Definition of Gantier
(Glover) - Maker / Tailor of Gloves
During the 13th century, gloves began to be worn by ladies as a fashion ornament. They were made of linen and silk, and sometimes reached to the elbow. Such worldly accoutrements were not for holy women, according to the early 13th century Ancrene Wisse, written for their guidance. Sumptuary laws were promulgated to restrain this vanity: against samite gloves in Bologna, 1294, against perfumed gloves in Rome, 1560.
It was not until the 16th century that gloves reached their greatest elaboration; however, when Queen Elizabeth I set the fashion for wearing them richly embroidered and jewelled, and for putting them on and taking them off during audiences, to draw attention to her beautiful hands. The 1592 "Ditchley" portrait of her features her holding leather gloves in her left hand. In Paris, the gantiers became gantiers parfumeurs, for the scented oils, musk, ambergris and civet, that perfumed leather gloves, but their trade, which was an introduction at the court of Catherine de Medici, was not specifically recognised until 1656, in a royal brevet. Makers of knitted gloves, which did not retain perfume and had less social cachet, were organised in a separate guild, of bonnetiers who might knit silk as well as wool. Such workers were already organised in the fourteenth century.
Knitted gloves were a refined handiwork that required five years of apprenticeship; defective work was subject to confiscation and burning. In the 17th century, gloves made of soft chicken skin became fashionable. The craze for gloves called "limericks" took hold.