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Rich Knack




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PostPosted: Wed 22 Aug, 2012 10:02 am    Post subject: stuffing vs. layers for stand-alone padded jacks?         Reply with quote

Were padded jacks used as stand-alone armour (with or without jack chains) ever simply stuffed with wool, cotton, or other material? Or were they ALWAYS layered with multiple layers of linen, canvas, etc.? I want to put together a late medieval kit for a footsoldier, complete with jack chains (which I already have), and I have a pattern from Reconstructing History for a 15th century "arming coat", but little information was provided with the pattern as to what appropriate padding would be if used as stand-alone armor with no breastplate or maille. I am also on a tight budget, and stuffing would be much more affordable for me than multiple layers of linen.
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Gary Teuscher





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PostPosted: Wed 22 Aug, 2012 10:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
I am also on a tight budget, and stuffing would be much more affordable for me than multiple layers of linen.


Spunds like you have the same dilemma a middle ages warrior may have - but at least protection as not one of the most crucial aspects for you Big Grin

Interesting, I posted similar questions the same time you did on a different new thread.
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James Barker




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PostPosted: Wed 22 Aug, 2012 11:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stuffed jacks were used as stand alone armor. There are even extant examples which I have here: www.historiclife.com/Essays/Jacks.htm

I understand the Leeds museum also has a fragment of a stuffed and quilted jack that they are studying; dated to the war of the roses.

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Gary Teuscher





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PostPosted: Wed 22 Aug, 2012 11:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
These thickness are based off the ordinances listed bellow and the extant examples

ĽA Jack of 30 layers of linen can stand alone
ĽA Jack of 25 layers and a leather shell can also stand alone
ĽA jack of 18 layers of fustian and 4 plus layers of linen
ĽA Jack of 10 or more layers should have a maille shirt with it
ĽA Jack that is four to six layers of canvas stuffed with raw cotton (a.k.a. cotton wool)


Seems like the site you list above implies 25 layers as a minimum if a stand alone garment?
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Paul Hansen




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PostPosted: Wed 22 Aug, 2012 12:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alternatively to quilting with 30 layers of linen, you could substitute the linen with woolen blankets. This way you get the same thickness with less layers. The look is the same as layered linen and different from stuffing.

The defensive abilities against sharp weapons will probably be in the middle between fully linen (which is superior) and stuffed (which I think would be inferior).
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Blaz Berlec




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PostPosted: Wed 22 Aug, 2012 12:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd go for the layers. Not linen, but cotton batting - it is used in almost every preserved textile armour (Lubeck jacks, civilian jupon of CHarles de Blois, and I think the jupon of the Black Prince). Much easier to sew than linen too. Happy

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Bartek Strojek




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PostPosted: Wed 22 Aug, 2012 1:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Blaz Berlec wrote:
I'd go for the layers. Not linen, but cotton batting - it is used in almost every preserved textile armour (Lubeck jacks, civilian jupon of CHarles de Blois, and I think the jupon of the Black Prince). Much easier to sew than linen too. Happy


Would cotton batting be really available to average combatant, wearer of such gambeson/jack, though?

I'm pretty sure that Europeans were importing cotton from India etc. so it obviously wouldn't be very available/cheap.

So unless one is reenacting king, very reach landlord etc. cotton isn't probably best idea, and wool, felt, animal hair, rags et.c would be more appropriate?
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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Wed 22 Aug, 2012 7:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The 1322 London Armourer's Guild regulations call for white aketons to be stuffed with cotton and old cloth. If city militiamen can afford cotton filled aketons in 1322, it's not out of reach for the "middle class". I think the Italian merchants were getting cotton from Egypt, not quite the distance to India. That doesn't mean tow or other materials weren't used as well.
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Viktor Chudinov




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PostPosted: Thu 23 Aug, 2012 12:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A question on stuffing - How was it historically done? Does one sew canals on the shell and then fill them with the stuffing them, or is it more like quilting? Or is quilting reserved for layered garments?
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Thu 23 Aug, 2012 5:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I do not think so. All the examinations on padded armours show the layering whether of linen or raw cotton like material. I do not think stuffing as people think of it was ever done. Some helmet liners I saw were filled with plant material and it was simply laid down and sewn in place. As I looked at the places where the string went in and out you could see it penetrating the plant matter.

