If you spend a part of your life enjoying the outdoors, you use gloves. Gloves to keep hands warm, gloves to keep your hands safe and sometimes gloves because it goes with the outdoor lifestyle and looks. The Crud Gjöra Gloves fit in all categories. Enjoy the review!
- Size: Womens XXS-XS, Mens S-XL
- Weight: 130,7 grams/4.6 OZ
- Price: €126,26/£106,91/$142,57
In my outdoor life I forced myself to use gloves to protect my hands whenever I am doing a job where knives, axes or other sharp tools and wood are involved. I protect them because I need my hands for earning my money; typing articles and shooting videos. Without my hands – and especially my fingers – it will be quite hard. Sometimes – that little quick job – I forget them and mostly get punished right away. You might recognise this; we are all humans after all.
Crud Gjöra Gloves
So I like gloves and if you follow me already for some while you may have come across the review and video that I did on the Hestra Gloves. If not, don’t worry, I’ll put a link at the end of this article. I was – and still am – very fond of those gloves but also they have their limitations. They are made of a combination of leather and synthetic materials and the latter doesn’t cope too well with flames and heat. So after the Dutch distributor of Crud gloves saw my Hestra video, he sent me a pair of Crud Gjöra Gloves. That was about a year ago and this is important for the story.
Special look and feel
The Crud Gjöra Gloves have a very special look and feel to them. It’s not only the gloves, it’s the website, the story behind the Crud brand and the packaging. Let’s start with the last.
The Crud Gjöra Gloves are delivered in a wax kind of paper bag with seams around. It not only looks good but it also smells like an old garage. After unpacking the gloves my hands feel a bit waxy or oily too. The same for the gloves and that is where the special Crud treatment comes in.
Full grain A-quality cow leather
The gloves are made of full grain A-quality chrome tanned cow leather. There is a lot to write about chrome tanning or vegetable tanning – there is also a Crud Gjöra Glove made from vegetable tanned leather – but that is a different story. More on the production later. The completed gloves have undergone a 8 step treatment with Cruds – and I quote – ‘old and proven recipe containing a special blend of natural ingredients’.
This treatment gives every Crud glove a unique appearance. Because of this process colors on different gloves might vary. On my pair the gloves’ colors vary from light yellowish to darker more brown yellow tints. This treatment is not there for the looks. It’s there to protect the gloves from the elements. Crud promises a smell of nordic pine that comes with the finish. I don’t sense this; to me the smell is a bit more oily and that’s fine. I am a petrol head.
Hard wearing: dirty, black and battered
When I started using the Gjöra Gloves I couldn’t agree more with the manufacturer: they feel rigid but after wearing them a couple of days they get more subtle. I have been using them while chopping wood with one of my axes, I used them when carving spoons, they have been misused as welding gloves, they have been in contact with hot kettles, pots and pans and in direct contact with fire when I replace a log on the campfire. Worst use: laying a pavement in my garden. But after all this they are still in one piece and ready for more outdoor adventures. The resemblance to when I started using them is hardly there anymore: they are quite soft and look dirty, black and battered. I like!
But do I like everything? No, regrettably I don’t. The gloves have one thing that I don’t like and that is the elastic band on the inside of the wrist. Even after a year I still feel this when I put the gloves on and it is just not comfortable. And there is a little bit more that I don’t like. And now I am going back to what they are made of, how they are made and where they are made.
Not made in Sweden
Crud is a brand from Sweden and like the Dutch distributor I got the idea that the gloves are made in Sweden. We were wrong. But how did I – let me speak for myself – get this idea? Well there is a tag in the gloves that writes “Sweden”. Sure, it doesn’t say “Made in Sweden”. Then there is a leather hangtag with an “S”. Ok, doesn’t mean anything. And there is the information on the Crud website.
Looking at the Crud Philosophy page I read the following:
Looking at the Materials & Manufacturing page I read the following:
Made in Ethiopia
Now… on the Crud Gjöra Gloves product page I saw that the Gjöra Gloves are Finished in Sweden. So where are they manufactured? For some sort of reason I called the above Swedish tannery first and they answered that they don’t manufacture gloves for Crud. Then I wrote the Crud owner an email and we had a call on the phone. He told me that the Crud Gjöra Gloves are made in the United Kingdom but he had to double check. A few days later I got the email that the gloves are made at the Ethiopia Tannery Share Company and that the finish is done in Sweden by Crud.
