The Knitting in Early Modern Europe (KEME) and Holy Hands research projects have come together to catalogue nearly 100 examples of knitted liturgical gloves.
Through the Holy Hands project, Dr Angharad Thomas and Lesley OโConnell Edwards are investigating the knitted gloves worn by senior churchmen. Images of these finely-worked gloves are much reproduced but with little context, while the gloves themselves have seldom been studied in detail. The project to date has identified ninety-six knitted liturgical gloves in collections worldwide, which have been added to the online database at www.kemeresearch.com. Angharad and Lesley provided links to photographs and added details according to the protocol for recording evidence for early knitting developed by Dr Jane Malcolm-Davies, Ruth Gilbert and Susanne Lervad. Dr Sylvie Odstrฤilovรก contributed to the examination and recording of the knitted gloves, much of which was achieved remotely owing to the challenges of covid and travel restrictions.
As part of the project, Lesley also undertook an extensive literature review, available here, and together with Angharad investigated some of the intricate knitted patterns with a view to a future citizen science project reconstructing them.
The project was funded by a Janet Arnold Award from the Society of Antiquaries of London and the database is hosted by The Tudor Tailor.
You can view the data on the early modern knitted gloves (and the caps) by registering for free access on the KEME website. There is also a publications list (with links to open access articles) on recent research into early modern knitted items including reconstruction projects with citizen scientists.