Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Making leather lamellar Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Nick Bourne




Location: London, United Kingdom
Joined: 09 Nov 2008

Posts: 44

PostPosted: Sun 30 Jan, 2011 5:03 pm    Post subject: Making leather lamellar         Reply with quote

Hello everyone!
I've recently been thinking of building a lamellar armour based on the plates found in Birka. I can't really afford a full metal one so I plan to make it out of thick leather. I kind of know what I'm doing but have been wondering about a few things.
Firstly, I need to actually get hold of some leather! I live in the UK so does anyone know some suppliers?
Secondly, does anyone have any suggestions as to the pattern of the armour, e.g. number of rows and amount of scales in each row? I understand my size which dictate that but any guideline numbers?
Thirdly, can anyone post pictures of their own lamellar armours?
As always thank you for all information in advance,
Nick
View user's profile Send private message
Artis Aboltins




PostPosted: Mon 31 Jan, 2011 2:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Before you commit yourself to this project, you might want to consider that majority of researchers believe that a)Birka lamellar most likely was not used by Viking, b)we have no evidence whatsoever to vikings using any sort of leather armour.
Tertiary, are you sure that thick enough leather will be cheaper than, say 1mm thick steel plate? You can cut lamellae from the plate using simple hand shears, and drill holes using handheld drill, so it really does not take much in the way of expenses - and 1 mm thick cold or hot rolled steel is also usually not very expensive.
View user's profile Send private message
Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,302

PostPosted: Mon 31 Jan, 2011 7:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've only paid for steel twice in my life, and those were special orders to have lorica segmentata parts cut. Get thee to a trash pile! Old shelves and such are easy to find, and they are free steel! Much of it tends to be thinner than 1mm, but for lamellar that's fine. A pair of snips, a file, and a cheap hand-held metal hole punch, and you're on your way.

Have fun!

Matthew
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Audun Refsahl




Location: Norway
Joined: 15 Feb 2006

Posts: 82

PostPosted: Mon 31 Jan, 2011 8:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would use 1,5mm, its 50% stiffer :P
still, pr square meter steel is cheaper from supplier than leather suitable. you can cut it with grinders, hacksaw, whatever, and easily give it a curve. drill the holes, or punch them. with a few tools it will be easier than making it with leather...

just bacon...
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 3,190

PostPosted: Mon 31 Jan, 2011 1:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Agree with Matt. I've never paid for steel, ever. There is so much scrap lying around that it is ridiculous. Mild steel lamellar shouldn't cost you a cent except for some lacing material. 1mm is more than thick enough for this type of construction and can be found everywhere. Old computer cases are usually the first thing I cannibalise.

Also agree wihth Artis. There is no evidence that vikings ever wore lamellar or leather armour. The Birka armour was not found in a grave so it is impossible to tell who actually wore it but it has been well demonstrated that it is Central Asian construction.
View user's profile Send private message
Nick Bourne




Location: London, United Kingdom
Joined: 09 Nov 2008

Posts: 44

PostPosted: Mon 31 Jan, 2011 2:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice guys.
I do know there is no evidence of lamellar used in a viking context and am not using it as part of my kit, I merely want to make it because I am interested in the armour itself, kind of an experiment to see how it works during combat.
View user's profile Send private message
Tom King




Location: florida
Joined: 11 Sep 2009
Likes: 2 pages

Posts: 428

PostPosted: Mon 31 Jan, 2011 7:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lamellaresque armor was found at the battle of Visby (1391-swedes vs Danes) of a riveted construction. different time period, but a proof of concept that Scandinavia knew of and used lamellar as late as the 14th century. As has been stated, leather armor is useless for "real combat" and is damn expensive compared to steel. That being said, not everyone has a backyard metal shop or a friend with one that is inattentive Big Grin . A $80 side of armor grade leather, twine, and a leather punch can run you less than a decent drill (not to mention the bit set, masks, goggles, and the metal if you don't have a bunch of old computers laying around.)

photo- National historical museum, Stockholm, Sweden



 Attachment: 23.57 KB
visby.jpg

View user's profile Send private message
Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 3,190

PostPosted: Mon 31 Jan, 2011 8:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Who needs a backyard metal shop? To make mild steel lamellar you need some twine, snips, a file, and a cheap punch. You don't need to spend $80 on leather either. The steel can be had for free. it is the cheapest armour you can make with the possible exception of butted mail.

