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Matthew Velardo





Joined: 25 May 2015

Posts: 17

PostPosted: Wed 03 Jun, 2015 7:10 pm    Post subject: Construction of Gambesons and other Quilted Armor         Reply with quote

Hello friends,
I have been lurking in the shadows for a while, but finally thought it was time to come out and join the community. Happy I’m very new to the hobby, and so everything on this forum so far has been very helpful! One topic which seems to need more discussion though is the use of quilted armor in the middle ages. I did find a few very helpful threads, such as these posted here bellow:
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=26698
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=30970

I am currently planning to make myself a full 11th century style kit, perhaps even Norman. At the moment I am collecting information on the gambeson, which seems to be a piece that many, if not most soldiers would have needed on the battlefield. I put together 15 different combinations of materials to test their ability to withstand stress before I start sewing the whole gambeson.

However please take my results with a large dose of salt! I’m sure that someone with more experience using swords would have much different results.

Process:
All of the cutting was done against several layers of foam and cardboard. I began each test piece with a blow from the side, then a stab, followed by a slash, and finally I put the test on a wood block and chopped at it with a very sharp and thin cleaver.
I also tested the resistance of a few pieces of cloth by pulling them over a wooden stake. I could put a hole through the medium wool quite easily. The heavy wool was a bit tougher, although I could not drive the wooden stake through the linen.

Samples:
1. 16 Layers of Linen
2. 8 Layers of wool
3. 4 Layers of wool
4. 1 Layer of Linen Stuffed with Wool Rags
5. 2 Layers of Linen Stuffed with Wool Rags
6. 1 Layer of Medium Wool Stuffed with Wool Rags
7. 1 Layer of Heavy Wool Stuffed with Wool Rags
8. 2 Layers of Linen Stuffed with Unspun Wool
9. 1 Layer of Medium Wool stuffed with Unspun wool
10. 1 Layer of Heavy Wool Stuffed with Unspun Wool
11. 1 Layer of Linen Stuffed with Linen Rags
12. 1 Layer of Medium Wool Stuffed with Linen Rags
13. 1 Layer of Medium Wool Stuffed with Cotton
14. 1 Layer of Linen Stuffed with Cotton
15. Leather*, linen, wool stuffing, linen.
[i]*The leather was from an old jacket. I used the piece because it was comparable to deerskin.

Methods of cutting:
A. Blow from the side
B. Stab
C. Slash across
D. Chop with knife on block

Test 1.
~0.8cm
a. Minimal Damage
b. 12/16
c. 10 Layers
d. 12/16 Layers

Test 2.
~1.6cm
a. Minimal Damage
b. All Layers
c. 4 Layers
d. 5 Layers

Test 3.
~0.8cm
a. Minimal Damage
b. All Layers
c. All Layers
d. All Layers

Test 4.
~2.4cm
a. Minimal Damage
b. All Layers
c. 50%
d. All Layers

Test 5.
~2.3cm
a. Minimal Damage
b. Low Damage**
c. 30%
d. 50%

Test 6.
~2.3cm
a. Superficial Damage
b. All Layers
c. All Layers
d. All Layers

Test 7.
~2.4cm
a. Minimal Damage
b. All Layers
c. Superficial
d. 80%

Test 8.
~2.3cm
a. Minimal Damage
b. All Layers
c. All Layers
d. All Layers

Test 9.
~2.2cm
a. Minimal Damage
b. All Layers
c. All Layers
d. All Layers

Test 10.
~2.8cm
a. Superficial Damage
b. All Layers
c. All Layers
d. All Layers

Test 11.
~1.3cm
a. 50%
b. All Layers*
c. 50%
d. 70%

Test 12.
~2.1cm
a. 50%
b. All Layers*
c. 50%
d. 50%

Test 13.
~1.2cm
a. Superficial Damage
b. All Layers*
c. 40%
d. All Layers

Test 14.
~1.9cm
a. Superficial Damage
b. All Layers*
c. 40%
d. All Layers

Test 15.
~1.3cm
a. Minimal Damage
b. All Layers*
c. 2 Layers
d. 5 Layers

*Minimal Penetration
**Not sure how that happened

Outside Materials:
Some materials were far superior to others. I was very surprised by the results, especially the ability of most of the cloths to withstand blows from the side. Stabbing was certainly the most effective technique against the cloth, penetrating 13/15 of the tests.

