowing it to be flipped over (normally held back by Velcro or a button) to transform the garment from a mitten to a glove.

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Gloves protect and comfort hands against cold or heat, damage by friction, abrasion or chemicals, and disease; or in turn to provide a guard for what a bare hand should not touch.

Latex, nitrile rubber or vinyl disposable gloves are often worn by health care professionals as hygiene and contamination protection measures.

Guitar players often use fingerless gloves in circumstances where it is too cold to play with an uncovered hand.

Gloves are made of materials including cloth, knitted or felted wool, leather, rubber, latex, neoprene, silk, and metal (as in mail). Gloves and gauntlets are integral components of pressure suits and spacesuits such as the Apollo/Skylab A7L which went to the moon.

In 1905, The Law Times made one of the first references to the use of gloves by criminals to hide fingerprints, stating: For the future...

when the burglar goes a-burgling, a pair of gloves will form a necessary part of his outfit.

Spacesuit gloves combine toughness and environmental protection with a degree of sensitivity and flexibility.

(Other translations, however, insist that Laertes pulled his long sleeves over his hands.) Herodotus, in The History of Herodotus (440 BC), tells how Leotychides was incriminated by a glove (gauntlet) full of silver that he received as a bribe.

If there is an opening but no (or a short) covering sheath for each finger they are called fingerless gloves.