How To Shrink Motorcycle Gloves

August 9, 2021

Motorcyclist adjusting his stretched leather gloves.

You may not give the wearing of leather gloves much thought while driving your motorcycle, but wearing leather gloves indeed comes with many advantages. First, it provides you with better grip and control, reduces hand fatigue, preserves the steering wheel, provides you with enough comfort in extreme weather, and makes you look more stylish.

Leather motorcycle gloves are designed to fit onto your hands snugly. Nevertheless, over time, they may begin to overstretch. You don’t need to rush out buying something new in such a case, for you can shrink your old leather gloves back to their original sizes if you know the tricks. Moreover, leather gloves are neither inexpensive nor expensive. So, you can save if you know how to shrink to its appropriate size your stretched leather gloves.  

Steps on Shrinking Your Gloves Back to their Original Size

If you are keen on not buying a new pair of leather gloves because you are budgeting your money well, you can try the following simple steps on how to shrink your gloves back to their original size:

Step 1: Prepare Warm Water

Prepare a basin and pour lukewarm water into it. You can combine boiling water and tap water to make the water lukewarm. The water should have a moderately warm temperature when you touch it. Please refrain from using boiling water, for it may change the glove’s color.

Step 2: Soak the Gloves in the Lukewarm Water

Get the gloves and dip them slowly into the lukewarm water. Submerge them fully for five to ten minutes. Afterward, remove the gloves from the basin and lay them on the table or any solid surface. Some gloves are water-resistant, so to ensure that you soak them in water well, allow the water some time to saturate the gloves thoroughly.

Step 3: Take the Gloves Out of the Basin

After five to ten minutes, you can remove the gloves from the basin. You should squeeze out the excess water. Take the gloves and hold them lengthwise as you squeeze them. Start squeezing at the center and then work out the fingertips and cuff. Don’t twist or wring the gloves to avoid damage to their fibers. Moreover, you should refrain from crumpling the gloves.

Step 4: Squeeze the Excess Water Using a Towel

You can get a clean towel and position the gloves on the towel. Squeeze the gloves again using the towel. Start squeezing at the center and move to the fingers and cuff. Press the gloves with your hands while you wrap them inside the towel. Make sure that the gloves feel damp after this step but not wet.

Step 5: Leave the Gloves to Dry Out

Once done with towel use, you can leave the gloves, and air dry them for a day. Make sure that the gloves are dry when you get them. You can also use a hairdryer to dry the gloves, but the hair dryer’s heat may damage the leather. To use the hairdryer, you can plug it in and move it over the gloves using its hottest setting. You can go on using the hairdryer until you see that the gloves are dry.

Step 6: Try on to Test the Fit

You may be surprised once you try on the shrunken gloves. If you do the steps right, the gloves will fit snugly onto your hands. Ball your hands and flex the fingers to figure out how the gloves feel on your hands. If you think that the gloves have shrunk but have not reached the point wherein they would fit snugly, you could redo the process. Then try the gloves again to see if they fit well. Once you’ve achieved the right fit, you can apply mink oil on the leather to soften it.

Alternative Method: Shrinking the Gloves Using Iron

Aside from the abovementioned method to shrink your old gloves, you can also try using an iron along with the greaseproof paper. This method involves setting the iron to a specific temperature. Then, position your gloves lengthwise while stretching the fingers. Afterward, place the greaseproof paper over the glove’s thumb. Then push down the iron on that part. Make sure that there is no indentation in the thumb’s shape.

Moreover, you should ensure that no leather is exposed when you start putting the iron over the greaseproof paper. Make sure that you see what you are doing so as not to crease the surface of the gloves. Set the iron on hot with a stream to ensure that you will warm the leather surface. 

You can press the iron onto the gloves to iron it out firmly. Put enough pressure on the iron, depending on the thickness of the leather. Avoid the edge when you are ironing to prevent creases from developing. 

After ironing the gloves, the gloves will indeed become hot. Let the gloves cool down before you fit them. You can put the gloves inside the fridge to cool them down. If the fit is not snug, you can repeat the process until you achieve the right fit. 

The best fit is usually achieved by repeated ironing and cooling. So, don’t hesitate to redo the process until you achieve the best shrinkage for your gloves. 

As a caveat, however, you should be wary of overheating the gloves. Intuitively, you will know the right time to stop repeating the process. If you notice that the fingers are already curling, it means that you have overdone the process. Stretch the curling fingers to keep them in the right shape. Besides, it requires mastery and skill to get the right shrinkage for the gloves.

Additional Tips 

Aside from knowing the abovementioned methods on how to shrink your gloves back to their original sizes, it will also help to learn the following additional tips:

  • Soaking your leather gloves and drying them afterward can remove the natural oil of the leather. Additionally, it does away with the natural nutrients of the leather. Soon, the leather will lose a bit of its elasticity. You can use a cloth (soft) for reconditioning the leather. Choose a leather conditioner that is best suited for the leather type of your gloves. 
  • You can also test-wear the gloves for 15 minutes to condition the fit of the leather. Wear them while driving. The wind and air will speed up the process of drying to make the gloves conform to your hands. 
  • One way to prevent shrinkage of gloves is to buy the right size for your hands. The good thing about gloves nowadays is that they come in half sizes to allow users to select the best fit for their usage. Thus, before buying gloves, you should first figure out the size of your hands by measuring your palm’s circumference in inches at their widest point. However, you should not include your thumbs in your measurement.


Back in the olden days, almost everyone wore those stylish driving gloves. Nowadays, however, many are still wearing those leather gloves while driving to get the benefits concomitant with their usage. You can never optimize the use of your gloves if your gloves are already overstretched from constant usage. So, you got only two option: either you would buy a new pair of leather gloves or follow the abovementioned old and stretched gloves. 

Yet, as mentioned above, leather gloves aren’t cheap, but there are workarounds stretched gloves. You can simply follow the abovementioned tips on how to shrink back your extended gloves to make them snugly fit into your hands. Once you’ve shrunk them back, make sure that you condition them with the right oil to make them supple and soft again.