The Story Behind designed2enable's Jaunty Wheelchair Gloves
designed2enable’s stylish Jaunty Wheelchair Gloves came about because one of our wheelchair users got tired of wearing cycling gloves when she was going out shopping or somewhere special.
“I’d put on something nice to look good and then have to top it off with these very practical but not very attractive cycling gloves. When I looked for something better there was nothing available, so I decided to have a go at making something myself,” says Katherine Pyne.
Katherine enlisted the help of friend Claire Morgan to design the wheelchair gloves. Claire, a qualified accountant, is also an accomplished dressmaker. She took on the challenge of making prototype gloves in her spare time with great enthusiasm and much needed patience, with Katherine trialling at every stage.
“ We started our wheelchair glove project in 2011, initially working to produce a slip-on glove using Lycra with a leather padded palm,” says Katherine. “We spent hours working on the technical issues of trying to sew leather on to Lycra, which unfortunately did not seem to be very compatible.”
“Eventually, thanks to Claire’s patience, we created a glove that you could slip easily onto your hand and was suitable for general wheelchair users. They were also suitable for those with limited hand dexterity to use them, which was an important factor in our design. But when we finally reached a working glove design we realised that manufacturing them in Lycra would be too costly and difficult to produce so it was back to the drawing board!”
Katherine and Claire were determined not to be beaten.
“We then moved to working with leather and found a professional glove maker who worked closely with us to produce our beautiful leather wheelchair gloves,” says Katherine.
The gloves have been tried and tested by other wheelchair users resulting in the final product, which designed2enable is very proud to take to market for Katherine and Claire. We hope you will be as pleased with them as we are! Katherine says that the next stage of the design process will improve the suitability of the gloves for those with limited hand dexterity. “We are working on an alternative glove that will meet these needs,” she says.
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