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Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > historical leather armor designs Reply to topic
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R. Kolick





Joined: 04 Feb 2012

Posts: 114

PostPosted: Sun 22 Jul, 2012 4:17 pm    Post subject: historical leather armor designs         Reply with quote

i was wondering what leather armor would have realy looked like
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Gregory J. Liebau




Location: Dinuba, CA
Joined: 27 Nov 2004

Posts: 669

PostPosted: Sun 22 Jul, 2012 4:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Look up "leather armor" in the search function. Lots of threads talking about historical leather armor. What place and era specifically are you interested in? Leather was certainly used in Europe during the 14th century, and was created by boiling the leather into hardened shapes. That particular style is known as 'cuir bouilli,' and the process was also used for other items such as scabbards.

-Gregory
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R. Kolick





Joined: 04 Feb 2012

Posts: 114

PostPosted: Sun 22 Jul, 2012 5:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i was maily looking on info on armor from the dark ages till 1000 ad
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Gregory J. Liebau




Location: Dinuba, CA
Joined: 27 Nov 2004

Posts: 669

PostPosted: Sun 22 Jul, 2012 5:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The short answer is that there is no surviving leather armor from that period besides the possibility of lamellar, which was probably not used further west than the most eastern parts of Europe.

There was a long-winded topic regarding the subject a couple of years ago.

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...ther+armor

-Gregory
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Matthew Amt




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

Posts: 1,306

PostPosted: Mon 23 Jul, 2012 5:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not only no surviving examples from that era, but virtually no depictions of anything that is more likely to be leather than something else (Bishop Odo on the Bayeaux Tapestry springs to mind as a possible exception), and no mentions in historical literature including some rather detailed laws concerning militia requirements. There is one fellow in a saga who was called "Leatherneck" because of his apparently very weird habit of wearing some sort of leather corselet. There was also a hero who had to cobble together some cowhide protection against dragon venom, which presumably would not have been necessary if any leather armor had been known at the time.

In short, there seems to be evidence for the general absence of leather armor in that era!

Matthew
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Gary Teuscher





Joined: 19 Nov 2008

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 704

PostPosted: Mon 23 Jul, 2012 8:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is a dsecription of Cu Chulainn (I forget where I read this) that describes his armour. It was late 10th century I believe, which would mean that in probability the author is describing Irish armour of that time.

He wears both a tunic of 26 layers (sounds identical to the gambesons made from multi layers of linen), and a cuirass of leather, something to the effect of "made from the best parts of yearling oxen".

This would seem to be a thick leather garment over a gambeson type.

I think one thing to remember though - neither cloth nor leather were cheap, so this is not a "poor mans" armour. On the contrary, it's worn by a hero, Cu Chulainn who also has a chariot and driver (the driver apparently wears no armour).
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