Quote:
but a proof of concept that Scandinavia knew of and used lamellar as late as the 14th century

It is also proof that Scandinavia knew of and used lamellar as EARLY as the 14th century since it is the only example. It tells us nothing about earlier or later armour.
View user's profile Send private message
David Huggins




Location: UK
Joined: 25 Jul 2007

Posts: 490

PostPosted: Tue 01 Feb, 2011 12:48 pm    Post subject: Leather lamellar         Reply with quote

Hi Nick

If your a member of the largr viking/saxon societies in the U.K. I would advise that you seek your authenticity office's opinion and save your self a lot of well meant earnest but painfull earache. Most U.K. groups do not advocate leather lamellar.

If you still wish to make a lamellar armour then I would go for a metal one following the advice given above.

A simple google search for 'Birka Lamellar' will provide you with links to various sites giving reconstruction details for lamellar armour.

It should be said that there are various thoughts on the metal leather plates from the Birka site, some posulating an 'oriental' origin for the plates, but to be absolutist and consider that because they are 'oriental' in origin they could not have been worn by a Russ warrior is only looking at the finds with an isolated view. Many of the graves artifacts from Birka display artifacts with mixed 'oriental' influences.

By the way, Neil Price has a new book due to be published which reapraises aspects of the Russ/Vikingr cultures, which includes new reconstructions based on archeological and textual evidence, see here

http://www.abdn.ac.uk/archaeology/staff/staff.php?id=neil.price

Perhaps you will be giving the dental modifications and eye make-up a miss?

and he who stands and sheds blood with us, shall be as a brother.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
David Huggins




Location: UK
Joined: 25 Jul 2007

Posts: 490

PostPosted: Tue 01 Feb, 2011 1:20 pm    Post subject: lamellar         Reply with quote

Nick

Here is a link to one guy's attempt at a home project and not a bad job too..
http://www.vikingnorthman.4t.com/photo5.html


best
Dave

and he who stands and sheds blood with us, shall be as a brother.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Tom King




Location: florida
Joined: 11 Sep 2009
Likes: 2 pages

Posts: 428

PostPosted: Tue 01 Feb, 2011 6:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
It is also proof that Scandinavia knew of and used lamellar as EARLY as the 14th century since it is the only example. It tells us nothing about earlier or later armour.


It isn't, I'm just lazy and unorganized. The piece i mentioned is considered to be either a modified (rivets instead of twine) lamellar shirt or based of one from an earlier period traded or taken from eastern Europe. Cross cultural interaction did take place in Europe. Even though the Birka Lamellar cannot be attributed to a specific side, it shows that "vikings" that pushed into eastern Europe and beyond would have definitely come in contact with this style of armor.
View user's profile Send private message
Nick Bourne




Location: London, United Kingdom
Joined: 09 Nov 2008

Posts: 44

PostPosted: Wed 02 Feb, 2011 6:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks once again for the advice guys.
Like I've said I'm more interested in building it to have it and for training. Its always been one of my favourite armour types. Given what you guys have been saying and after a look on the web, I think I will go for a steel construction rather than a leather one.
A point about exceptions. Whilst I fully agree that reenactors should follow the trends rather than the exceptions, don't you think it is important to make your public aware to the huge amount of cultural overlap? As one of my lecturers; says if a room of students was suddenly buried and dug up in a thousand years they would find mostly American clothes brands; would this make them Americans?
I know the circumstances aren't exactly the same but it makes an interesting point.

@ Dave - Thanks for the links, I look forward to that book, it is a subject I'm very interested in.
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Making leather lamellar
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum