The tradition of glove making in Pécs

The Pécs leather workshops were built in the valley of river Tettye, where Turkish tanners worked during the Turkish invasion. News of their fine to touch leather traveled fast, and soon leather craftsmen from all walks of the trade started to settle in the area, in fact, entire tanner dynasties were formed. In 1762 a master of a new trade, glovemaker Peter Ranolder came and settled in town. The first factory dedicated to glove manufacturing in Pécs was founded by János Hamerli. He was a master of both tanning and glovemaking. Before obtaining a license for glove manufacturing at the age of 21, in 1861, he was employed in Austrian and
Czech workshops. His gloves, made of perfectly processed leather, were a match to even German and French gloves at the time. In the beginning of the 1900s, his sons built a state-of-the-art leather and glove factory. The Hamerli factory was well known for its fashion gloves, which earned fame and recognition not only to the factory, but the city of Pécs as well. The first crisis in the history of the company came with World War II. After the war, the company had no time to rebuild itself before it was nationalized by the state in 1948. Pécsi Kesztyűgyár, now state-owned, produced an extraordinary growth over the next 30 years, mass-producing gloves for the socialist market but keeping the fine traditions of quality craftsmanship alive. The peak came in the ‘80s, when the annual
output of the company exceeded 3 million pairs, and employed more than 3000 people. Once the political system had changed, a company of this
size could not compete in the market. After several failed rescue attempts, the factory was closed down. During the final stages of the company’s fall, and building on its legacy, several smaller businesses appeared, which were more flexible in responding to market demand. Gant Pécsi Kesztyű Kft began operation in 1993.