Oven Mitts are insulated gloves worn in the kitchen to protect one’s skin from burns and scalds when cooking and dealing with hot objects. Often when cooking, one has to pick up pots, pans, baking trays and other hot items; using bare hands can potentially cause hazards because of how hot those objects might be.
Oven mitts are padded and made up of heat insulation material which is covered with fabric that usually has decorative patterns.
Oven Mitts are not the same as mittens and potholders. Mittens are specifically designed to keep one’s hands warm in the winter, and pot holders are usually smaller than oven mitts and easy to grab to pick up a pot from a stove.
A compartment of an oven mitt is usually large enough to accommodate one’s first four fingers so one can easily put them on for use.
Can I Use Any Fabric for Oven Mitts?
No, you cannot use any fabric to sew an oven mitt. It is advisable to use materials thick enough to prevent heat from reaching one’s hand. Also, the fabric used should be able to provide grip so that a hot kitchen utensil would not slide off one’s hand and endanger people.
Furthermore, it would be best if the fabric makes one’s grip feel natural and comfortable, instead of bulky and awkward.
In a nutshell, any fabric used as the outer layer of the oven mitts should be heat resistant and not melt. Most synthetic fabrics are not good choices; instead, one should opt for natural fibres. Cotton, leather and silicon are good choices.
Do Fabrics For Oven Mitts Need To Be Flame or Heat Resistant?
Both characteristics apply because although it is more important for oven mitts to be heat resistant, it would make sense if they are resistant to flames as well. Fire gone wild can be very dangerous.
If flames attack your oven mitts and manage to burn through them and get to your hands, it could burn your skin and cause permanent changes to their appearance.
All fabrics would be affected by flames if exposed long enough but certain fabrics like polyester and cotton would go ablaze quicker than some others like silicone and neoprene. Aramid fibre is one fabric that is highly unlikely to catch fire or melt after prolonged to high temperatures.
However, if aramid is combined with another type of fabric while making oven mitts, it might succumb to the flame. Oven mitts made with silicone, aramid and leather are so safe flame resistant that they are used for hotter processes like welding.
Heat resistance is the bare minimum expected of any fabric used to make oven mitts because if heat easily passes through, then it defeats the purpose of wearing it.
It would not be advisable to unnecessarily cut costs or take unnecessary shortcuts when picking heat-resistant fabric to make oven mitts because of the risks involved. It is expected a good oven mitt fabric should withstand temperatures of up to 400ºF for about 10 seconds.
Five Best Fabrics for Oven Mitts
This is one of the most recommended materials for the outer layer of oven mitts. It is harder for hot surfaces to burn holes through it when compared to thinner pieces of cotton.
This can be paired with a thick, heat-resistant batting as the middle layer. This middle layer provides additional protection and cushions one’s hands, making the oven mitt more comfortable to wear. They are usually made of polyester. For the lining, one can use middle or lightweight cotton.
Oven Mitts made with silicone can withstand temperatures up to 450ºF. The fabric has a texture that gives one a firm grip on hot items, is flexible – allowing one to have unlimited mobility – and is breathable.
It can be paired with a quilted cotton layer on the inside to further increase heat protection and create oven mitts that can be used to safely bake, and grill food items. Also, silicone fabrics are easy to clean and not expensive to buy.
Besides the fact that leather over mitts look fashionable, and stand out from other fabrics, they offer wonderful heat resistance abilities. The fabric would protect one’s hands from direct contact with hot liquids because of their waterproof nature.
It can withstand temperatures of about 250ºF and is durable. Also, they are comfortable to put on, making it possible for the wearer to leave it on for as long as they like and have a firm grip on items that they carry.
This fabric is made of fibres that are excellent at resisting heat. They can protect one from temperatures as high as 500ºF but a slight disadvantage to using them is that they can be a little clunky and provide as much grip as other materials.
It is best if they are combined with other fabrics than being used alone.
Kevlar oven mitts offer similar heat protection as those made with silicon, but with a better grip. It is lightweight, comfortable to wear, easy to clean by hand or in a washer, flexible and durable.
It is a synthetic fibre that can be more expensive than natural fabrics. It is highly recommended and well worth the price.