Episode 5 - The process in making a Racer glove
You’ve read our blogs about protections against impacts, poor weather, and freezing temperatures. We showed you the many combinations of materials we used to achieve the best results to answer your demands. Now, you may want to know how we make everything. We wrote this blog for you, the fifth and final episode.
Over the last century, we gained immense knowledge in designing Racer products. Developing, testing, and building quality gloves will always be a passion for us. As you have seen in the last four blog posts, the number of materials and engineering that go into production is enormous. But before going into the making, let us start by going back to the beginning, where our passion started.
Our story begins in 1927 in the French tanneries in Vendôme. Every morning, M. Patault got his leather and then put it in front of his seamstresses’ doors to collect every evening. He would then transform the leather into gloves. Little by little, we were already distinguishing ourselves as specialists in gloves for skiing and mountaineering. As a small French manufacturer, we desired to be key players internationally; we named ourselves Racer to reflect that.
In 1968, during the Olympic Games in Grenoble, we became partners with the best. We were helping the French, Austrian, Japanese, and American athletes to achieve their full potential. By equipping the most prominent athletes, Racer products resonated with consumers around the world. The experience gained over the years allowed us to grow.
To critical acclaim, we unveiled our very first motorcycle collection in the early 70s. It then motivated us to innovate and solidify our brand worldwide. In 1983, by combining technology and design, we demonstrated our expertise by manufacturing the first heated gloves.
2000 - 2021
After that, we kept developing our design, comfort, and performance. Around the mid-2000s, we put technology at the forefront again. In 2012, we released an innovative heated glove equipped with removable batteries marking the brand’s return to technical gloves. However, we did not stop there. In 2015, we expanded our expertise into new worlds, starting with our first bike collection. Then, we launched our equestrian collection in 2019, the Racer Tactical range in 2020 and, more recently, the urban mobility range in 2021. Our experience has allowed us to offer a range of innovative products that stand out from the competition around the world.
All these years have also allowed us to perfect the design process of our gloves. A lot has changed since the beginning. The same desire to offer you the best gloves drives us. Here are the distinct steps during the design of a glove.
Creating a glove always starts with answering a need. We listen and observe our consumers and athletes, it can take a very long time. The analysis phase is essential to determine the needs and guide us to the next step.
research and development
After we establish our needs, we embark on a long period of research and development. We continue our discussions with customers, athletes for their feedback on the perfect glove. We also look at what is being done elsewhere in the automotive, cinema, fashion, and nature markets for inspiration. For example, for the Flexair, we looked into robots, cyborgs a bit like Iron man, which allowed us to create a design that was a little more futuristic. We made several sketches and 2D drawings to materialize the first images coming from our research. After hundreds of unique designs, we then proceed by elimination to choose the ultimate model of the glove.
2 types de prototypes : Dans notre atelier a Salon de Provence, qui nous permet de créer les concepts les plus innovants grâce à notre imprimante 3D et a des matériaux expérimentaux. En Asie, où nous développons avec nos fournisseurs les prototypes de nos prochaines collections.
We must produce several physical prototypes using our 3D printer. This phase is crucial because it decides the viability of the project. At this stage, we also decide on the protective materials, i.e., viscoelastic materials, membranes, insulators, and the type of leather, for example. We certify the glove meets the requirements in terms of ergonomics, protection, elasticity, thickness, etc., for the green light to produce the final prototype. We then move on to cutting and assembly. After having validated these two steps, we proceed to the finish. We cut the materials, then sewn them together according to the shape of the glove, then we install the membranes and insert the impact protectors and insulation. A glove can take over 80 long steps for a seamstress to produce a prototype. We need very all the little details to not waste precious time and start all over again. Thanks to having our workshop in France, this step takes much less time than usual. We add all the final touches for the final prototype we then have it tested by several third parties to confirm that it meets our standards and those of the European Conformity.
As soon as they approve the prototype, we then launch the phase of large-scale production. we put our factories to work to reproduce the final prototype with the highest quality standard. Ultimately, we take care to deliver the gloves to a store near you. Afterwards, it’s back to the analysis to create a new glove. Our creative machine never stops.
And there you go! Here we are at the end of the fifth and final post in the series. You have noticed throughout this adventure the level of care that we put into making each product. We always have the customer’s experience in mind and try to meet your current and future needs. It’s not a simple job and with almost 100 years of history to get us to this point, we are just beginning. We hope you’ve learned a thing or two through this series. We learned a lot while writing. If you want to come back to some episodes you haven’t read, go to the News section on our website. To those who have followed the series from the beginning, we thank you and see you next time. Continue to follow the News section on the Racer site for our most recent content.