Caiman University™

You've come to the right place for information needed when selecting the right gloves or apparel for the job.  Browse through the sections below to help answer any questions you may have regarding types of leather, leather qualities, glove cuff and thumb styles, or proper sizing.  You'll also find a list of the common features you'll find in our gloves and apparel.


Topics covered...

  1. Types of Leather
  2. Leather Performance Chart
  3. Cuff Styles
  4. Thumb Styles
  5. Sizing Guide - Gloves
  6. Sizing Guide - Apparel
  7. Caiman® Features
  8. Additional Features


Types of Leather

Caiman® products are available in an assortment of materials ranging from natural leather to synthetic leather (Rhino-Tex™) to knit, cotton or fleece.  Since we specialize in using natural leather, let's take a minute to breakdown the specifics.

As you can see in the illustration below, leather is typically split into three sections prior to manufacturing.  Top Grain Leather, or sometimes referred to as Full Grain Leather, comes from the outer or external side of the hide.  This layer is typically smooth, but can be modified to to feel like suede.

  1. Side Split covers the rib area of the animal and is more durable, providing the greatest protection, and quality, due to its dense fiber.
  2. Shoulder Split is more economical than side split, but is less durable due to this area having a lot of natural movement (less fibers, more visible texture).
  3. Belly Split is the most economical of all 3 splits, and is typically the thinnest which results in less consistency of texture and appearance.

Caiman® Store - Caiman® Leather Hide

Caiman® Store - Caiman® Tuff-Steer™ Logo

When it comes to leather gloves, cowhide is the most commonly used leather.  When you hear people talking about Grain Leather, they are referring to the smooth outer layer of the hide.  Grain Leather is used primarily on premium grade styles of gloves because it is the strongest, smoothest part of the hide.  The hairy, or suede, layer can be found on many leather palm work gloves.  You'll usually find an inner liner to protect the hands against its roughness.  The middle layer is usually discarded because it has no tensile strength.  Tensile strength refers to the maximum stress that a material can withstand while being stretched or pulled before failing.


Caiman® Store - Caiman® Genuine American Deerksin Logo

Deerskin is the most luxurious leather often found in Caiman® gloves for lasting comfort and durable wear.  Unlike other leathers, deerskin is truly washable and dries soft.  On average, 3-4 large whitetail deerskins are required to make one dozen gloves.  We proudly use White-tailed deer hide (Odocoileus Virginianus) harvested from the American wilderness and tanned in the United States.


Caiman® Store - Caiman® Genuine Goat Skin Logo

Pound for pound, Goatskin is one of the toughest leathers.  The leather is considered extremely durable.  So much so, that it is more durable than cowhide in the same weight.  Goatskin contains a high level of natural lanolin which helps make it very soft and pliable, while still providing the most abrasion resistance among the leathers.  Goatskin would be your choice if your application requires tactile sensitivity.  Goatskin can be found in many of our gloves such as Revolution® and M.A.G.™.


Caiman® Store - Caiman® Boarhide® Logo

Pigskin leather offers unique qualities for demanding industrial environments.  Pigskin naturally has very tight and fine fibers making it more puncture, cut and heat resistant than cowhide of equal weight.  Due to its porous texture, pigskin leather is extremely breathable.  Over time, pigskin becomes softer with each use, and, if wet, it will revert back to its natural soft texture without becoming stiff.


Caiman® Store - Caiman® Elkskin Logo

Elkskin is much heavier and firmer than deerskin.  It also offers drastically better puncture, abrasion, and heat resistant than deerskin with exceptional durability.  Caiman® uses only American Elkskin taken by hunters from its natural habitat and tanned in the United States.  In short, Elkskin offers the comfort of deerskin but wears like iron providing abrasion, puncture, cut and heat resistant like no other natural hide can match.


Caiman® Store - Caiman® Rhino-Tex™ Logo

High-Tech innovative synthetic fabric often used to replace lightweight leather for consistent material quality, reasonable wear and tear strength, and for high volume production.


Comparison Chart for Leather Performance

Dexterity Good Very Good Very Good Very Good Excellent
Durability Good Fair Fair Excellent Excellent
Flexibility Good Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Abrasion Resistance Good Fair Good Excellent Excellent
Dries Soft No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cold Resistance Very Good Good Good Good Good
Breathability Fair Fair Good Good Fair
Puncture Resistance Good Fair Good Good Excellent


Cuff Styles

Caiman® Store - Caiman® Cuff Style - Gauntlet Cuff
Gauntlet Cuff
An extended cuff covering part of the forearm to help protect against sparks or other hazards.
Caiman® Store - Caiman® Cuff Style - Combo Cuff (Safety + Knit)
Combo Cuff (Safety + Knit)
Two cuff styles in one.  A knit wrist is sewn inside a safety cuff to provide maximum comfort and protection.
Caiman® Store - Caiman® Cuff Style - Knit Wrist Cuff
Knit Wrist
Basic function is to keep out dirt and debris while providing a secure fit to the wrist.
Caiman® Store - Caiman® Cuff Style - Safety Cuff
Safety Cuff
Open cuff design which allows for ventilation and easy glove removal while protecting the wrist.

