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S. Andrew B.




Location: Sacramento, CA
Joined: 07 Jul 2015

Posts: 28

PostPosted: Tue 07 Jul, 2015 9:55 pm    Post subject: Help Needed Making Historic Costume         Reply with quote

Hello all, I just discovered this forum and it seems like a very good resource for the project I'm taking on. I want to make a historic knight get-up, but I've been having some trouble tracking down just exactly what was worn historically. I know the pieces I would like to make, I'm looking for in what era I should be focusing and I guess any general help or knowledge on what I should be looking at for reference, where I can find patterns, etc. I'll start breaking down what I know and what I'm not clear on. So far I know I want to make:

a gambeson or arming doublet, covered by a maille hauberk, and a leather brigandine
I'm not sure what kind of shirt is worn under the gambeson/arming doublet

for pants, I've seen full length pants and I've seen the braies/chausses combo, and I'm not sure which would have been worn by a knight in battle

I'll need a padded coif to wear under the mail hood and helm, but those stayed the same more or less throughout the years, is that correct?

and then for the metal armor I'm just wanting to do gauntlets, elbows, and shoulders with the helm and then shins/boots

Since I'm starting with the cloth stuff first, I need to figure out the shirt, gambeson/arming doublet, and pants. Anyone that can point me in the right direction for patterns, references, etc. will be a life-saver.

Please and thank you.

see you space cowboy...


Last edited by S. Andrew B. on Sun 12 Jul, 2015 12:06 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
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Posts: 2,235

PostPosted: Wed 08 Jul, 2015 4:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

First, forget the leather brigandine. Brigandines and coats of plates were made of iron/steel plates riveted to an outer layer of leather or cloth. So leather can only be outer layer to which plates are riveted.
Second, metal parts you mentioned can be found from 14th to 16th centuries, you should choose which era would you like to portray so that we can help you with clothes. Maybe you could visit pages like "manuscript miniatures" to see what period clothing and armour you like the most.
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Wed 08 Jul, 2015 4:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brigandines? You're probably looking at the 14th and 15th Centuries. Do a search on brigandines to find out more specific information on when brigs were used.

Start by looking at illuminated manuscripts from the desired time period to narrow down the specific decade of interest. You'll also need to localize the place. England? Italy? Germany?

There are significant variations from place to place, as well as from decade to decade. It's not enough to say you want a look from Europe in the 15th Century. You want to narrow it down even more (e.g., England AD 1500-1510).

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/ is a nice search engine for this.

Once you narrow down the specific place and time period, then the search for information becomes easier.

Do not rely on vendors for information about what to wear, unless the vendor has a statement that their clothing/armor meet the standards of historical organizations. Better to do the research yourself.
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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2012

Posts: 1,280

PostPosted: Wed 08 Jul, 2015 6:08 am    Post subject: Re: Help Needed Making Historic Costume         Reply with quote

S. Andrew B. wrote:

a gambeson or arming doublet, covered by a maille hauberk, and a leather brigandine
I'm not sure what kind of shirt is worn under the gambeson/arming doublet

for pants, I've seen full length pants and I've seen the braies/chausses combo, and I'm not sure which would have been worn by a knight in battle

I'll need a padded coif to wear under the maille hood and helm, but those stayed the same more or less throughout the years, is that correct?

and then for the metal armor I'm just wanting to do gauntlets, elbows, and shoulders with the helm and then shins/boots


As others have suggested, narrowing down your research to a specific region, and perhaps a 25-year window will be the most valuable research you can do at first.

Gambesons first start being mentioned in the second half of the 12th century, around 1160-1180. Doublets are a different term for arming garments (sometimes referred to as aketons) which first appears in English sources in the 1330s. Brigandines appear even later, as noted.

As for the style of shirt worn beneath armor, please consider that armor was worn with the normal clothes of the period in which it was used. The style of arming doublet, aketon, etc. changes with civilian fashion: 1220 doesn't look like 1360 doesn't look like 1510. To get a pattern requires a date.

