Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff
  • In ancient times gloves were worn to protect working hands.
  • In the Middle Ages gloves were worn as a sign of wealth and power. Common people wore mittens.
  • In the nineteenth century, society women and men wore gloves indoors and out. Black silk gloves were worn indoors during the daytime; white gloves were worn out at night.

Many social customs involved gloves.

  • Gloves were surrendered as a forfeit for an error or a crime.
  • Gloves were given as party favors at weddings.
  • Knights in armor carried gloves as talismans in their helmets during tournaments. The gloves belonged to a loved one.
  • Gloves were used as a pledge.
  • Gloves were thrown down as a challenge.
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