Alright, roll up your sleeves…

No, wait, hang on a second. You don’t have to! Not with these beauties!

Grocery bag holder IMG_2646

Nope, it’s not this. Completely different, can’t you tell? Photo: CraftinessisnotOptional.com

These are Chinese sleeve protectors.

I know, I know, you were thinking, these are undoubtedly the Chinese version of those plastic bag dispensers that you see at Midwestern craft fairs. But, no, these are way more different. Because there’s two of them!

You wear these over your sleeves or even over your bare arms anytime they need protection from dirt, oil, ink, whatever. In the winter, it’s much warmer to wear these over your long-sleeved tops than to push up your sleeves, no? I’ve seen people wear these while selling fruit, cooking food at stalls, riding their scooters, washing dishes, working at the post office, you name it.

To be accurate, I should say I’ve seen women wearing these for those tasks. So far, I’ve never spotted a man wearing them.

Sleeve protectors chinese street food at gulangyu island xiamen 25-12-2011 3-19-40 PM

Keepin’ those sleeves clean. Photo: b-kyu.com

I tried using these for a while for cooking in winter, but I never quite got used to them. It’s probably partially due to the fact that the elastic bands are sized for local women, and I’m not. And, funny thing, I like to keep blood flowing into my hands.

But, should you be interested in picking up a pair, these are sold at any supermarket, and at those home-goods-type shops that sell things like scooter ponchos and plastic stools. They come in an amazing array of colors and patterns, and about half feature cartoon characters.

Which might just be why I’ve never seen a guy wearing them.

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