A glove is a garment covering the whole hand. Gloves have separate sheaths or openings for each finger and the thumb, if there is an opening, fingerless gloves having one large opening rather than individual openings for each finger are sometimes called gauntlets, though gauntlets are not necessarily fingerless. Gloves which cover the entire hand or fist but do not have separate finger openings or sheaths are called mittens, Mittens are warmer than other styles of gloves made of the same material because fingers maintain their warmth better when they are in contact with each other. Reduced surface area reduces heat loss, a hybrid of glove and mitten contains open-ended sheaths for the four fingers and an additional compartment encapsulating the four fingers. This compartment can be lifted off the fingers and folded back to allow the individual fingers ease of movement and access while the hand remains covered. The usual design is for the cavity to be stitched onto the back of the fingerless glove only. These hybrids are called convertible mittens or glittens, a combination of glove, Gloves protect and comfort hands against cold or heat, damage by friction, abrasion or chemicals, and disease, or in turn to provide a guard for what a bare hand should not touch. Latex, nitrile rubber or vinyl gloves are often worn by health care professionals as hygiene. Police officers often wear them to work in crime scenes to prevent destroying evidence in the scene, many criminals wear gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints, which makes the crime investigation more difficult. However, the gloves themselves can leave prints that are just as unique as human fingerprints, after collecting glove prints, law enforcement can then match them to gloves that they have collected as evidence. In many jurisdictions the act of wearing gloves itself while committing a crime can be prosecuted as an inchoate offense, fingerless gloves are useful where dexterity is required that gloves would restrict. Cigarette smokers and church organists often use fingerless gloves, some gloves include a gauntlet that extends partway up the arm. Cycling gloves for road racing or touring are usually fingerless, guitar players often use fingerless gloves in circumstances when weather is much too cold to play with an un-covered hand. Gloves are made of materials including cloth, knitted or felted wool, leather, rubber, latex, neoprene, Gloves of kevlar protect the wearer from cuts. Gloves and gauntlets are integral components of pressure suits and spacesuits such as the Apollo/Skylab A7L which went to the moon, spacesuit gloves combine toughness and environmental protection with a degree of sensitivity and flexibility. Gloves appear to be of great antiquity, according to some translations of Homers The Odyssey, Laërtes is described as wearing gloves while walking in his garden so as to avoid the brambles. Herodotus, in The History of Herodotus, tells how Leotychides was incriminated by a full of silver that he received as a bribe. There are occasional references to the use of gloves among the Romans as well, pliny the Younger, his uncles shorthand writer wore gloves in winter so as not to impede the elder Plinys work
Assorted gloves (a museum collection)
Minoan youths boxing, Knossos fresco. One of the earliest documented use of gloves.