By far the most durable material was linen. Not only did linen stand up very well against stabs, but also cushioned many of the blows well. Thick layered wool was, OK. The woolen fibers are much less durable than the linen fibers, however they do give a good cushion for impacts. Wool did not work well at all against direct cuts or stabs however. Leather was less successful than linen when stabbing, but did handle slashes better than most materials.

Inside Stuffing:
Unspun wool showed the least resistance by far. Wool rags were much better, but still did not help much when it came to stabbing. Linen rags were OK as stuffing. Unspun cotton however proved to be much better than I had originally thought, outperforming linen rags. Again, layered linen proved to be the best defense.

Conclusion:
With this limited, and very unscientific experiment, I feel that multiple layers of linen are by far the best defense in terms of both penetration and cushioning of blows. However, a full gambeson made of 15-30 layers of woven linen cloth would probably have been extremely expensive for a medieval man, especially in the earlier periods. It seems as if the next best thing, if you couldn’t get layers of woven cloth, would have been to have one (preferably more) layer of linen, stuffed with wool and/or linen rags. For later periods, cotton both woven and unwoven would have been a better stuffing.
I’m not sure exactly what materials would have been the most affordable… I assume linen at the time would have been the least expensive, followed by wool, and then cotton… but I’m not sure. Of course considering just how valuable cloth and fiber would have been in the medieval times, it seems to make sense that any small unused scraps of cloth, even those too small to be made into anything, would have been collected by ragpickers and sold to stuff clothing, including gabesons.

[/img]https://photos.google.com/search/_tra_/photo/AF1QipOcxcUpzvshwK_MV9aRIv1tGq_TNkbb_VeNsZ1Y

Thank you for reading! Any comments, criticisms and inputs are very much appreciated!
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Wed 03 Jun, 2015 10:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Matthew,

A few things for you to consider. First, as far as I am aware, we have zero evidence for gambesons and aketons being used in the 11th century. That doesn't necessarily mean that they were not used; however, we have nothing to show that they actually were- unless someone has evidence that I'm not aware of. The first mentions of aketons is from the later 12th century, and even then, we don't have much evidence about how they were constructed either. So that's something you may want to consider before you start sewing.

Second, your test probably does not give a completely accurate indication of cloth armour's protectiveness against blows. You describe delivering a "blow from the side". I'm not sure precisely what this means in terms of how you were striking. However, if you want to accurately simulate the most common blow received, it would be a descending diagonal strike.

This image from Fiore gives a pretty good indication of the line of the strike. Notice that the line of the strike is quite steep- it's not all that far away from perpendicular. Swords seem to cut best when you strike at a similarly steep angle.



So unless your strike was pretty close to what is shown in this image, you are not getting the most reliable indication of a sword's power against your cloth armour.


Last edited by Craig Peters on Wed 03 Jun, 2015 11:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Matthew Bunker




Location: Somerset UK
Joined: 02 Apr 2009

Posts: 483

PostPosted: Wed 03 Jun, 2015 11:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"accurately simulate the most common blow received, it would be a descending diagonal strike. "

In the 11th century (assuming that it is Western European 11th century), it would be a spear thrust.

"If a Greek can do it, two Englishman certainly can !"
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Wed 03 Jun, 2015 11:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Let me be more precise: when I said "blow", I meant in the sense of "strike", and not in the broader sense of "attack". That having been said, it would be good for Matt V to use a spear to test against the cloth armour samples, given how common lances and spears were.
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Thu 04 Jun, 2015 12:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The most common threat by a very large margin is from spears and arrows. If your armour can't stop these then there is no point wearing it. Winter clothing will stop most sword cuts; you don't need fancy armour if swords are all you are worried about.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Matthew Velardo





Joined: 25 May 2015

Posts: 17

PostPosted: Thu 04 Jun, 2015 11:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for the comments everyone!

