Goat hair is the traditional and original material from which exfoliating gloves were made across Morocco. The texture of woven goat hair is unlike any other material, course enough to remove dead skin while stimulating the circulation. These gloves are unique to Natural Spa Supplies.
Why we have revived the Goat Hair Exfoliating Glove
Nowadays the goat hair gloves have been totally replaced by the popular nylon ‘kesse’ or ‘kessa’ used by virtually every individual across Morocco and much of North Africa. In fact nylon exfoliating gloves have been ubiquitous since nylon and plastics flooded the planet from the mid-twentieth century. We have been very keen to offer a fully natural alternative as we want to avoid as far as possible avoid selling plastics in any form.
How to use the Exfoliating Glove
Use the goat hair glove either wet or dry. The glove can be used with Hemp Oil Wash Soap for exfoliating and we use ours whenever we wash with clay. It can be used in the bath or the shower.
Place the hand inside the glove and stretch out the fingers. Wet the skin, apply Hemp Oil Soap to the skin. You can either leave the soap to work, making sure the soap stays moist, or after wetting the Goat Hair Glove, massage the soap gently on the skin. Rather than rubbing too hard, let the soap do the work. It can take a few minutes for the soap to lift off the dead skin. After the soap has lifted the dead skin, use the Goat Hair Glove to rub off the dead skin. Find the right level of pressure and friction for your skin type. This removes all the dead skin flakes and leaves the skin smooth. Rinse the skin to remove any traces of soap.
After use rinse the glove in fresh water and allow to dry (for which there is a small hanging loop)
If you need to wash the glove – then wash it by hand with warm water and rinse it in warm water – All sorts of things can go on inside a washing machine and temperature changes inside a washing machine i.e. warm wash and cold rinse could cause shrinkage! Please don’t let anyone try to iron the goat hair glove! The glove can be washed with the Hemp Oil Soap which is naturally anti-bacterial, but as we so often use these gloves with the hemp oil soap to exfoliate, I have never had to wash my own glove it stays clean with use and it gets to completely dry out between uses. Actually I have been using mine for several years now and it always has a fresh aroma (a tiny hint of goat). I have never felt the need to wash it.
Please note when you first start using the glove quite a few loose goat hairs will fall out and even after using the glove for a while several goat hairs will be lost. However thousands of goat hairs make up the glove and the gloves are very durable.
It is impossible to describe the sensation of using a goat hair glove for washing … I’m trying! Invigorating, refreshing, stimulating, tingling … like having a good itch all over … very mammalian!
Why Exfoliate the Skin?
Use the exfoliating glove to remove dead skin. Dead skin can not be moisturized and thick layers of dead skin impair the performance of the skin, the ability to sweat and the ability to regulate heat. Exfoliation is a health practice.
A well exfoliated skin needs far less moisturization – the skin is suppose to breath releasing carbon dioxide and other gasses and absorbing oxygen, so the less it is smothered in products the better. The skin will also be softer, more youthful looking and more comfortable.
If exfoliate toward the heart you will improve the circulation of lymph. Lymph is the blood’s cleaning fluid and does not have its own circulatory pump. It relies on massage, exercise and exfoliation.
Ethics of using Goat Hair Exfoliating Gloves
These gloves, although very hard wearing they are biodegradable.
Even though the project is very small scale we can help people maintain their traditional lifestyles by purchasing their resources and labour, helping to prevent rural depopulation and retaining traditional craft skills.
The goats like being groomed!
Specifications of the Goat Hair Exfoliating Glove
The goat hair exfoliating glove is approximately 25cm long by 18cm wide. It is much larger than normal exfoliating gloves and even men with large hands will be able to stretch out their hand inside when using the glove.
The main textile (hand spun and hand woven goathair) is the natural brown colour of the goats. The textile is very natural and is characterized by shrubs and variations in the spinning are visible. The bias binding is maroon and the lining inside is magenta cotton canvas.
The goat hair textile is of 100% goat hair, in fact the gloves will still smell goat-like!
The bindings are made with cotton bias binding and a small loop is sewn in in case you want to hang it somewhere and as stated before they are lined with 100% cotton canvas.
Other Exfoliating Products:
Naturally Anti-Microbial Exfoliating Glove made of Copper Filaments and Nettle Fiber – can be used wet or dry. These are superbly constructed and they are slightly stretchy. Machine washable at 50 degrees Celsius.
Ionic Bronze and Horse Hair Body Brushes – these are much more profound than normal body brushes as the bristles are made of fine bronze wire and horse hair and they also remove the electrical charge of the skin. The larger size is great for the body and the smaller size for the face, jaw and breasts. Use dry only.
British Naturally Anti-Microbial Hemp Oil Wash Soap – the key to a superb wet exfoliation.
How the Goat Hair Exfoliating Gloves are Made
The knowledge of how to make goat hair gloves was when we started this project, still (just) in living memory of older people, as nowadays, in Morocco everyone uses the nylon ‘kesse’ or exfoliating glove which are often disposed of after a single use. With research we have been able to bring the original goat hair gloves out of memory and in to reality. It has been a difficult but exciting project and this is our third consignment.
We started by sending our Moroccan researcher into the far south of Morocco among the mountain Berbers who subsist by raising goats. They do not speak French or Arabic in these districts, the languages spoken by our researcher. Our researcher was asked to obtain 10kg of goat wool. The herders groom their goats to keep them in good condition and to collect the valuable goat hair. Goats, especially those in hot climates do not give up very much hair, the groomings of several surrounding villages was collected to provide the 10kg of raw material.
The goat hair is then spun into wool by hand. Spinning wheels are not used by the Berber peoples. Instead the women spin the hair into wool using a drop spindle, a technique developed in the Palaeolithic. A drop spindle is formed from a stick with a weight on the bottom. Once spun, it retains enough momentum to twist a few centimeters of goat hair together into wool. The wool is then wound onto the top of the spindle. A drop spindle is simple to make and requires virtually no maintenance but it takes three times longer to spin in this way than it does with a spinning wheel, plus goat hair, compared to soft sheep’s wool,is relatively resistant to spinning. The drop spindle is portable and women can spin either sitting down or while moving around. Eventually 10kg of goat wool appeared.
My researcher then took the goat wool up to the more ‘civilized’ part of Morocco where French and Arabic are spoken. He took the wool around the weavers to see who could remember how to weave exfoliating gloves. Finally he found a weaver who exclaimed, ‘I haven’t made one for forty years – so let’s get the wool on the loom.’ Within a few days bands had been woven, the basis of the goat hair glove.
The next stage is to cut the bands and stitch them together. Actually this was not the weaver’s strong point, so we decided to import the bands and have a textile historian and artist stitch them together in such a way that they are very durable. We have both been testing examples and have just been able to improve them, making them even more durable by stitching a cotton canvas lining on the inside. Currently our gloves are stitched together by a Sikh sewing machinist on Norwich Market.
We are now onto out third batch of goat hair gloves – so thank you all the customers who have helped us to keep this tradition going up to now.