Editor’s Note: If you’re in New York City, Niklas Magnusson of Hestra is visiting The Armoury on October 20 and 21 from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. to take orders for custom made gloves.
“We are the only craftsmen in the whole world who use the French inch,” said Niklas Magnusson, bespoke glove cutter for Hestra. The esoteric unit of measurement plays a part in the Swedish brand’s manufacturing because of the history of the craft. “It’s a French profession that was developed in the 17th century,” Magnusson added. Preserving the traditional glove-making techniques, Magnusson’s family has produced high-end gloves with the Hestra name for four generations. Though the company was first known in the United States as a producer of ski gloves, its range of dress gloves showcases both the history and modern luxury.
Hestra offers ready-to-wear, made-to-measure and bespoke dress gloves. For customers who want a custom-made bespoke pair but don’t live in Sweden, the made-to-measure option is a suitable choice. Magnusson travels to the United States for made-to-measure fittings twice a year and works with clients individually to customize gloves. He asks about their daily routines and whether they’re naturally cold or warm. Then, he measures the circumference of the palm at its widest point and makes notes on specific finger lengths.
Customers can pick from a range of leathers — Amazonian peccary (wild boar, in eight colors), carpincho (capybara nubuck, 15 colors), Scandinavian elk leather (11 colors), Bavarian chamois deerskin nubuck (three colors), hairsheep suede (in around 45 colors), hairsheep nappa (80 colors), suede lambskin (four colors) — and any number of lining options: unlined, cashmere lined, lambskin lined, fur lined. Additional custom details include thread color, closing type and glove length, among others.
Gloves will take a month and a half to be delivered after purchasing, and they cost 50 percent more than Hestra’s ready-to-wear Table Cut gloves. Of all the options, Magnusson is particularly fond of gloves made from the unique and exclusive peccary leather. “There are five glove cutters in the whole world that know how to cut it properly,” he noted. “My grandfather has a pair from 1965 that he still uses. The leather is so durable; it’s the best gloving leather there is.”