Cordoba Leather Gloves

Among the many accessories that both men and women might carry in the sixteenth century were finely made Cordoba leather gloves. People carried a variety of gloves during the time period, including gloves made from leather, suede (leather with a rough surface), or kid (the skin of a young goat), but the most prized gloves were made of leather from Cordoba, Spain. Cordoba had been a center for leather tanning since the eighth century C.E. , and it was known for the outstanding quality of its leathers, which came in a variety of colors. A fancy pair of gloves had delicately sewn fingers and might be perfumed. Some gloves had long gauntlets, or decorative extensions that extended beyond the wrist. These gauntlets might have fringes or scallops and could be embroidered or studded with jewels.

The fanciest Cordoba leather gloves were probably never worn. Instead they were carried as a pair, either held gracefully in the hand or tucked into a decorative belt worn around the waist. The gloves that people actually wore for work, riding, or bird handling were made of more common leather.


Payne, Blanche, Geitel Winakor, and Jane Farrell-Beck. The History of Costume. 2nd ed. New York: HarperCollins, 1992.

Yarwood, Doreen. The Encyclopedia of World Costume. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1978.

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