"Blow from the side" did mean at an angle. I should have been more clear about that.

Quote:

The most common threat by a very large margin is from spears and arrows. If your armour can't stop these then there is no point wearing it. Winter clothing will stop most sword cuts; you don't need fancy armour if swords are all you are worried about.


I very much agree here. If an armor cannot defend from the most common attacks, it is useless to the wearer. I do however plan to do a few more tests against spears... and possibly now and arrow. This test was mostly to see how durable the materials would be.

I have one very (silly) noob question though... which I'm sure has been answered many times before.... Is it possible that these geometric patterns on this figure in the Bayeux Tapestry represent some sort of quilted protection, or is this maille?


Thanks!



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Pieter B.





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PostPosted: Thu 04 Jun, 2015 11:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Allow me to hijack this thread a little to ask a question which might be relevant to your gambeson.

What's the jury on colored gambesons? A number of modern retailers sell beautifully dyed gambesons but would such effort be expended in the high and late medieval period? I've been told linen isn't that good at holding a dye and it appears most of these reproduction don't have a woolen outer layer.
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Matthew Amt




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

Posts: 1,272

PostPosted: Thu 04 Jun, 2015 12:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Velardo wrote:
I have one very (silly) noob question though... which I'm sure has been answered many times before.... Is it possible that these geometric patterns on this figure in the Bayeux Tapestry represent some sort of quilted protection, or is this maille?


Not a silly question at all! It has been *debated* many times, but I don't think it has ever been *answered*.

That's Bishop Odo, and we don't know what the heck he's wearing. I think we all agree that it is not mail, since it is very consistently distinctive from all the other depictions of mail on the Tapestry. My opinion on it changes almost every time I look at it! At the moment, since it is always shown in shades of brown, while mail and horses all get to be red and yellow and green and blue, I suspect that it is supposed to show something which was brown in actuality. Leather springs to mind, with the caveat that leather can be dyed, of course. Scale armor made from hooves or horn or rawhide?

The Saxon you have circled at bottom left is just wearing a perfectly normal tunic. The skirt is always quite full, and makes pleats or folds just like that. Nothing special or quilted at all.

I'll also say that when I'm researching an item, I try to start with "What did THEY use?" and work from there. If I find a reference to a particular construction for a gambeson such as 15 layers of linen, or quilted raw cotton between linen coverings, that's what I go with. How much protection my modern materials can give against reproduction weapons is irrelevant to me--if this was enough for the folks who wore it back then, it's certainly good enough for me!

Okay, and part of it is that I don't have the patience to do a string of tests like that! I just want to get the darn thing built! So I give you credit for your drive.

Have fun!

Matthew
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
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PostPosted: Thu 04 Jun, 2015 12:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Plenty of colored gambesons here, take a look: http://myArmoury.com/feature_spot_quilted.html
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Pieter B.





Joined: 16 Feb 2014
Reading list: 10 books

Posts: 577

PostPosted: Thu 04 Jun, 2015 1:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Luka Borscak wrote:
Plenty of colored gambesons here, take a look: http://myArmoury.com/feature_spot_quilted.html


Yeah I read that article before, I find it curious the later paintings show them as un-dyed white while the earlier art shows it as colored. The extant one does belong to a rather rich person too.

Do you have some info on how well linen holds a color and whether patterns of any kind were dyed on or if it's just solid colors?
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Matthew Amt




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

Posts: 1,272

PostPosted: Thu 04 Jun, 2015 1:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

[quote="Pieter B."]
Luka Borscak wrote:
Do you have some info on how well linen holds a color and whether patterns of any kind were dyed on or if it's just solid colors?


As I understand it, dyes for plant fibers (such as linen) are based on different chemicals from those used for animal fibers (wool). So if you have the right dye, it's no problem to get nice colors on linen. Modern dyes cheat by using both chemicals in one package! And I don't know enough about period dyes to tell you if *any* color could be made applicable to dyeing linen, or if some were just better to use on wool.

