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Brian Olson




Location: Vancouver, WA
Joined: 12 Oct 2013

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu 29 Jan, 2015 9:25 pm    Post subject: Medieval Mythbusting - Silk Shirts vs Arrows         Reply with quote

I put this as a single entry into the An-Tir Kingdom A&S last year.

Got some initial buzz. I converted my PowerPoint presentation into video and posted it.

Check it out here: Medieval Mythbusting: Silk Shirts vs Arrows version 2.1
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Jerry Monaghan




Location: melbourne australia
Joined: 29 Oct 2006
Likes: 2 pages

Posts: 113

PostPosted: Fri 30 Jan, 2015 1:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Brian
Thank you for sharing this most helpful video it must have taken an while to put together
Very helpful and interesting you should pass this on to myth busters
Good shooting as well

Regards

Jerry Monaghan
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Paul Mortimer




Location: England, Essex
Joined: 28 Aug 2003
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Posts: 285

PostPosted: Fri 30 Jan, 2015 4:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A good bit of research. Thought provoking. Thank you.
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Mark Griffin




Location: The Welsh Marches, in the hills above Newtown, Powys.
Joined: 28 Dec 2006

Posts: 801

PostPosted: Fri 30 Jan, 2015 12:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As per my post on YouTube, thanks!
Currently working on projects ranging from Elizabethan pageants to a WW1 Tank, Victorian fairgrounds 1066 events and more. Oh and we joust loads!.. We run over 250 events for English Heritage each year plus many others for Historic Royal Palaces, Historic Scotland, the National Trust and more. If you live in the UK and are interested in working for us just drop us a line with a cv.
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Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 08 May 2009
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PostPosted: Fri 30 Jan, 2015 1:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My reading of the "silk myth" is that it isn't what we'd call a shirt, but a gambeson. Maybe a thinnish gambeson, but either a multilayered gambeson or a stuffed gambeson. It isn't like Mongols were naked under their armour - there was already clothing under there. For a "silk shirt" to make a real difference, it would need to be a more substantial garment that what we would usually mean by "shirt".

Silk is good for gambesons - it was used in Chinese gambesons, and used for the first modern bullet-proof vests. But it isn't magic compared to other textiles - don't expect a single thickness to do much.

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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M. Curk




Location: Slovenia
Joined: 21 Dec 2011
Likes: 3 pages

Posts: 35

PostPosted: Sat 31 Jan, 2015 3:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is a finely executed experiment, not like most we see these days on the internet!

I would also go into direction of multi layers. Especially since we know winters in Mongolia can be quite cold, therefore one needs to wear quite a lot of clothing to prevent himself from freezing.
Mongols used wool and felt quite a lot also, didn't they? So a silk gambeson stuffed with wool or felt maybe? I suppose that would give both warmth and protection?

Cheers,
Miha


Last edited by M. Curk on Sun 01 Feb, 2015 5:09 am; edited 1 time in total
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Dan Howard




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

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PostPosted: Sat 31 Jan, 2015 5:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Their felt kaftan (del) provided pretty good protection all by itself.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Brian Olson




Location: Vancouver, WA
Joined: 12 Oct 2013

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue 03 Feb, 2015 8:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I actually did some testing with a 10-layer linen padded jack swatch. I did the same for 10 layers of heavy silk.
All broadhead arrows.
Results were interesting.
10 layers of quilted silk - all shots went clean through
10 layers of quilted linen - 6 of 10 shots bounced off.

I would NOT have predicted that at all.
I'll have to post another video once we get settled in the new house.
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Dan Howard




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

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Posts: 3,220

PostPosted: Tue 03 Feb, 2015 11:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

When Żegleń was developing his bulletproof silk vests in the 19th century, it took him a long time to work out a weave that proved effective. The same thing would be true with arrows. Simply taking a random swatch of silk and shooting it wouldn't tell us much. We need to know what type of silk and what type of weave was used in the past.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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