As an experienced piper myself, I know all too well the dangers of performing in cold conditions and the impact that can have on your hands.
To tell my story, we head over to Edinburgh Castle. It’s January 2009, the start of the “Homecoming Scotland” celebrations. I was piping to greet dignitaries to an evening with Scotland’s First Minister and was stuck out in the driving wind and snow for well over an hour. By the time the last guest had arrived, my hands were almost as blue as the Scottish flag! I could barely wiggle my fingers, which naturally impacted on my ability to play the tunes my brain was telling my hands to perform, let alone being concerned about potential long-term finger damage. Today, I suffer greatly from stiff fingers, joint issues and generally just keeping my hands warm. My story is only one of countless amongst the piping community.
As a result of that, we have developed an innovative, non-invasive layer of protection from low-temperatures and additional support for those with pre-existing hand conditions, The Pipers’ Glove™. This allows the current and future generations of pipers to maintain their quality standards before, during and after their performances. Bagpipers have never been able to fully cover their hands while playing the instrument before, so the likelihood of developing problems with finger dexterity can often be very high. With The Pipers’ Glove™, we can provide comfort for people who are in the same position as I am now, as well as safeguarding the hands of our younger players.”
Let me tell you more about the glove itself. Given that we have designed this for musicians, we had a number of important features to consider. Focusing on the fingers, it was vital that we chose materials that still allow us to have control of the bagpipe chanter, with full grip of the chanter holes and allowing for intricate finger movements.
On the back of the hand, thickness of material to keep warmth in and cold out was our goal, with the elasticated wrist providing full sealing around the base of the hand. All of our materials allow for breathability, flexibility and sensitivity, as well as being ethically sourced.
The Pipers’ Glove™ comes in a selection of colours, sizes and can also be customised to feature your own band, sponsor or event logos.
Once we have delivered our successful proof of concept and confirmed our early pre-order sales, the intention is to introduce gloves and products for other instruments, which we’re targeting at 2 per year, giving us a range of 10 instrument product lines by 2025. The products we are designing are being developed for musicians, however we’ve also found from our test feedback that customers are using them as part of everyday life, whether that be walking the dog, gardening or playing a sport. Due to the focus on finger dexterity, The Pipers’ Glove™ is perfect for undertaking any kind of intricate task, such as computer typing, smart phone use or even photography!