For most of the High Middle Ages, there are no pants -- braies with separate chausses are the only way to go.

Mail coifs first appear attached to the mail shirt (possibly being the distinction between hauberks, byrnies, and haubergeons) and only become separate items later, perhaps in the late 12th century. By 1330 mail coifs seem to go out of fashion and are replaced with pisane collars and aventails attached to bascinets. There is some evidence for separate padded coifs worn beneath the mail, over the mail, and integral sewn linings. Of course there are always outliers in the depictions dating to much later.

For plates or "metal armor", mail gauntlets are it until we start seeing some scale gauntlets from 1315-1330. Gauntlets composed of small plates riveted to a foundation start to appear around the same time, but you won't see fully developed gauntlets until the mail coifs are gone. The earliest appearance of plates on the elbows isn't until the last quarter of the 13th century, and they remain very rare until the 14th century. Simple plates on the shoulders are also largely a 14th century invention. The shins receive plate supplements sooner, around 1250, since the legs are more vulnerable on a mounted man.

I don't think you'll get everything on your wish list in one reasonable time frame, though there may simply be a lack of understanding of some distinctions being made in terminology. For example, what we call a pair of plates might appear to you to be the same as a brigandine, though there are differences. Manuscript Miniatures and it's sister site Effigies and Brasses are excellent resource tools.

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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S. Andrew B.




Location: Sacramento, CA
Joined: 07 Jul 2015

Posts: 28

PostPosted: Wed 08 Jul, 2015 10:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you, guys, for your quick responses! This is exactly the kind of info I need for a good jumping off point.

@Luka: I'm not sure why you suggest I "forget" the brigandine. Your brief explanation of their construction is what I understand them to be, and that's what I had planned on doing. Is there some other reason why you don't think it would belong? I've seen several references of the brigandine being the last, outermost layer of protection, with chain maille and then gambeson underneath, but please correct me if I'm wrong.

I also wanted to thank everyone for having a helping spirit, and not reacting negatively to my ignorance on the subject. I'm here to learn and it's a big help when the community is here to educate.

I'm going to dive into these suggested starting points and come back with a more specific date and location.

Thanks again!

see you space cowboy...
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Likes: 7 pages

Posts: 2,235

PostPosted: Wed 08 Jul, 2015 11:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sorry, when you said "leather brigandine" I thought you mean something like this, made completely of leather, very popular for costumes...


 Attachment: 37.98 KB
brigandine.jpg

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S. Andrew B.




Location: Sacramento, CA
Joined: 07 Jul 2015

Posts: 28

PostPosted: Wed 08 Jul, 2015 11:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Luka Borscak wrote:
Sorry, when you said "leather brigandine" I thought you mean something like this, made completely of leather, very popular for costumes...


Ah, then my miswording was the culprit. My apologies.

On a side-note, I have seen lots of those all-leather brigs, is that strictly a costuming invention?

see you space cowboy...
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Likes: 7 pages

Posts: 2,235

PostPosted: Wed 08 Jul, 2015 1:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

S. Andrew B. wrote:
Luka Borscak wrote:
Sorry, when you said "leather brigandine" I thought you mean something like this, made completely of leather, very popular for costumes...


Ah, then my miswording was the culprit. My apologies.

On a side-note, I have seen lots of those all-leather brigs, is that strictly a costuming invention?


I have never seen evidence for such an armour in European or Middle Eastern history. I don't know about the Eastern Asia...
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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2012

Posts: 1,280

PostPosted: Wed 08 Jul, 2015 2:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

S. Andrew B. wrote:
Luka Borscak wrote:
Sorry, when you said "leather brigandine" I thought you mean something like this, made completely of leather, very popular for costumes...


Ah, then my miswording was the culprit. My apologies.

On a side-note, I have seen lots of those all-leather brigs, is that strictly a costuming invention?


