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Robert Morgan

Location: Sunny SoCal
Joined: 10 Sep 2012

Posts: 90

PostPosted: Tue 22 Sep, 2015 9:20 pm    Post subject: How to make a sheath or scabbard for a falchion?         Reply with quote

Hi all,

I'm considering acquiring the Wulflund Thorpe Falchion. My sister, who is an award winning quilter, has said that she could probably make a scabbard for the sword but I would need to acquire the raw materials and, of course, come up with a rough template of what it should look like.

So, any ideas on scabbard construction? Where to acquire the raw materials, like leather and sheepsfur interior (I've read where that or similar was sometimes used)? I'm not looking for anything totally historically accurate, just something more functional to protect and store the weapon, and maybe carry it on my belt. I'm really looking forward to eventually bringing it to cutting practice at HEMA training.

Thank you for any pointers or ideas.

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Wed 23 Sep, 2015 1:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are a lot of topics already on's forums such as this one. Using the search function will help you find them.

Also, have a look here:

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Craig Peters

PostPosted: Wed 23 Sep, 2015 2:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A word of advice, Bob. A lot of the time, people seem to assume that a scabbard is a scabbard is a scabbard. Or, if they don’t see scabbards this way, they mix and match features and create scabbards that do not correspond with historical scabbards. Given that you’ve got a sword that is a replica based off of a real falchion, I would assume that you would like a historically accurate scabbard to go along with it.

So before creating the scabbard, it’s crucial that you do research. Scabbards changed over time, as much (if not even more so) than the various ways sword blades changed over time. So I would recommend looking through Manuscript Miniatures: before you proceed.

I did a search for “falchion”, and fortunately there’s a few images that show falchion scabbards in the later 13th century, which should be appropriate as inspiration for the Thorpe falchion.

Here are three examples of falchion scabbards. Notice that none of them have a metal chape on the end, although the orange scabbard seems to have a form of leather chape. The orange one also appears to have a tooled design in the form of a diamond criss-cross pattern, while the other two do not. Two of the scabbards have horizontal incised bands along them, although the style is slightly different, while the third does not. One scabbard has a plain throat, while the other two have triangular-shaped leather flaps.

Also notice the suspensions. The black one seems to have a vertical integral (non-complex) suspension, and the belt is affixed on the back side of the scabbard, and not laced through the front. It also appears that the black scabbard has a double belt, although I am not certain about this. The orange scabbard is more confusing, but it seems to have a single belt complex integral suspension. The teal scabbard seems to be another vertical integral suspension with the belt affixed at the back. If you’re not sure about the different suspension types, go to the DBK scabbards page and click on the links under “Custom Scabbard Build” to see pictures of them: Keep in mind that all of the ones shown on the DBK page are complex suspensions, meaning the scabbard is held in place by means of straps being wrapped through the front of the scabbard in “X”-shaped and “Z”-shaped arrangements; these are different from the two non-complex suspensions seen in the historical images of the black scabbard and the teal scabbard.

I hope this helps.
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J. Nicolaysen

Location: Wyoming
Joined: 03 Feb 2014
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PostPosted: Wed 23 Sep, 2015 5:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm the happy owner of the Musee de Invalides reverse blade falchion that Maciej Kopciuch "Swordmaker" made earlier this year. I asked if it was possible to have a historical scabbard as well. He said it was somewhat difficult with few resources to draw from, but enough to get a good idea. I think he did an excellent job. Compare what he did with what Craig says above. One picture is before the belt was made, the other are gallery photos at the finish.

However, this falchion is a bit younger than the Thorpe falchion so keep Craig's points in mind. I think there is about 75 years difference for the surviving examples.

Hope it gives an idea or two.

There's lots of scabbard information here as Nathan suggested, and his link is one of the very best ones.

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Robert Morgan

Location: Sunny SoCal
Joined: 10 Sep 2012

Posts: 90

PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep, 2015 11:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks, all. That's a beautiful sword and scabbard, Mr. Nicolaysen.

The scabbard I'll have made probably won't be rigid with a wooden core, but rather soft leather with a fabric or fur liner; think floppy rather than rigid. It will be meant as protection as much as for storage, and I'm trying to do things on the cheap. My sister says she can easily stitch up the leather using the falchion blade as a working template and then add whatever additions I'd like, like mounting hardware, a simple chape, etc. Its nice having someone with access to the best sewing goodies around. Cool The first image Mr. Peters posted (knight in blue) almost looks as if his scabbard is non-rigid, so maybe I'm not far off?

Anyway, thank you again, all

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Craig Peters

PostPosted: Fri 25 Sep, 2015 3:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm not aware of any scabbards that did not have a wood core. That does not mean that they never existed, but they would probably be an anomaly. Leather atop a sword offers less protection than a leather shell over a wooden core. If you're concerned about historical accuracy, I would take the extra effort to make the wood interior. It will also give the sword a higher resale value (and a good suspension and belt higher value still), whereas a floppy leather case is unlikely to be desirable to a buyer should you ever want to sell the sword.
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Harry Marinakis

PostPosted: Fri 25 Sep, 2015 7:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Recently I noticed that falchions were extremely common in the illuminated manuscripts of the late 1400s and early 1500s. You might see some falchion scabbards there (I wasn't looking for falchion scabbards so I didn't notice that much detail).

I echo what Craig said about "do your research." Use illuminated manuscripts, museums and extant sources, not scabbards that other people have made in the 20th-21st Century.

Medieval sabbards were generally not lined with anything (including fur).

Be warned, the cross stitching shown in the above (Ye Old Gaffers) scabbard tutorial to close the back of the scabbard was not used during the medieval period. A closed seam saddler's stitch or a butted seam whip stitch was much more common. Here's a nice tutorial on the saddler's stitch:

If you're looking for something just for storage, then just get a cardboard gun box.

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