Thumb Styles

Caiman® Store - Caiman® Thumb Styles - Straight Thumb
Straight Thumb
Due to the seam being sewn around the thumb base, this style does not allow for natural thumb movement.  Straight thumb are typically found on economical style gloves.
Caiman® Store - Caiman® Thumb Styles - Keystone Thumb
Keystone Thumb
Keystone Thumb is a separate piece of leather from the main glove.  It is positioned for maximum comfort prior to being sewn allowing for optimal thumb movement.
Caiman® Store - Caiman® Thumb Styles - Wing Thumb
Wing Thumb
Thumbs opens outward allowing for maximum flexibility.  For additional strength, a small piece of leather (welt) is sewn with the seam.
Caiman® Store - Caiman® Thumb Styles - Kontour Thumb™
Kontour™ Thumb
Caiman® variation of standard Keystone Thumb.  By moving the seam towards the back of the thumb, we have elminated the seam stress/tear point allowing for longer glove life. 

Sizing Guide - Gloves

Measure around your hand above the V of the thumb. This gives you the circumference in inches.  Compare it to the measurement table below to find your corresponding glove size.  If your measurement falls close to, or between two sizes, we recommend that you order the next larger size.

Example: If your measurement is 7.5" (high small / low medium), you should order a size medium.

Size 4XS 3XS 2XS XS S M L XL 2XL
Inches 2.5" - 3.5" 3.5" - 4.5" 4.5" - 5.5" 5.5" - 6.5" 6.5" - 7.5" 7.5" - 8.5" 8.5" - 9.5" 9.5" - 10.5" 10.5" - 11.5"

Caiman® Store - How to measure for hand size


If you do not have a flexible ruler, you can click the image below to download a printable ruler to which you can use for measuring.


  1. Click image below to download a printable PDF Printable Ruler.
  2. You must print the PDF at 100% (Actual Size) to ensure you have a true 12" ruler when cut.
  3. Cut closely along the outer line of the ruler.
  4. Measure according to the hand image above.

Caiman® Store - Caiman® Printable Ruler


Sizing Guide - Apparel (Jacket / Coat / Sleeves)

*Sleeve measurement is best when done by another person

Take the chest measurement by measuring under the armpits around the fullest part of the chest. 

Take the sleeve measurement by starting the tape just below the neck, centered with the spine. Make sure the tape measure goes over the top of your shoulder.  Take the tape down the arm to the point of your elbow and then measure an inch and a half past the wrist bone.

It is always better to measure long versus short because a sleeve that is too short will likely be uncomfortable.  Compare it to the measurement table below to find your corresponding chest or sleeve size.

Size S M L XL 2XL 3XL 4XL
Chest (in.) 36" - 38" 40" - 42" 44" - 46" 48" - 50" 52" - 54" 56" - 58" 60" - 62"
Sleeve (in.) 33" 34" 34" 36" 36" 37" 37"

Caiman® Store - How to measure for chest and sleeve size


Caiman® Features

Caiman® Store - Caiman® Revolution® Logo

Entirely new and unconventional line of gloves exclusively developed and designed by Caiman®, featuring 3-dimensional form-fitting Kontour™ patterns to maximize functional and aesthetic value.  Non-conventional, high quality materials are strategically placed to maximize protection, comfort and dexterity.


Caiman® Store - Caiman® Kontour™ Logo

Exclusive form-fitting 3-dimensional patterns to maximize comfort and fit.  Kontour™ series conforms to the natural contour of the human hand and provides proper finger alignment to achieve unprecedented comfort and dexterity.


Caiman® Store - Caiman® MAG Logo

Designed with the knowledge and experience gained over 31 years in the manufacturing industry.  Caiman® utilizes unconventional and exclusive design to create the most comfortable and stylish gloves without compromising safety.  From industry professionals to the weekend DIY’er, the Caiman® M.A.G.™ has been the glove of choice for the toughest jobs.


Caiman® Store - Caiman® Heatrac® Logo

Insulation that is made of non-woven micro-fibers to create air pockets and laminated with knitted fleece for comfort and moisture wicking action to keep hands dry and warm.  Heatrac® has an excellent weight-to-thermal factor which provides efficient insulation.  Heatrac®II is a newer, lighter weight version to promote comfort and dexterity.


Caiman® Store - Caiman® AirMesh™ Logo

Ultra-breathable, open-cell fabric which provides excellent comfort and support.


Caiman® Store - Caiman® HeatFlect™ Logo

Aluminized insulation to reflect radiant heat.


Caiman® Store - Caiman® AeroFoam™ Logo

Insulation material for industrial application gloves.  Aerofoam™ consists of regular or flame retardant cotton fleece laminated with open cell foam in various thicknesses, providing insulation and comfort.


Caiman® Store - Caiman® Impact-X™ Logo

Heavy duty, shock-absorbing knuckle protector.


Caiman® Store - Caiman® GGrip™ Logo

Anti-slip traction patches strategically located to provide maximum grip.


Additional Features

Caiman® Store - Sewn with Kevlar® Thread Logo

Developed by DuPont, an aramid fiber that is five times stronger than steel, pound for pound.  Select Caiman® products are sewn with 100% Kevlar® thread for maximum seam integrity, safety, and extended product life.


Caiman® Store - Rao-Tex™ Logo

A High-tec composite system that combines innovative fabric and coating technology for superior waterproof, breathable, windproof, protection and comfort.


Caiman® Store - Armortex® Logo

Innovative fabric made of Kevlar® and high-strength polyamide to provide stretchable, anti-slip, abrasion-resistant protection.


Caiman® Store - 3M Scotchlite™ Logo

Reflective material recognized as the leading high performance retro-reflective material for enhancing worker visibility.


Caiman® Store - 3M Thinsulate™ Logo

Unique microfibers work by trapping air molecules between you and the outside.  The more air a material traps in a given space‚ the better it insulates you from the cold outside air.