E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
meaning gloves. According to the best Dutch authorities, the word is a corruption of the French gant, Italian quanto, our gauntlets.
Wanten are worn by peasants and working people when the weather is cold. They are in shape somewhat like boxing-gloves, having only a thumb and no fingers. They are made of a coarse woollen stuff.Teding von Berkhout: Letter from Breda.