Our Heritage

Gilbert Pearce with Wife Phyllis and two sons, David and Jim.
Gilbert Pearce with Wife Phyllis and two sons, David and Jim.


Earliest records of glovemaking in North Dorset are dated in the 14th Century and the craft has been practised ever since in the area.

CHESTER JEFFERIES was founded by Chester Jefferies and Gilbert Pearce (shown pictured above with his wife and two sons) in 1936 to manufacture gloves, from the then 'new leather' HOGSKIN (Wild pigskin Peccary & Carpinchio - from South America). This they did for the next 25 years (except during WW II)for all the major glove names who bought and then sold these gloves under their own brand names.

The name JEFFERIES is first recorded in English glovemaking during the 1820's, and Chester Jefferies was a direct descendant. Chester Jefferies disposed of his interest in 1959 and the company became a wholly owned family concern.

Although outside expertise has since been brought into the management team, there are still 3 members of the Pearce family, including two of the third generation and more recently a fourth generation, working in the company.

            handsewing                                young lads                                                 women at work                                                machine work

Originally the company was based in Slough, with outworkers in Wiltshire, Somerset and Dorset. Since 1963 the main factory and head office have been in Gillingham, Dorset. The company originally specialised in hand-made gloves, and our records show that for a Men's Hogskin, Hand-sewn, unlined glove in 1936 we received forty two shillings per dozen pairs (=1990's - 18p per pair!). At the start all gloves were hand-made and from hogskin, Today we offer gloves from a variety of leathers with various sewings.

Traditionally glovemaking has been carried on with 'outworkers" - makers and cutters working in their own homes. This makes sound economic sense, as the sale of gloves is seasonal and depends a lot on cold weather. This custom is still in use today although most of the manufacturing take place within our factory.

Chester Jefferies gloves are made from the finest materials, which have been carefully selected by the Master Glove maker. Unlike the majority of the gloves that are made today, Chester Jefferies gloves are made from leather which has been individually selected and prepared before being cut the traditional way, by hand. It is this careful preparation together with the traditional making methods used by the companies’ craftsmen and women which ensure the perfect fit & excellent wearing characteristics of a pair of these fine English made gloves.

Enjoying a worldwide reputation for excellence in the design and making of fine leather gloves, the company is firmly committed to the highest standards of quality and customer service. CHESTER JEFFERIES gloves give excellent value for money, each individual design being carefully developed to achieve the best combination of stylish appearance, comfort and long life.