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Chris Rice




Location: st louis
Joined: 07 Apr 2015

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PostPosted: Thu 09 Apr, 2015 1:57 pm    Post subject: chinse paper armoer         Reply with quote

nice paper on it
“Practically Invulnerable”: Chinese Paper Armor
Peter Dekker

Being credited with the invention of a papermaking process as early as the second
century CE, and with having even earlier references to paper-like materials, China
is commonly believed to be the first nation to put paper to widespread use. Apart
from the obvious use of paper for letters, books, and paintings it was also made
into kites, shoe soles, blankets, fans, umbrellas, and even mattresses. The Chinese
are also believed to be the inventors of wallpaper and paper money. But perhaps
one of the most peculiar uses the Chinese found for paper was that of making
armor for its military.
Through the ages the Chinese armies have used all kinds of materials to protect
the bodies of their men. It would be well beyond the scope of this article to
describe them all but allow me to begin with a short overview of some types of
armor used commonly in China from the Late Bronze Age to the dawn of the
twentieth century.
Among the earliest types of armor known are those dating from the Shang
dynasty of the sixteenth century BCE up to 1024 BCE, which were made from
pieces of turtle shell laced together. Around the time of the Han dynasty of the
third millenium BCE armors consisted mostly of bronze plates or sections of
cured leather that were laced together. Such leather armors endured in some
remote areas in China up to as late as the twentieth century by Chinese ethnic
minorities such as the Yi. Many of these armors bear a striking resemblance to
their much earlier predecessors.
When steelmaking picked up during th
http://mandarinmansion.com/articles/Chinese%20Paper%20Armour.pdf

see you later
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Dan Howard




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

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PostPosted: Thu 09 Apr, 2015 2:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Most authors confuse paper and barkcloth. Even the Chinese apparently did this since they don't seem to have had different symbols to differentiate between the two materials. Barkcloth was used to make clothing for thousands of years in Asia, Africa, and the Pacific. The best trees from which to make it are mulberry and fig. The material has a consistency similar to felt and it was used to make armour in exactly the same way as textile armour. It was layered to the desired thickness, sometimes with other materials like cotton and silk, and quilted. In addition to protection, it provided warmth and water resistance. Barkcloth was a far more suitable material from which to make armour than reconstituted wood pulp (paper). The Chinese reckoned that the best barkcloth armour was made by the Koreans who apparently called it jigap. It isn't a magical wonder armour. So called "paper" armour was just as thick and heavy as leather and textile armour and does not provide the same protection as metal armour of a similar weight. The whole point of using metal armour was that, pound for pound, it provides better protection than any other material until the development of kevlar.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,098

PostPosted: Thu 09 Apr, 2015 5:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan,

That is something I have not heard before. Thanks Dan! I saw them make paper armour on mythbusters and it started to look like mobility would have suffered significantly to my eyes.

RPM
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Dan Howard




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

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PostPosted: Fri 10 Apr, 2015 1:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah, I don't know where Mythbusters got that crazy paper lamellar idea from. Robinson has a wacky drawing that he alleges is of paper armour that looks a little like scales. He also reckons that the Chinese pleated their paper armour but he likely mistranslated the word for "quilted".
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

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PostPosted: Fri 10 Apr, 2015 5:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan,

I am not familiar with Chinese characters beyond anything very light but I know from the languages I am familiar with much of the translation can make or break a theory. Pleat to quilt for sure would fit along those lines. Their armour on Mythbusters just seemed very ineffective in many ways. Yes it stopped arrows but at what tradeoffs?

RPM
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Dan Howard




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

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PostPosted: Fri 10 Apr, 2015 1:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Whenever you see a historical reference to "paper" being made from fig or mulberry, it is almost certainly actually talking about barkcloth. Paper can be made from any kind of wood pulp - any source of cellulose really - but barkcloth can only be made from a small number of trees; fig and mulberry were the two most common. There is an argument that the biblical reference to Adam and Eve wearing fig leaves is a misinterpretation of barkcloth made from fig. It was apparently a common clothing material in the region at the time.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,098

PostPosted: Sat 11 Apr, 2015 5:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan,

I had never heard that one before either but makes sense. I am sure early on many materials were used for clothing and their fibers.

Thanks for the info. Are there other groups who use paper armour? I have only really heard the Chinese one.

RPM
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Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 08 May 2009
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PostPosted: Sun 12 Apr, 2015 2:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Chinese did make paper from mulberry. If you make pulp, then you end up with paper, even if the fibre is from the same source as what is used to make barkcloth. Paper usually includes other fibres, too (hemp, bamboo, rice straw).

But barkcloth is still the better bet for what was used for clothing and armour than the kind of paper used for writing.

Another possibility is "paper" that would be better described as "hemp felt" (which appears to have been used for lining shoes).

"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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