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C.O. Butcher




Location: Fallon, NV
Joined: 28 Dec 2006

Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sun 22 Jul, 2007 12:01 am    Post subject: How do I construct a late 16th century jack of plates?         Reply with quote

I have been looking and looking for some guidance on how to construct a late 16th century jack of plates and coming up with nothing. Most of the posts deal with brigandine or coat of plates designs.
I'm looking to construct a jack of plates of the type used by the Border Reivers on the Anglo-Scot border. I have seen a few examples of the outside shell but can't find any information on how to go about placing and securing the plates. I have read that they were sewn in but I have seen no examples of plate shape or size.
My thoughts so far are to use a undyed canvas as the outside shell because canvas was a period fabric and is fairly strong.
Can anyone help me by pointing me in the right way or by telling me how they made a jack of plates
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David Evans




Location: Rotherham, West Riding
Joined: 09 Sep 2004

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PostPosted: Sun 22 Jul, 2007 1:07 am    Post subject: Jacks         Reply with quote

First. have a look here http://forums.armourarchive.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=47627

Second. Canvas is a good choice, linen canvas to be totally correct. The Shuttleworth papers from Lancashire in the late 16th Century has some references to materials bought to make jacks, such as

Fouretene Hundrethe of plates for a stiele cotte viijs
For ixth yerdes and a querter of canves and for piche, resine, vjs viijd
and hempe to make a stiele cotte
Sixtene hundrethe and a halffe of plates to be a stiell cote ixs vjd
Nene yardes and a querter of lynn and canves to make a still cote, vijs jd
and for a pounde of slap and somme more, to make the same

and

Thrie yardes of flaxen clothe, thrie yardes of canves vjs jd
and towe yardes anda half of black frisse cloth for to make a plate cote

So, LOTS of small plates, maybe 1,400 to 1,600 plates, at least 9 and a half yards of canvas, or a mix of linen, canvas and wool cloth. Pitch, resin and slap to waterproof the plates, and strong hemp thread to stich it all together!

There's some stuff here http://www.royalarmouries.org/extsite/view.jsp?sectionId=3001 and here http://www.royalarmouries.org/extsite/view.js...setId=2832

Have fun
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C.O. Butcher




Location: Fallon, NV
Joined: 28 Dec 2006

Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sun 22 Jul, 2007 12:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for the links. This is going to be very labor intensive.
I do have a few questions about the length of cloth needed. The period documentation that you have is great but at the time looms only made a 30in wide piece of cloth. I was wondering if the lengths required are so high to make up for the narrowness of the fabric. That sort of thing happens when looking period documentation for kilts lengths. That's why there is the misconception of 9 yards for the kilt. They took the the nine yards and cut it in half and then sewed them together on the long edge to reach a proper width. I was just wondering if it might be the same for the lengths needed for a jack.

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David Evans




Location: Rotherham, West Riding
Joined: 09 Sep 2004

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 229

PostPosted: Mon 23 Jul, 2007 2:33 am    Post subject: Fabric Widths         Reply with quote

Fustian is quite narrow, about 32". Linen was about 45" wide -ish but varies. Frieze is very narrow, from 24" to 27" in width.

I'd suspect that the mixed bag of canvas, flaxen and frisse was intended to have a black cloth outer, frieze is a fabric used as a warm, windproof layer, turning up in jerkins, worn over linen doublets, gowns, coats and cloaks. I think you're looking anywhere from at least 6 upwards layers of fabric, wrapped around the plates!
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C.O. Butcher




Location: Fallon, NV
Joined: 28 Dec 2006

Posts: 8

PostPosted: Mon 23 Jul, 2007 7:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was looking at the pictures from the links I got earlier. It almost looks like each plate is sewn to the to all the others in a series of continuous back stitch loops. It's almost like maile where each link is attached to the one next to it from what I can deduct from the pictures. This project will become quite tedious I expect but when it's done it will be amazing.
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