So from what I have seen quilting. I'd love to see evidence of channels being stuffed as it is easier. But not from what I have seen was this done.

In the late medieval period cotton was grown in several European mediterranean locations as well, Spain for example.

RPM
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James Barker




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PostPosted: Thu 23 Aug, 2012 5:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gary Teuscher wrote:
Quote:
These thickness are based off the ordinances listed bellow and the extant examples

ĽA Jack of 30 layers of linen can stand alone
ĽA Jack of 25 layers and a leather shell can also stand alone
ĽA jack of 18 layers of fustian and 4 plus layers of linen
ĽA Jack of 10 or more layers should have a maille shirt with it
ĽA Jack that is four to six layers of canvas stuffed with raw cotton (a.k.a. cotton wool)


Seems like the site you list above implies 25 layers as a minimum if a stand alone garment?


Or 4-6 layers of linen with raw cotton stuffing; all based on the historical evidence available too us.

Bartek Strojek wrote:
Blaz Berlec wrote:
I'd go for the layers. Not linen, but cotton batting - it is used in almost every preserved textile armour (Lubeck jacks, civilian jupon of CHarles de Blois, and I think the jupon of the Black Prince). Much easier to sew than linen too. Happy


Would cotton batting be really available to average combatant, wearer of such gambeson/jack, though?

I'm pretty sure that Europeans were importing cotton from India etc. so it obviously wouldn't be very available/cheap.

So unless one is reenacting king, very reach landlord etc. cotton isn't probably best idea, and wool, felt, animal hair, rags et.c would be more appropriate?



Italy, France (southern), and Spain all had a cotton industry. The Lubeck jacks are not for rich people. Also a number of ordinances on quilted armor call for cotton Mart Shearer posted one example.


Viktor Chudinov wrote:
A question on stuffing - How was it historically done? Does one sew canals on the shell and then fill them with the stuffing them, or is it more like quilting? Or is quilting reserved for layered garments?


Historically stuff then sew. Sewing then stuffing would produce thin spots you can punch through more easily than if there was stuffing under that quilting. It is akin to not having overlapping plats in a coat of plates of brig.

The Charles de Blois civilian garment is 3 layers and raw cotton with thick stuffing in the breast ; quilted after. The Charles VI garment is interesting because it is like two garments sewn together to make one. The under part is linen, raw cotton linen, quilted. The outer part is Silk, linen, raw cotton, linen, quilted. The arms are sewn in last and the bottom whip stitched together. The Black prince garment is velvet, linen, raw cotton, linen, quilted and embroidered. The Lubeck jacks are either double layers of linen as a shell or a single its hard to tell, raw cotton, and quilted.

James Barker
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Thu 23 Aug, 2012 5:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Agreed with Randall. The word "stuffed" has a different meaning today than it did at the time.
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Viktor Chudinov




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PostPosted: Thu 23 Aug, 2012 6:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the answers.
Quote:
The Charles VI garment is interesting because it is like two garments sewn together to make one. The under part is linen, raw cotton linen, quilted. The outer part is Silk, linen, raw cotton, linen, quilted. The arms are sewn in last and the bottom whip stitched together. The Black prince garment is velvet, linen, raw cotton, linen, quilted and embroidered. The Lubeck jacks are either double layers of linen as a shell or a single its hard to tell, raw cotton, and quilted.

This is very interesting, since this technique would actually make sewing such a thick garment much easier...

I wonder...do deaf schizophrenics hear voices...
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Len Parker





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PostPosted: Thu 23 Aug, 2012 6:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Details of the Charles VI cote armour http://www.wolfeargent.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb...p;go=newer
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Sam Gordon Campbell




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PostPosted: Thu 23 Aug, 2012 7:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan wrote:
... The word "stuffed" has a different meaning today than it did at the time.

James wrote:
Historically stuff then sew. Sewing then stuffing would produce thin spots you can punch through more easily than if there was stuffing under that quilting. It is akin to not having overlapping plats in a coat of plates of brig.

