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S. Sebok





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PostPosted: Mon 29 Apr, 2013 2:58 pm    Post subject: Lacing and attaching tie in the back maille chausses         Reply with quote

Alright so a few months ago I ordered a pair of maille chausses from Battle Merchant. I cleaned them yesterday and now I plan to use them. I got some padded hosen to wear under them. They are the tie in the back kind however. I got a C belt to attach them but I am currently clueless with how to tie them in the back myself without assistance from anyone. I was considering buying some buckles and leather strips to add to the back so it's easier to put them on and off but I am unsure of how period that would be. I have knee cops and spurs which help keep them from flapping around but I still have no clue what is the best material to lace them with. I tried jute cord but it kept separating and didn't fit well through the flat rings.
I am pretty sure the best way to lace them is sitting down rather than standing up, as I had an old pair and they were TOO tight on me when I had someone lace them in the back, I was totally unable to kneel or even sit down with them on they were on so tightly, these new ones are larger and I don't really have that problem so far. What I am asking for is a pic of how to lace them in the back effectively with lace and what kind of lace would work best. Also I have lugged soles on the bottom of my boots, would lacing them on the feet through the lugs be efficient? I am quite clueless with how to attach them and would like some help, especially with pictures or period art of how they were attached.
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Brian Robson





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PostPosted: Mon 29 Apr, 2013 4:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tied chausses arn't really contemporary with knee cops. To be period, you would need fully enclosing hose to go with those cops - and I can help you with how to fit those!
Never had tied hose before though so can't help much - other than I'd expect there to still be a tight tie going all around the leg just under the knee to hold most of the weight. And it should probably be tied tightly below that but will need an amount of bagginess above so the knee can bend.

Period images I've seen just show a criss-cross lacing - presumable lucetted cord or leather thong (Probably leather as it's more hardwearing )

But start with the tie under the knee..
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S. Sebok





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PostPosted: Mon 29 Apr, 2013 4:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah thats my issue, and I already sold my old pair which was ALSO tie in the back. Now I am starting to wish I had the full leg ones, but considering how thin my legs really are the full ones wont fit my legs properly. I could sell the ones I got and get the KOA pair they sell now but I honestly don't want to waste money at this rate as I bought these ones from Germany simply because I prefer wedge riveted maille to dome riveted. I think I am just going to try leather cord at this rate, I just need a few pics of how to tie them, should I do it in an X pattern? Or should I tie them separately all the way down? I did do the X pattern for my old ones and it was a disaster, kneeling actually caused a rivet to pop and they fell off it was way too tight.
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Brian Robson





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PostPosted: Mon 29 Apr, 2013 4:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tie under the knee first to give an anchor point. It should support the weight (or use buckled garters)

Then criss-cross with a seperate piece of leather for the lower-leg. It should be safe to do that fairly tightish - there isn't a lot of movement there.

Then suspend the upper part to your belt to hold it up - then I guess you'll have to experiment with the upper leg.. Possibly a seperate, but much looser criss-cross? Maybe only do the thigh and leave the knee with maybe just one individual tie right at the back? Or just cover with Gamboised Cuisses so they hold it in place..

Experiment and see what works.
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S. Sebok





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PostPosted: Mon 29 Apr, 2013 4:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah I need to get a set of buckled garters, not sure where to get them though. I saw some on historical enterprises but I want mine to be leather rather than cloth cause I think cloth would wear out easier due to riveted maille.

I just hope the criss cross thing works for the bottom, it's really hard to tie these on myself cause my C belt I use to hold them up doesnt let me bend down to do it myself. I have no one to help me do it so I HAVE to do it myself or else they're never gonna get on.

I would consider gambosed cuisses but I really want to wear my knee cops with my chausses, cause they look rather cool with it, the chausses are wide enough for me to lace them through the maille onto the chausses which adds the leather strap meaning less tyeing. Time to get them out again I guess.
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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
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PostPosted: Mon 29 Apr, 2013 6:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Deedle, deedle, dumpling, my son John...