I would say it's attributable to Charles Knode, costume designer for the 1995 film, Braveheart.

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Wed 08 Jul, 2015 2:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

S. Andrew B. wrote:
On a side-note, I have seen lots of those all-leather brigs, is that strictly a costuming invention?

I repeat.... Do not rely on vendors to decide what is appropriate or not. Just because someone sells something and calls it "medieval" doesn't mean that it's not complete fantasy.

Do your research.
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S. Andrew B.




Location: Sacramento, CA
Joined: 07 Jul 2015

Posts: 28

PostPosted: Wed 08 Jul, 2015 3:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Harry Marinakis wrote:
S. Andrew B. wrote:
On a side-note, I have seen lots of those all-leather brigs, is that strictly a costuming invention?

I repeat.... Do not rely on vendors to decide what is appropriate or not. Just because someone sells something and calls it "medieval" doesn't mean that it's not complete fantasy.

Do your research.


Oh absolutely, Harry. That's why I'm here. As a veteran pirate history enthusiast, I know all too well about separating the historic accuracy from the cinema and literary romanticism. It's maddeningly frustrating at times. That's why I'm glad you guys are all so willing to help out.

And now I can cross the all-leather brigandine off of my historically accurate list.

see you space cowboy...
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Nat Lamb




Location: Melbourne, Australia
Joined: 15 Jan 2009
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Posts: 385

PostPosted: Wed 08 Jul, 2015 11:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

or any brigandine where the plates are sitting next to each other rather than partially overlapping, at least as far as European armour goes. Podrick Payne's armour in GoT show being a particularly egregious example ( although might be historical for Westeros, I guess...)
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S. Andrew B.




Location: Sacramento, CA
Joined: 07 Jul 2015

Posts: 28

PostPosted: Thu 09 Jul, 2015 12:22 am    Post subject: After Research         Reply with quote

Alright! After reading up on everyone's suggestions and pouring over the internet I found a good amount of reference, and I narrowed my window down to a time and (sort of) a location. From what I've seen I think I will be focusing on a time frame from 1330 to 1350. Location is a little tricky because I'm seeing things from both England and Germany. I'm sure there would be at least some similarities in fashion, as there usually are. Some of the images I found don't give an exact location in Europe, so I thought maybe you good folks could help me out with that.

I'm going to number these images for sanity's sake.


1) This one had no location, but I believe it to be Germanic based on the shoulder and elbow armor compared to another image that is of a Teutonic knight. Good example of brig over maille over gambeson.


2) Here's that Teutonic knight I was referring to. Germany was the only place where I was really seeing any kind of shoulder armor in the 14th century.


3) I like this one for showing more detail of each individual piece, but this was another one that didn't list a location and I'm thinking it's probably English, not German.

Please call out any corrections or inaccuracies. I did my best to reference everything against what I saw at Manuscript Miniatures and Effigies and Brasses. If I'm on the right track with these, I think I've settled into Germany between 1330 and 1350.

see you space cowboy...
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Likes: 7 pages

Posts: 2,235

PostPosted: Thu 09 Jul, 2015 3:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great, nice period! Happy I recommend using term "coat of plates" for such armour during this period. Brigandines are made with much more smaller plates and appears a bit later.
Are you planning to buy coat of plates? I can tell you it's rather simple to make one yourself. My friend and I made one of cow leather, 1.2mm mild steel plates we cut and drilled and riveted to leather with copper rivets. Basically a 2 or maybe 3 days work. And it's a great fun to do it and later wear it in combat. Big Grin I will attach the picture of me wearing it below.