Made by Pittards
Since I know nothing about Ethiopia and leather manufacturing I googled the company and ended up at Pittards. Pittards is a well known leather company based in the UK and they own the Ethiopia Tannery Share Company. I got in contact with them and they confirmed they produce the Crud Gjöra Gloves. Since I had so many questions about leather production in Ethiopia a teams-meeting with Pittards CEO Reg Hankey was set up.
He told me that Pittards have been in Ethiopia already for over 100 years since there lives the largest herd of an animal that is a mix between a goat and a sheep. The hides of these animals are perfect for manufacturing beautiful ladies gloves. At that time premium leather came from Ethiopia and it had less to do with cheaper production that I thought was the reason. Nowadays that is still very much the same but lower costs do count. Reg explained to me that Ethiopia has a large workforce of skilled people making gloves. So there are lots of good reasons to produce gloves in this part of Africa. Back to the Crud Gjöra Gloves.
What’s my beef?
So not made in Sweden – Ma Bad – , not in the UK but in Ethiopia. Now what is my beef?
First: Crud is telling me that they don’t produce on mass scale but they don’t know where one of their products is made. In a second email Crud explained to me that – and I quote – “when we first started to produce the gloves about 4 years ago they were made in ET with UK hides that followed our specs but after finding the correct leather quality, production managed to produce the hides from locally sources, and that is where we are today.”
Well, that is a fair answer, I think. But why are they not made in Sweden? Well the answer from Crud is pretty clear: ‘Glove manufacturing in Sweden does not exist any longer’. I checked and I could not find a Swedish manufacturer. The reason why I thought they were manufactured in Sweden – remember the website quotes – is also explained by Crud. “The gloves on our website are in a own category ”Gloves” they are not in the Bags, Backpacks and Accessories category which contains mostly of goods made in Sweden.” Ok, I get it. I thought that gloves are an accessory.
Second: I asked Crud why it is not stated on the website that the Crud Gjöra Gloves are made in Ethiopia. Especially since Crud produces 15 glove styles and out of the 15,13 are made in the USA. That is also on each glove product page. The remaining two – the Crud and Molg Glove – were the only two where the country was not stated. I did not get that. Is it worth mentioning the USA and is ET not worth mentioning? Good news: after my remarks Crud changed it and now mentions on both gloves that they are -Made in ET, finished in Sweden-. And they even mention now that both are made from Pittards leather. Well, super that we get a bit more information now.
The above story is not something that I write with pleasure. I love the outdoors and the gear that comes with it. I love to write and do videos on stuff that does what it needs to do and that is made by passionate people. The feeling that I had in the beginning on the Crud Gjöra Gloves has largely disappeared. They are not the Swedish pine smelling handcrafted gloves that I got in the beginning. They are made in Ethiopia by a skilled company by a very skilled workforce. Yes, they are very nicely finished in Sweden but that Crud doesn’t want to reveal anything on this unique 8-step process… Because of the way of producing the gloves, they travel a big distance before they reach the consumer. All in all… the gut feeling on the Crud Gjöra Gloves don’t feel right to me.
This pair of Crud Gjöra Gloves felt like gloves that were specially made for me. The out of the waxy paper bag experience is wonderful. They smell nice, look drop dead gorgeous and are a bit rough on the skin and hands in the beginning. This disappears after a while but the only thing that remains not comfortable is the elastic band on the inside at the wrist. In my outdoor life the gloves do what they need to do and keep my hands and fingers safe.
After a year they are quite soft, look dirty, black and battered. To be honest: they look now like any other garden glove that I own but with a very exclusive price tag. The Crud Gjöra Gloves retail for €126,26/£106,91/$142,57 and I wouldn’t mind paying that if they were the Swedish pine smelling handcrafted gloves that I thought I got in the beginning. Or if I was supporting some social local Ethiopian project by buying them. Bottom line: they are tough, expensive and there is a lot going on around the brand and therefore I rate the Crud Gjöra Gloves at 6.8 out of 10 total.
For the Dutch: www.vriezz.nl