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How to make your gloves touchscreen capable

Amber Bouman | Jan. 30, 2014
Since winter has officially gone from "Awwww, snow!" to "Dear Lord, will I ever be warm again?" it's time to break out every little trick you have to keep yourself warm: thermal everything everywhere, hot tea, hot coffee, hot chocolate, and never taking your gloves off.

And I am talking basic here. Despite attending a home-ec class too many years ago to count, I am mighty clumsy with a needle and thread, but even my meager attempts to create some sort of cohesive pattern resulted in success. You just thread a needle and poke it through the finger of a glove enough times so that the thread registers on a touchscreen — it's not rocket science. (It's probably also not difficult to make the results look less like a total mess, but moving on...)

A drawback to conductive thread is that it is somewhat wiry in nature, so it isn't the easiest kind to work with. The other problem is that it's difficult to come across — I had to visit three craft stores in San Francisco before I tracked down a small bobbin for about $10. If you're in a smaller locale, you may want to order online. (For more advice, see this helpful guide.)

Any Glove liquid solution
Our favorite method, however, is also the easiest, as it involves using a product made specifically for this job, Any Glove. A liquid material that you squeeze out onto your glove and let dry, Any Glove works on most materials, including fleece, knits, and synthetic suede. A separate solution is available for leather. And it doesn't wash off when you wash your gloves.

Any Glove has also earned approval for use on combat gloves by the U.S. Armed Services, so, you know, it's got that going for it. A single application can last for weeks, and if your treated gloves stop working, you can easily reapply it. A $15 bottle contains 550 drops, which should be enough for five pairs of gloves.

In practice, Any Glove is simple to apply because it's in a squeeze bottle with a narrow nozzle. There's really nothing to it. However, the Any Glove solution takes a looong time to dry. So. Long. OMG, a freakin' long time.

Although the instructions recommend using a hair dryer for a few minutes to help the solution dry, I still had to wait a few days (yes, days) before I could touch the fingertips of the gloves without picking up a filmy residue. That said, once the solution dried completely, the gloves were ready to go. It was really nice, actually — I had a $2 pair of gloves that worked easily with my phone and were comfortable to wear.

Note, though, that the Any Glove solution discolors the fabric you apply it to, so you can expect the fingertips of your gloves to wind up several shades darker than the rest of the fabric. This isn't a problem if you're testing $2 gloves, but it may ruin your day if you're using a favorite pair.


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