Here's some images of the Roland at Verona Cathedral to show the lacing going under the foot and around the ankle:



As for the back lacing, I would suggest finding someone else to help.

The Norwegian King's Mirror from c. 1250 specifies in chapter 38
Quote:
The rider himself should be equipped in this wise:
he should wear good soft breeches made of soft and
thoroughly blackened linen cloth, which should reach
up to the belt; outside these, good mail hose which
should come up high enough to be girded on with a
double strap;


On Armour Archive, Len Parker today posted an image of the 13th century clerical hose of Rodrigo Jimenez with the ties still attached. These may provide a clue as to placement of the "double strap".


There is also evidence from the Battle of Bouvines in 1214 (Philippide, line 1754) of sewing or lacing the chausses to the hauberk:
Quote:
And as he was slow in getting up from the ground, waiting in vain for help and still hoping to escape, a boy [a commoner] named Cornut, one of the servants of the Elect of Senlis, and walking ahead of the latter, a man strong in body, arrives holding a deadly knife in his right hand. He wanted to cut the count's noble parts by plunging the knife in at the place where the body armor is joined to the leggings, but the armor sowed [sic] into the leggings will not separate and open up to the knife, and thus Cornut's hopes are thwarted. However, he circles the count and looks for other ways to reach his goal. Pushing the two whalebones out of the way and soon pulling off the whole of his helmet, he inflicts a large wound upon his unprotected face.


Quote:
Ipsum paecedens Cornutus nomine fortis
Corpore, mortifero horribat qui dextra cutello.
Hic ocreis ubi si jungit lorica, volebat
Immisso comiti vitalia rumpere ferro.
Sed thorax ocreis consuta patere cutello
Indissuta negans Cornuti vota fefellit.
Circuit, atque alias se garcio vertit ad artes.
Cornibus amotis balenae et casside tota
Ingenti faciem nudatam vulnere signal.


Most manuscript illuminations merely show the mail being pulled back in points. I am not certain the mail wasn't woven into these points, as simple tension usually doesn't make them so pronounced. Unfortunately I don't know of any illustration showing the back of the leg, so we can only guess if the lacing is spiral or crossed. Spiral lacing should be easier to do by yourself.






Sometimes the amount of pointing is very frequent.
http://manuscriptminiatures.com/life-of-st-alban-tcl-e-i-40/3181/


This one seems to show the lace below the knee in white.


Last year Mac alerted us to a Vegard Vike article which may document an existing mail chausse, previously mis-identified as a sleeve, C 3250 has large "lacing rings" covered by a mail fly, but may be of a later 15th century date. If the dating is correct, even "enclosed" chausses might actually be closed by lacing.

http://www.kernaud.net/pub/Maille/ringweave.pdf
http://folk.uio.no/vegardav/brynje/Ring_Weave...fsson).pdf (cached)

Quote:
The hosen (C 3250) show a split in the legpart, along the edges of the split there are several sets of lacing rings. These are of double size compared to the largest rings in the weave and they are riveted. The surveyed fragment (C 2616) had such lacing rings fastened by the edge and it is therefore most probable that it is a part of the other hosen in a pair with C 3250. The better-preserved hosen is designed for a left leg, at least if one interprets the lacing as running on the back of the leg. If that is a correct assumption, fragment C 2616 will have been part of the right hosen.

If you read the article, you might see why I think they're inside out and the other way 'round.


Finally, there are the extant flat thongs from the Tofta coif, which were described as rawhide, IIRC.



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Tofta conserved thongs.jpg


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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Tue 30 Apr, 2013 2:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My mail chauses are cut from a square piece of mail, only knee height and stitched to the cuises. But they are also laced in the back.

My experience is that the only piece of the chause that needs to be opened/tightened is at the ancle.
I use thick leather laces, as thick as will pass through the rings and remain flexible.
These laces I leave in place, with a knot on the end of the cords so that it does not slip through the bottom rings.
This lets me slide them on like any other pair of hose (The leg is "longer" when sitting, so I do this standing or compensate accordingly.)
It is then a simple matter of tightening the bottom cords, and tucking away the ends.