Bottom line, you *can* dye linen. I don't know if you can get the same *range* or depth of colors that you can get on wool. Silk is the best, it takes colors gloriously. Leather can be dyed, too, of course, and it's possible that some of the gambesons we're seeing in artwork have a thin outer layer of leather as a waterproofing.

Oh, just a point on expense--equipment requirements were largely based on wealth, so no one was required to own any gear that they could not afford. If a 30-layer jack was too costly for someone, he probably was not in the income bracket that required him to buy one.

Matthew
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Matthew Velardo





Joined: 25 May 2015

Posts: 17

PostPosted: Thu 04 Jun, 2015 3:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
That's Bishop Odo, and we don't know what the heck he's wearing. I think we all agree that it is not mail, since it is very consistently distinctive from all the other depictions of mail on the Tapestry. My opinion on it changes almost every time I look at it! At the moment, since it is always shown in shades of brown, while mail and horses all get to be red and yellow and green and blue, I suspect that it is supposed to show something which was brown in actuality. Leather springs to mind, with the caveat that leather can be dyed, of course. Scale armor made from hooves or horn or rawhide?


Ah, that helps a lot! Although it seems as if "leather" can be a bit of a dirty word around here! Laughing Out Loud

As said, it really could be anything. Especially considering the amount of "artistic license" taken, especially with the rendering of the maille. On a side note: perhaps looking at his helmet would give some clues? The colors used on his helmet do match the colors of his garment.... this I assume is most likely because the person doing the embroidery happened to have that on their needle... but perhaps in reality colors did match. Most of the helmets pictured in the tapestry seem to show some sort of "ridge" on the side, perhaps signifying multi-piece construction? Or perhaps they were just painted decorations? Maybe some of the helmets were made of a cuir bouilli sort of material?

So many questions, so few answers! When do they estimate estimate to have a working time machine? Wink



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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Thu 04 Jun, 2015 5:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
The most common threat by a very large margin is from spears and arrows. If your armour can't stop these then there is no point wearing it.


The penetrating power of spears and arrows varies considerably details, so this isn't a clear standard. For arrows, soldiers might have found armor useful if it stopped commonly faced arrows beyond 80 (or whatever figure) yards but failed against arrows a closer range or from particularly powerful archers. Armor that could stop a single-handed thrust from a 3.5lb spear couldn't necessarily stop a two-handed thrust from a 8lb pike. Etc.

Sharpness makes a significant difference against fabric armor especially. A well-sharpened sword or arrowhead of hardened steel will penetrate a lower energy threshold than a similar weapon with softer, duller edge.

Quote:
Winter clothing will stop most sword cuts; you don't need fancy armour if swords are all you are worried about.


It'd take some serious winter clothing to prevent injury from sharp swords. Yes, we have accounts of British sabers having trouble with Russian coats at Balclava 1854, but that was in part an indictment of British blades in question and the Russian coats in question were supposedly quite thick (possibly similar to medieval fabric armor).

Read my historically inspired fantasy fiction in here. I walk along a winding path set by Ludovico Ariosto, William Morris, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Ursula Le Guin.

Out of doubt, out of dark to the day's rising
I came singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.
To hope's end I rode and to heart's breaking:
Now for wrath, now for ruin and a red nightfall!
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Matthew Velardo





Joined: 25 May 2015

Posts: 17

PostPosted: Thu 04 Jun, 2015 8:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
The penetrating power of spears and arrows varies considerably details, so this isn't a clear standard. For arrows, soldiers might have found armor useful if it stopped commonly faced arrows beyond 80 (or whatever figure) yards but failed against arrows a closer range or from particularly powerful archers. Armor that could stop a single-handed thrust from a 3.5lb spear couldn't necessarily stop a two-handed thrust from a 8lb pike. Etc.

Sharpness makes a significant difference against fabric armor especially. A well-sharpened sword or arrowhead of hardened steel will penetrate a lower energy threshold than a similar weapon with softer, duller edge.


