Of all the places I visited in Warsaw, the one that excited me most was a very small, very unglamorous glove shop. It is run by Czeslaw Jamrozinski. Or rather it is him, for the shop isn’t big enough to hold more than one person, and neither is the workshop behind it.

He comes from a family of glovemakers, as you would expect. No one enters this trade on a whim. His grandfather worked for a big glovemaker and it was his father who struck out on his own, opening up a shop in Kalisz and then, after World War Two, in Warsaw. Like many artisans I met in Poland, including shoemaker Januszkiewicz, he had trouble with the authorities after the War for his role in that conflict, and was in prison from 1945 to 1948. One of the certificates that sits on the wall of the shop is for Czeslaw’s father, congratulating him on 70 years of craftwork.


None of this, of course, was the reason I was excited to meet him. Although it’s always nice to have a good story. Rather, the reason was that he found gloves that almost fit me, and then showed me how he could make some that would be perfect.

I have embarrassingly slim wrists and long fingers. Artistic, my mother would say. Feminine, retort others. Whichever adjective you prefer, the fact remains that gloves are hard to find. Anything that is long enough on the fingers will be far too big on the palm and the wrist. Anyone that likes well-fitting clothes will know there is a particular pleasure in tight gloves. It may even be a little kinky. This pleasure has been denied to me.


Anyway. Czeslaw tried a couple of sizes on me, resting my elbow on a green felt pad on his desk and then pulling the glove on, finger by finger. He would loosen the leather a little before doing this, using the wooden “baguettes” you can see pictured above, pushing them up the fingers a couple of times. Apparently it’s just needed on new leather; this is not technique to stretch them permanently.


By trying various models he got a good fit, particularly in some beautiful chamois leather versions. Indeed, the leather was important, because this was the only craft I saw in Poland where access to good raw material was not a problem. Chamois, by the way, was originally the skin of a mountain goat but is also used to refer to skins treated with oil or whale blubber. Makes it all soft. Czeslaw works almost entirely in deer, doe or lambskin.

With all the gloves, the fit around the wrist was not quite right. So we decided to make some: they only cost £35, after all. Czeslaw measured two points on the palm, the wrist, the distance from thumb to index finger and then the length of each finger (interestingly, only in relation to the finger next to it, rather than the total length). He used an old French ruler that he said you only found in the glove trade. It was made in Grenoble, apparently, in 1934. He must be the only man in Poland still working in inches.


Czeslaw explained how he cuts the leather with his shears, having marked the right places on the hide, and we discussed a few points of style. The ‘points’ for example, the lines on the back, were created to make the hand look longer and so more elegant. Not really a problem I have. So we went without those. It will be a nice unbroken piece of brown lambskin.

The making will take two weeks. I’ll post pictures when they’re ready.

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Anonymous

Dear Simon

You have been busy!

What a little Aladdins Cave that glove shop must be – thank goodness there are none here in London, for at £35 i would literally go mad on a buying spree. I love gloves, and i love them tight fitting (not for the kinky value i hasten to add) as i think they look more bespoke that way. Furthermore, i like the sewing of the seam being done on the inside, as these are, rather than on the outside, which looks rugged and too country. The reason for this i suffer in reverse to your hands, mine are short little fat fingers on a small hand – what my mother used to call ‘like little pork sausages’!

I know it is a question of fit, but do they do mail order and if so, how could i get a reasonable indication as to fit rather than size 8 which i am apparently?

Any details would be appreciated.

And without sounding monotonous, fantastic information and site as always.

Best wishes
Bradley

Max

Dear Simon,

thanks for your always interesting articles, I’m one of your regular readers. This one in particular is very timely for me as I’ll be in Warsaw later this week and would like to try and pay a visit to Mr. Jamrozinski to try out my gestual abilities to have a pair of mtm gloves. Could you please share his address?

Thanks and best whishes
Max

Max

Thanks Simon. If I’ll be able to visit them, I’ll report back

Anonymous

Dear Simon,
if you liked this glove maker in Warsaw, you will probably love this shop in Lisbon, Portugal:

http://www.luvariaulisses.com
LUVARIA ULISSES
Rua do Carmo, 87-A
1200-093 LISBOA

Founded in 1925, it’s the smallest & most charming shop i’ve ever been in. But the gloves, the service, as well as the prices, are fantastic.

All the best, and thank you for your blog.

Anonymous

This is so timely — I think we all have gloves on our minds these days, and I find myself increasingly exploring the options for a better fit.

I think this is your most well-written article to date. You have improved considerably! There was something always stilted about your prose, but this read like a dream — and I found myself chuckling at your amusing turns of phrase. Kudos.

Anonymous

Hello,

I have ordered a beautiful pair gloves by going on ‘zamawienie’. They responded to my email and asked me for a drawing of my hand as well as certain measurements. It all worked well and I am incredibly happy about those gloves. My suggestion: just contact them on their website.

Ed

facebook_Teo.Raul

Hi Simon
Could you please give me the details for this glove maker. I would like to place an order. Kind thanks! Teodor

Paul Dykstra

We bought his gloves in 2015. And would so like to order more. Is it possible? Paul Dykstra CHICAGO IL