The top of the chause (over the knee) does not need to be very tight fitting or adjusted each time. You could simply put in a separate cord that you time and leave in place. Leave it open or put in some slack behind the knee. Separate lacing for the lower leg.
You can also lace or rivet on a leather strap along the edge of the mail. This will allow you to make holes for lacing or sewing it to a backing without the rings wearing out the tread.

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Brian Robson





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PostPosted: Tue 30 Apr, 2013 2:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm not sure what a 'C Belt' is, but if it stops you from bending, it will be a massive hinderance to putting them on yourself.

As Elling indicated, once certain ties are worked out, they can be left in place and your leg slid on like solid hose. You will then only need to bend to tie at the ankle. But you will need to bend.

Mine are here. Not tied, but it may give some ideas (possibly for belt fastening):

http://dawnofchivalry.wikispaces.com/Mail+Cha...7s+Project
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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Tue 30 Apr, 2013 6:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Elling, Do you spiral lace, or cross-lace?

Adding the photo from the Vike article to show the basic shape of the surviving mail chausse. I don't think the foot is covered.



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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Tue 30 Apr, 2013 10:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mart: Cross, like boot laces. But looking over the pictures of me I could probably lace them tighter, and tie them closed halfway down. Or permanently close them to that point.


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DSC_0173.jpg


"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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S. Sebok





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PostPosted: Tue 30 Apr, 2013 4:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the pics of the lacing in the back, they're helpful. I think I am gonna get some leather tie to lace the back. I am not sure how to spiral lace it though so I might just do the cross lace, if all I have to do is the ankles then I SHOULD in theory be able to put it on myself, just to solve the issue with lacing the feet. I could just slip them on and off like full leg ones then and only have to tie the feet and ankles each time. I have to put them on while sitting or else I wont be able to put them on at all, I did have my old ones put on while standing and it was impossible for me to sit as they were too tight surprisingly, these new ones are a bit large and around the ankles there is overlap thanks to my rather thin ankles, should I just trim the excess off? Or should I just overlap it and tie it there?

I got 12th century shoes that are extra wide so I don't really have to cut any of it off as the feet fit perfectly. They also have lugs so I can lace the laces between them to prevent them from coming undone, I originally used 14th century shoes but they didn't fit well over them so I got new shoes simply because the lugged soles are better than flat ones for practical reasons.

My chausses are a bit long on my legs but I can easily just move them up a bit and point them to my C belt.
This is what a C belt is: http://www.vikingleathercrafts.com/cuisse-belt.html
The flaps in the bottom make it almost impossible for me to bend my legs over because they go over my legs and make it hard to sit, maybe I am wearing it too low. But I ain't using something else because this belt cost me 60 bucks and it's all I have at the moment. My chausses weigh 4 pounds each so they're not really THAT heavy.
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Brian Robson





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PostPosted: Wed 01 May, 2013 1:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

S. Sebok wrote:
these new ones are a bit large and around the ankles there is overlap thanks to my rather thin ankles, should I just trim the excess off? Or should I just overlap it and tie it there?.


I would try to remove as much unnecessary weight as possible. Walking in mail chausses for any period of time is hugely energy-sapping and pulls at muscles you're not really used to using.
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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Wed 01 May, 2013 10:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brian Robson wrote:
As Elling indicated, once certain ties are worked out, they can be left in place and your leg slid on like solid hose. You will then only need to bend to tie at the ankle. But you will need to bend.

Mine are here. Not tied, but it may give some ideas (possibly for belt fastening):

http://dawnofchivalry.wikispaces.com/Mail+Cha...7s+Project


From the link:
Quote:
I hit a snag with putting on the chausses and boots. My foot would not fit through while wearing my boots - so I had to pull the chausses on barefoot. But once on, I had to pull them up over my feet to get the boots on. Then it was impossible to strech the chausses back down over foot and pull the sabaton forward enough to get my toes inside!

