Time On Your Hands: A History of Hestra Gloves

By Yeti Sep 14, 2020
Quality, warmth, dexterity and sustainability are the hallmarks of Hestra’s fourth-generation, handmade ski gloves.
Time On Your Hands: A History of Hestra Gloves

words by Tessa Woolf 

Much like its namesake town in Sweden, Hestra may be small in size but it’s mighty in reach and rich in history. This family-run glove manufacturing company has been crafting the perfect fit and mitt since 1936 when its founder Martin Magnusson first started making gloves from leather and wool on his farm in Hestra to help protect and warm the hands of local lumberjacks. As his hometown ski resort, Isaberg—one of the first in Sweden—began to grow and attract skiing tourists, so grew Hestra’s focus on ski gloves.  For more on the construction of Hestra gloves and mitts, visit our story here.


Now in its fourth generation of ownership and operation by the Magnusson family, Hestra is still focused on a singular craft: developing the highest quality gloves that provide both fingertip sensitivity and protection under the most varying conditions. The company employs two master certified glove cutters (of which there are less than 100 in the world currently), and they own four factories which allows them total control of the glove-making process. 

In recent years, the now-global brand produced more than two million pairs of gloves, and offers more than 400 glove models for a range of activities, from skiing to mountain biking to golfing. Skiing styles include gloves for alpine, racing, cross-country and more. But Hestra’s flagship glove is the Army Leather Heli Ski Glove. “It was designed after a serendipitous meeting with the president of CMH (Canadian Mountain Holidays) Heli Skiing who was looking for a glove to perform to the standards of his guides,” explains Hestra Marketing Manager Drew Eakins. “After several rounds of iteration, we launched the Heli glove line in 1999. The glove is trusted by guides and skiers all over the world—it’s even been to the summit of Everest over a dozen times.” 


As consumers continue to purchase more consciously and thoughtfully, Hestra answers the call by offering quality gloves that are sustainably produced. They’re one of the few environmentally certified manufacturing companies in the ski and outdoor world. “Sustainability is a core value at Hestra. Our belief is that building the most durable products and responsibly sourcing our materials are the best ways to reduce environmental impact,” says Eakins. “Our primary focus remains building products that last. Our team frequently interacts with skiers who have had the same pair of Hestra gloves for decades, and that’s a testament to the attention to detail from concept to design to construction and care."