Gloves has been existing since the Antiquity. An archer linen glove was found in Tutankhamun tomb 1350 BC. But was invented even probaly before because gloves were discovered painted on a cave wall 27 000 years ago !

Anyway, gloves were made to protect hunters, soldiers, knights an even farmers. They were more “mittens” than gloves. Made of linens and leather.
Clergymen were the first to were real gloves with separated fingers changing their use into a sign of authority and deference.
In France King Louis XI , during 13th century, requested Etienne Boileau to write “The Book of Trades” which was the starting point of the Glovers’ guilds founded in Paris, Tours, Grasse, Rouen and Grenoble.
“Boileau brought together the regulations on the police, industry and the trades of Paris in this “Book of  Trades.” This work in prose is a faithful mirror reflecting the smallest details of the industrial and commercial life of Paris in the 13th century. The work is the oldest document on the legislation of the communities of craftsmen in France, written in 1268 “(wikipedia extract)
During the Middle-Age gloves were used as a symbol of communication.Throwing ones glove to someone to duel with your ennemy, for example, or sealing a donation by symbolising an act of exchange.

From the Renaissance until 18th century hands were hidden under gloves. Bodies should be covered.Gloves were more a social accessory sign.
The most beautiful ones were made of silk ornated with precious stones and pearls made in Rome or Paris.Gloves became a sign of luxury and refinement.
Beauty gloves made of cotton were used to cover hand oil treatements over the night.

During the French Revolution 1789 all signs of luxury were prohibited including Gloves.

A re-birth of gloves fashion was launched by Joséphine de Beauharnais (1763-1814), NAPOLEON I first wife, during the First French Empire. She was buying one thousand gloves a year and she would never wear the same pair again !!!

During “La Belle Epoque, 1900's, the grand opening of Galeries Lafayette creating a whole department of gloves was celebrating gloves fashion of the “Parisienne”!

Untill WWII no Woman would dare going outside of her house without wearing a pair of gloves. And with no doubt she had to wear gloves when she was going to the city, to the church or at the opera!
Day gloves were light white, off white or beige not made of leather but cotton or nylon.
A very formal “Gloves Code” was existing.
But since the 50's till nowadays when it's not protective during the winter or for professional use gradually gloves has become more a seductive accessory than a sign of wealth!

Please enjoy a few antique and vintage lace and nylon gloves on my shop  :