Some great points there, Benjamin. There would certainly be a huge threshold of effectiveness depending on the type of weapon used, quality of the blade, and skill of the warrior.

Of course, even maille armor is not completely resistant to spear thrusts and and arrows, but does offer significant protection nonetheless. Perhaps even if cloth "armor" provided just a little resistance to a blow it would have been considered useful. Anything between the soldier and the opposing weapon is better than none at all. Maybe a thick jack, which although penetrable by an arrow, would make an otherwise lethal wound a little less lethal.

Some interesting results on Michael Edelson's (far superior!) tests here:
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=11131
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Fri 05 Jun, 2015 4:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Velardo wrote:
Perhaps even if cloth "armor" provided just a little resistance to a blow it would have been considered useful. Anything between the soldier and the opposing weapon is better than none at all. Maybe a thick jack, which although penetrable by an arrow, would make an otherwise lethal wound a little less lethal.


If it's effective enough to stop a common enough threat on the battlefield, it can be worth the expense and inconvenience. For example, arm and leg armour is often not protective enough to stop arrows or crossbow bolts reliably (it they hit square-on, they should go through). But people wore it. At least it will stop swords. Interesting to note that swords are more likely to hit arms and legs, compared to arrows (and spears); arrows and spears are more likely that swords to hit the torso. Torso armour to keep out arrows, with lesser limb armour to keep out swords makes sense. A sword cut to the arm is perhaps more dangerous than an arrow to the arm, while arrows to the torso are very dangerous (with a high risk of infection in they penetrate into the chest or abdominal cavities.

Also, armour continued to be worn even while guns that could reliably penetrate it were on the battlefield. As long as there were enough common threats it would stop, why not? When guns become the dominant threat, armour largely disappears. When artillery fragments become the dominant threat (WW1), we being to see armour that would stop shell fragments but not bullets.

But "anything" can be worse than nothing. That's one of the reasons why duelists would sometimes strip to the waist - reduced chance of infection from cuts. Having cloth, inadequate to stop you from getting cut, between you and the blade is a good way to get nasty stuff into the wound, followed by dying of infection.

"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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Philip Dyer





Joined: 25 Jul 2013

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PostPosted: Fri 05 Jun, 2015 5:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Velardo wrote:
Quote:
That's Bishop Odo, and we don't know what the heck he's wearing. I think we all agree that it is not mail, since it is very consistently distinctive from all the other depictions of mail on the Tapestry. My opinion on it changes almost every time I look at it! At the moment, since it is always shown in shades of brown, while mail and horses all get to be red and yellow and green and blue, I suspect that it is supposed to show something which was brown in actuality. Leather springs to mind, with the caveat that leather can be dyed, of course. Scale armor made from hooves or horn or rawhide?


Ah, that helps a lot! Although it seems as if "leather" can be a bit of a dirty word around here! Laughing Out Loud

As said, it really could be anything. Especially considering the amount of "artistic license" taken, especially with the rendering of the maille. On a side note: perhaps looking at his helmet would give some clues? The colors used on his helmet do match the colors of his garment.... this I assume is most likely because the person doing the embroidery happened to have that on their needle... but perhaps in reality colors did match. Most of the helmets pictured in the tapestry seem to show some sort of "ridge" on the side, perhaps signifying multi-piece construction? Or perhaps they were just painted decorations? Maybe some of the helmets were made of a cuir bouilli sort of material?

So many questions, so few answers! When do they estimate estimate to have a working time machine? Wink

This may be a stretch, but I see on the bishops forearms a similar pattern to his neck and to the men ahead of him, which think alot a people agree is mail, so I think it is some sort of third layer, scale, lammelar, or a jack? If we go by the that most helmets were made out if iron and color indicated on the bishops helmet seem to match allot of the color chosen for this third layer, the dark blue could be iron plates and the brown a way to indicate lacing for lammelar.
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
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PostPosted: Fri 05 Jun, 2015 10:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Philip Dyer wrote:
This may be a stretch, but I see on the bishops forearms a similar pattern to his neck and to the men ahead of him, which think alot a people agree is mail, so I think it is some sort of third layer, scale, lammelar, or a jack? If we go by the that most helmets were made out if iron and color indicated on the bishops helmet seem to match allot of the color chosen for this third layer, the dark blue could be iron plates and the brown a way to indicate lacing for lammelar.


