The glove is a piece of clothing which is mainly used to protect the human hands from outside influences. The three main aims of different types of gloves are to protect from thermo, mechanically or chemical / infectious influences.
When speaking of thermo protective gloves we mainly think of winter gloves. Originally warming gloves were created out of leather and were lined with wool. Other ones are only knitted out of wool, what has the disadvantage that they can get wet when you touch snow, so the warming, turns in a cooling effect. Today the upper material as well as the lining are made of synthetic fiber in most cases. But there are also gloves which are meant to protect from heat, for example fire department gloves. They are made either out of Kevlar or Nomex.
If you are working in the garden for example, you need mechanically protective gloves. They'll prevent you from getting cut by thorns or other plants. You also seem to be stronger, because you don't have to worry where to tackle the plants to not get hurt. They also prevent you from getting blisters. Garden gloves are made out of cloth often provided with rubber nubs for a better grip. Other gloves with mechanically protection are for example butcher gloves. They are made out of chain mail to protect the hands from the sharp knives when cutting meat. It's also very important for motorcyclists to wear the right gloves as well as other protective clothing.
Also in many sports they use gloves for mechanically protection, for example boxing, cycling, golfing or riding, but also thermo protective ones in skiing or snowboarding. And if you think back to medieval times, also the knights used gloves made out of chain mail or iron to protect themselves in fights.
In the clinical area there are also gloves needed as protection from infections. They are produced in great masses, because they are only made for single use. They are either made of rubber or nitrile, and are very thin to grant high flexibility and not to influence the sense of touch to much. Analogical gloves made out of neoprene, choloroprene or polyvinyl chloride are used as chemical protections.
There are not only gloves for functional use, but also in the fashion. Women weared long elegant gloves, reaching until the upper arms especially back in the twenties, but today it seems that this style has nearly died off. It was also no specialty for men to wear gloves on opera balls. They had the purpose to let the precious silk or satin dresses from the women stay out of touch from the sweaty hands of the men. Today you sometimes see celebrities on the red carpet wearing gloves, but it is pretty rare.
After all it's most often also pretty nasty to wear gloves, because your hands begin to sweat, but in some situation this is just better then getting cut or to get frozen hands.