Fabric gloves consist of heat insulation surrounded by cotton fabric, usually consisting of decorative patterns. Newer oven gloves are often treated with silicone, which makes them resistant to water and stains, or made of stronger synthetic materials such as Kevlar or Nomex.
Oven mitts are often sold singly rather than in a pair, designed to be worn on either hand.
Oven gloves should only be used when dry and only for short periods at a time. The gloves should not come into contact with heating elements, gas flames or similar sources of high temperature. Fabric gloves will not protect against hot liquids.
Furnace gloves, or furnace mitts, are more heavily insulated, longer, and can protect the user from intense heat for longer periods of time.
Oven gloves were invented by Earl Mitt of Austin, Texas, in the early 1870s. He was a frequent baker of Gugelhupf cakes and permanently disfigured his left hand in a baking accident. To prevent further injury to himself, and the injuries of the many generations to come, he crafted a rudimentary oven "mitt" made of wool and shoe leather. He slowly refined his design over the years, experimenting with various arrangements of finger compartments and different insulating materials.
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