Huh, that *does* look like mail peeking out! Never noticed that before. William and one other guy (Eustace?) also have mail sleeves and/or chausses, so they are top-end protection. Nice catch!

I seriously wouldn't read TOO much into the colors. People had been polishing metal for a few millennia before 1066, after all. And I think lamellar *is* a stretch--I don't see how it could be visualized as little triangles like that. It always looks like little rectangles, or rows of parallel vertical lines.

Big shrug!

Matthew
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Philip Dyer





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PostPosted: Fri 05 Jun, 2015 10:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Amt wrote:
Philip Dyer wrote:
This may be a stretch, but I see on the bishops forearms a similar pattern to his neck and to the men ahead of him, which think alot a people agree is mail, so I think it is some sort of third layer, scale, lammelar, or a jack? If we go by the that most helmets were made out if iron and color indicated on the bishops helmet seem to match allot of the color chosen for this third layer, the dark blue could be iron plates and the brown a way to indicate lacing for lammelar.


Huh, that *does* look like mail peeking out! Never noticed that before. William and one other guy (Eustace?) also have mail sleeves and/or chausses, so they are top-end protection. Nice catch!

I seriously wouldn't read TOO much into the colors. People had been polishing metal for a few millennia before 1066, after all. And I think lamellar *is* a stretch--I don't see how it could be visualized as little triangles like that. It always looks like little rectangles, or rows of parallel vertical lines.

Big shrug!

Matthew

Yeah, that was a stupid guess, I looked over the picture again after stitching and there looks to be to much brown or black and that both are depicted as triangles for one to be considered lacing, along with your excellent. Could be gambeson or a proto fighting robe. But yeah, starting to guess anything going such by the artwork is a minefields. Is there any information about Bishop Oddo beyond the tapestry?
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J. Nicolaysen




Location: Wyoming
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PostPosted: Fri 05 Jun, 2015 12:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Is there any information about Bishop Oddo beyond the tapestry?


Sure, he was quite an important figure: William the Conqueror's half-brother and probably the one who commissioned the Bauyeux Tapestry in the first place. Any good resource about the Norman Conquest will have some information about his role. Wikipedia can get you started: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odo,_Earl_of_Kent

If you really want to use the Tapestry as a resource, try this out: http://www.sd-editions.com/bayeux/

And some other good resources out there, just start searching Bayeux Tapestry. People love that old thing (myself included!).

Keep us informed on your research. Sounds like you already made a good start. I have some questions about gambesons, aketons, etc also, but have not done anything serious.

Quote:

Philip Dyer wrote:
This may be a stretch, but I see on the bishops forearms a similar pattern to his neck and to the men ahead of him, which think alot a people agree is mail, so I think it is some sort of third layer, scale, lammelar, or a jack? If we go by the that most helmets were made out if iron and color indicated on the bishops helmet seem to match allot of the color chosen for this third layer, the dark blue could be iron plates and the brown a way to indicate lacing for lammelar.


Matthew Amt wrote:
Huh, that *does* look like mail peeking out! Never noticed that before. William and one other guy (Eustace?) also have mail sleeves and/or chausses, so they are top-end protection. Nice catch!

Hey that is a really cool observation Philip! And thanks Mathew for the ID's of the guys in the Tapestry. Nice discussion of it here.
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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Fri 05 Jun, 2015 3:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yep, Odo's triangle patterned garment is obviously worn over mail, so textile is only logical explanation. But that textile could be a defensive garment like a gambeson but it could also be a bishop's church clothing too show who he was and perhaps some people might be afraid to strike a bishop, especially if he's wearing his "church clothing"...
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