Randall wrote:
All the examinations on padded armours show the layering whether of linen or raw cotton like material. I do not think stuffing as people think of it was ever done. Some helmet liners I saw were filled with plant material and it was simply laid down and sewn in place. As I looked at the places where the string went in and out you could see it penetrating the plant matter.
So from what I have seen quilting. I'd love to see evidence of channels being stuffed as it is easier. But not from what I have seen was this done.

Right. I've been after succinct answers like those for ages. So that is, from what we currently know, what 'stuffed' means; like a pillow sort of.
My current projects just became a whole lot easier Big Grin

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Gary Teuscher





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PostPosted: Thu 23 Aug, 2012 8:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I wrote (copied to be specific)

Quote:
These thickness are based off the ordinances listed bellow and the extant examples

ĽA Jack of 30 layers of linen can stand alone
ĽA Jack of 25 layers and a leather shell can also stand alone
ĽA jack of 18 layers of fustian and 4 plus layers of linen
ĽA Jack of 10 or more layers should have a maille shirt with it
ĽA Jack that is four to six layers of canvas stuffed with raw cotton (a.k.a. cotton wool)


Seems like the site you list above implies 25 layers as a minimum if a stand alone garment?


James Parker wrote:

Quote:
Or 4-6 layers of linen with raw cotton stuffing; all based on the historical evidence available too us.


Then question though was how thick was it before it was considered true "stand alone" armour.

From the above, 30 layers, or 25 of linen and a leather shell are considered "stand alone". It does not say the same for the 4-6 layer garments stand alone, even says a garment of 10 or more layers should have a mail shirt.


On a related note, I think that we get a limited and possibly skewed picture on what was used for textile armour, likely because the garments of great personages survive better. For instance we may have the cloth armour of the Black Prince - but nothing on Joe the Footman.
\
Likewise we have a very limited view prior to at least the 14th-15th centuries merely because of survivability. As plate was far more common during this period, I think we have less of an understanding of what was worn when plate was not used as a body defense, when you only had mail.
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Thu 23 Aug, 2012 8:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gary,

Perhaps but several of the finds we have are clearly not higher up garments as said eairlier the Lubeck. Many of the remaining liners and padding in armour are on cheaper munition types such as the black salley at the RA.

RPM
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James Barker




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PostPosted: Thu 23 Aug, 2012 9:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gary Teuscher wrote:
Quote:
Or 4-6 layers of linen with raw cotton stuffing; all based on the historical evidence available too us.


Then question though was how thick was it before it was considered true "stand alone" armour.

From the above, 30 layers, or 25 of linen and a leather shell are considered "stand alone". It does not say the same for the 4-6 layer garments stand alone, even says a garment of 10 or more layers should have a mail shirt.


The 10,25,and 30 layers are linen alone. The stuffed jacks are several layers of canvas with raw cotton filler doing the defensive work versus the many many layers. That is the main difference.

In the case of the Lubeck Jacks one had evidence of a breastplate worn over like you see in some art.

James Barker
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Rich Knack




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PostPosted: Thu 23 Aug, 2012 9:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I wonder just how well moving blankets would work as stuffing, and how many I should use? Being that they are already quilted, I would think they'd be easier to use than batting - less tendency to shift around, and you wouldn't be able to see it from the outside.
"Those who 'beat their swords into plows', will plow for those who don't."
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James Barker




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PostPosted: Thu 23 Aug, 2012 9:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Rich Knack wrote:
I wonder just how well moving blankets would work as stuffing, and how many I should use? Being that they are already quilted, I would think they'd be easier to use than batting - less tendency to shift around, and you wouldn't be able to see it from the outside.


I have a 30 layer linen jack I made, it is about an inch think.

Word of advise: wearing a moving blanket, which is polyester material, is like wearing a thermos on your body. If you by bating make sure it is 100% cotton and no glue added to it. I used raw cotton for some of my projects, I got it at a materials distributor. I quilt through it with a sail needle, because it is such a thick needle I can set a board on my lap and push down the garment over the needle if it gets stuck passing through.

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