 Attachment: 91.95 KB
[ Download ]
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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2012

Posts: 1,280

PostPosted: Thu 09 Jul, 2015 7:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A word of caution on using Osprey or other modern illustrations: While it's nice to see a color rendition in modern style, the illustrators often work from notes provided by the author, and sometimes they base their examples on re-enactors attempts which might be incorrect. Other times they mix and match from sources. Osprey's publications often have sources listed in the plate descriptions, so it's best to use their illustration as a starting point for research, always deferring to the original material. Interpretations always have the potential to introduce flaws, and copies of copies introduce a certain amount of "noise".

Another source which may help you is Dr. Strong's effigy analysis. The bar charts make it easy to follow.
http://talbotsfineaccessories.com/armour/effi...lysis.html

Since you've settled on "Germany" (not a country in the 14th century, and the HRE included modern areas of France, the Benelux, Italy, Austria, etc.) here's the specific analysis:
http://talbotsfineaccessories.com/armour/effi...figies.htm

The bar graphs help you track down the "fashion-trends" of armor.

The simple dished plates on the shoulder, attached to the pair of plates (or coat of plates) are found on a number of the armours excavated from the Battle of Wisby in 1361. These reproductions (again with some errors) give the general layout.
http://www.hoashantverk.se/hantverk/hoas_rustningar/

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Philip Dyer





Joined: 25 Jul 2013

Posts: 494

PostPosted: Thu 09 Jul, 2015 10:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So, basically, Ospery publishing is the wikipedia for historical armor research, good as a summary source with link to look for more in depth information and bit risky to use by itself? The chat of different regional styles raises a question. How expensive was it to travel long distances and what was considered long distance travel during the middle ages (thinking mainly late thirteenth early 14th century?). Would it be prohibitively expensive for the average Scottish person to be able to hitch a ride to fight the Moors in Spain?
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S. Andrew B.




Location: Sacramento, CA
Joined: 07 Jul 2015

Posts: 28

PostPosted: Thu 09 Jul, 2015 10:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

@Luka

Okay, coat of plates, got it. Now I won't be confusing others and myself. Yeah I plan on making everything myself. I'm a pretty experienced leather worker and there's no way I'd settle for buying something I could make with my own hands. Thanks for the pic, it looks great!

@Mart

Thanks for confirming my suspicions about the Osprey stuff. I do like the more detailed and proportionate depictions, but I was afraid they weren't entirely accurate. And thank you for the links. I'll be combing through those today to get a better feel for the "Germanic" (?) areas of the time and the armor trends.

Before I start the hunt through the internet myself, can anyone point me to some good period-accurate patterns for a simple shirt and braies?

Thanks you guys.

see you space cowboy...
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Thu 09 Jul, 2015 1:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

http://www.hrgalaska.org/braies.html

Here is where you can start using vendors if you already know what you're looking for.
http://historicenterprises.com/index.php?main...cts_id=898
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Mikael Ranelius




Location: Sweden
Joined: 06 Mar 2007

Posts: 252

PostPosted: Thu 09 Jul, 2015 1:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

S. Andrew B. wrote:


Before I start the hunt through the internet myself, can anyone point me to some good period-accurate patterns for a simple shirt and braies?

Thanks you guys.


For braies I'm using a pattern similar to this one. You might want to lengthen the centre gusset as suggested by period depictions. My braies reach mid-calf and are fitted with a leather belt running through a folded "tube" at the waist.

This is a simple and useful shirt pattern. The shirt should be somewhat loose, maybe 10-20 cm (4-8 inches) bigger than your chest circumferance.
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Dan Howard




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

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PostPosted: Thu 09 Jul, 2015 3:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Philip Dyer wrote:
So, basically, Ospery publishing is the wikipedia for historical armor research, good as a summary source with link to look for more in depth information and bit risky to use by itself? The chat of different regional styles raises a question. How expensive was it to travel long distances and what was considered long distance travel during the middle ages (thinking mainly late thirteenth early 14th century?). Would it be prohibitively expensive for the average Scottish person to be able to hitch a ride to fight the Moors in Spain?

Osprey is a lot worse than Wikipedia. It has no review process. It has no requirement for references or citations.

Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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