n the late 1600s, glove manufacture was the no. 1 trade in Randers. The gloves were sold throughout Europe and became one of Denmark's chief exports. But all good things come to an end, and by 1801 there were only three glovers left in Randers. Not until an enterprising merchant in 1811 brought French gantiers to the town and established his own glove factory - Randers Handskefabrik - was the trade revived. Thanks to the gantiers' modern craftsmanship, this saw the start of a commercial success that lasted almost two centuries. Randers Handskefabrik is still in existence, with boutiques in Copenhagen and Randers, although the gloves today are made abroad.
Partly a public place
" Marie-Antoinette, the last queen of France before the French Revolution of 1789, is said to always have worn Randers gloves to bed at night. Not because the gloves were fashionable, but because they had a reputation for being sweetly scented and keeping the hands soft. However, it is not certain that the Queen's gloves actually came from Randers. The popularity of the gloves was in fact such that glovers in other towns had started selling their own gloves as "Randers Handsker". This misrepresentation was so widespread that in 1759 it was reported that the gloves "are now made elsewhere than in Randers; mostly in Odense". "