The solution was to extend the split at the back of the ankle down almost to the heel. This meant that before tying the chausses at the knee, I could pull them down a little and get the heel of my boot out through the slit - allowing me to pull the sabatons forwards enough to get my toes in. Then I could pull them back up, tie the split and fasten at the knee.


You might note the Roland figure where the spiral laced ankle-split is on the inside of the ankle. This leaves the Achilles tendon covered by uninterrupted mail, and the weaker split toward the horse/other leg. Since the foot is wider than the ankle, you'll have to have some split if you want the ankle tight, but still want to get your foot through. The "tip tab" of leather is an interesting approach, but I know of no evidence to support it versus simply lacing.

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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Thu 02 May, 2013 11:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've began pondering why Elling's chausse doesn't look like the illustrations from the late 12th and early 13th centuries. Two possibilities spring to mind as to why his mail isn't drawn into the points or "teeth" which the artwork shows.

1. The rows of the mail are running the wrong way, vertically rather than horizontally, which stresses the mail differently.
2. The edge of the mail is straight, rather than woven into point or teeth.

Perhaps both factors are in play. Thoughts?



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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Thu 02 May, 2013 11:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The weave is running horisontaly. But the shape is not really optimized, and there are no fastening rings.

Further more, this is the only picture I could find where the lacing shows propperly, and that is because I am stepping forward, so that the weight of the chause is pulling the lacing.
When I am standing still, you can not really see the lacing unless you are really close, or it has become undone for some reason.

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
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PostPosted: Fri 03 May, 2013 3:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Another miniature example from the University of Leiden,Maccasre of the Holy Innocents, Psalter of Ludwig der Heilege, BPL 76 A, fo19r, c. 1190, York, England.

I don't think lacing alone will form the teeth in the mail.



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UBL BPL76A fo019r-chausses.jpg


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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Sat 04 May, 2013 9:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

For some contemporary documentary evidence, we have these lines from Chretien de Troyes Erec et Enide from c. 1170. Primary source is BNF 794, folio 07v, near the top of the central column--circa line 715 of the poem. The young girl arms Erec:
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b84272526/f28.item
Quote:
Lace li les chauces de fer
& q(ue j)ust acorroie de cer
Hauber livest de boene maille
& se li lace la ventaille


The old W.W. Comfort translation gives this rendering:
Quote:
The maiden herself puts on his arms (though she casts no spell or charm), (11) laces on his iron greaves, and makes them fast with thong of deer-hide. She puts on his hauberk with its strong meshes, and laces on his ventail.


The verse tranlation of Dorothy Gilbert:
Quote:
The girl herself serves as his squire.
No incantation charm or spell
she used, but laced his greaves up well
and tied up each deer-leather thong.
fitted the hauberk with aplomb
round him, all shining links of mail,
and then fastened the ventail.


Other translations are better, with chuasses instead of greaves, but seem to agree on deer-hide or deer-leather being used for the laces.



 Attachment: 53.9 KB
BNF Fr.794 fo007v.jpg


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Last edited by Mart Shearer on Fri 10 May, 2013 3:19 am; edited 1 time in total
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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Sat 04 May, 2013 10:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

And one more example from Bamberg, a sleeping guard at the Resurrection whose silver has tarnished. The Bamberger Psalter, SBB Msc.Bibl.48, fo.115v, c.1220-1230.


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SBB Msc.Bibl.48 fo115v-chausses.jpg


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S. Sebok





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PostPosted: Sun 05 May, 2013 8:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So I guess leather tie will be the best thing to go for to tie them on. I was going to try jute cord but leather would probably be tougher and less likely to fail (as well as not split apart). All I have currently is a suede tie which I KNOW isn't period and it also snaps quite easily. Does anyone know where I could get deerskin cord thats not sueded or the next best thing? I'd prefer either oak tanned or vegetable tanned leather cord as thats closest to period lace.
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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Sun 05 May, 2013 9:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A simple Google search for deerskin laces turn up a number of vendors. Here's a couple.
http://www.leathercordusa.com/mm5/merchant.mv...ry_Code=DS
http://www.coloradoleathergoods.com/Laces,%20Sinew,%20Thread.htm

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