Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Stuffing for a gambeson Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Kristjan Runarsson





Joined: 07 Nov 2015

Posts: 112

PostPosted: Sat 21 May, 2016 9:21 am    Post subject: Stuffing for a gambeson         Reply with quote

Hi,
I'm about to start work on a gambeson. The end result is supposed to look roughly similar to this:



I was planning to just fill the vertical 'sausages' with wool fleece which I can get fairly cheaply by the kilogram at a local knitting shop who gets fleeces practically straight off the animal's back. I was wondering if anybody had made a gambeson in this manner and whether you had any problems with the wool 'sagging' down the tubes as the garment is used and finally collecting at the bottom so that after a while there is no stuffing left in places like the shoulders for example.
View user's profile Send private message
Dan Howard




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

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 3,205

PostPosted: Sat 21 May, 2016 5:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You don't fill the sausages. You stuff the garment like a pillow and then you do the vertical quilting. The stitches go through the stuffing. The only way this armour can provide any kind of decent protection is if the stuffing is very heavily compressed. It would start out more than a hand thick and be compressed down to a finger or two after quilting.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
View user's profile Send private message
Kristjan Runarsson





Joined: 07 Nov 2015

Posts: 112

PostPosted: Sat 21 May, 2016 6:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
You don't fill the sausages. You stuff the garment like a pillow and then you do the vertical quilting. The stitches go through the stuffing. The only way this armour can provide any kind of decent protection is if the stuffing is very heavily compressed. It would start out more than a hand thick and be compressed down to a finger or two after quilting.


You mean sandwiching the wool between the outer linen coverings and sewing through the wool? I had thought about that too. The thing is that I have seen so many tutorials with different ideas about how to construct a gambeson that I'm pretty confused now. The most frequently mentioned methods are:

Gambesons as independent amour:
1) Multiple layers of linen as in 20-30 of them which sounds expensive and likely to be a pretty stiff garment.

For the under-armour gambesons:
1) Sewing the linen or leather up and then stuffing the 'sausages' with wool or fabric scraps.
2) Doing what you suggested, sandwiching un-spun wool between linen or leather outer layers and sewing through the wool.
3) Multiple layers of wool fabric (read: old blankets) sandwiched between outer layers of linen or leather.
View user's profile Send private message
Eric Allen




Location: Texas
Joined: 04 Feb 2006

Posts: 207

PostPosted: Sat 21 May, 2016 7:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The problem with option 1 is that the "gaps" between the "sausages" then consist of exactly 2 layers of fabric, which is not as protective as the other two options.
View user's profile Send private message
Philip Dyer





Joined: 25 Jul 2013

Posts: 495

PostPosted: Sat 21 May, 2016 8:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pray tell, what are you are hoping this garment to be? Are you trying to make stand alone cloth armor or padding materiel for plate or mail? Also, what are your time and budget concerns? What are you planning on using this gambeson for? Finally, that gambeson look it would horrible for arm mobility, it looks like it cut like modern t shirt.
View user's profile Send private message
Mart Shearer




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

Posts: 1,280

PostPosted: Sat 21 May, 2016 9:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote


The surviving pourpoint of Charles VI has "sausages" of cotton layed down on a fabric base, with a second layer of fabric sewn over them. In other words, the stiching doesn't run through the loose fiber at all. Then again, it is made from two layers assembled in this fashion, so with the covering red fabric, there are at least 5 layers of cloth in the un-padded part.
http://cottesimple.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/...d-size.pdf

P.S. I notice the image which I obtained from a Pinterest page is mirrored. The overlap should be left over right, and the slits for the dagger or sword should be on the left.

The loudel of Dom Joćo I, King of Portugal uses wool flocks for stuffing, If I understand correctly, but I don't know if the wool was stitched through or not. I wouldn't be surprised to find such armors with a variety of names to have been made in a variety of ways.

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
View user's profile Send private message
Philip Dyer





Joined: 25 Jul 2013

Posts: 495

PostPosted: Sat 21 May, 2016 9:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mart Shearer wrote:

The surviving pourpoint of Charles VI has "sausages" of cotton layed down on a fabric base, with a second layer of fabric sewn over them. In other words, the stiching doesn't run through the loose fiber at all. Then again, it is made from two layers assembled in this fashion, so with the covering red fabric, there are at least 5 layers of cloth in the un-padded part.
http://cottesimple.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/...d-size.pdf

P.S. I notice the image which I obtained from a Pinterest page is mirrored. The overlap should be left over right, and the slits for the dagger or sword should be on the left.

The loudel of Dom Joćo I, King of Portugal uses wool flocks for stuffing, If I understand correctly, but I don't know if the wool was stitched through or not. I wouldn't be surprised to find such armors with a variety of names to have been made in a variety of ways.

I think that would answer his question about loose fibers migrating. This was used and is centuries old surving piece, the designed had migration problem, is would of happened by now.
View user's profile Send private message
Mart Shearer




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

Posts: 1,280

PostPosted: Sun 22 May, 2016 12:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Certainly the method of storage could become an issue. In miniatures we see armor draped over a pole, rather than hung by the shoulders. Inventories list things being stored in various chests, sacks, and baskets.
ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
View user's profile Send private message
Mark Griffin




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

Posts: 801

PostPosted: Sun 22 May, 2016 2:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The problem here is there is a multitude of methods and sources but sadly not enough concerning any one type to draw empirical answers. They were made in all sorts of ways for all sorts of functions throughout the middle ages.

I've made them tubular and quilted. The latter works far better and is an easier garment to wear and work in. To prevent fibres migrating in the tubular version you have to staff pretty hard, almost until its so still its inflexible. But those have to be of several layers of cloth, not just two, as even a nick from a thorn bush will leaving you leaking stuffing and compromised.

I have one with both methods, tubular outer and quilted inside, works very well and is based on no evidence whatsoever. but it works as a bit of historical PPE and that was its aim, to protect me whilst allowing me to work. Its basically two garments sandwiched together.

I'll make s this point for the zillionth time, wjhen discussing arms and armour over modern reconstructions as i think it has a bearing. Our forebears had one advantage over us when wearing garments like this. They could kill the person in front of them. We have to go to work on Monday morning so make things thicker and stronger than they probably were originally. Certainly true where plate armour is concerned and pretty sure that goes for stuffed/layered, quilted etc is concerned. It's why some Brigandines that are made are nearly twice the weight of surviving originals.

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.
View user's profile Send private message
Kristjan Runarsson





Joined: 07 Nov 2015

Posts: 112

PostPosted: Sun 22 May, 2016 5:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Philip Dyer wrote:
Pray tell, what are you are hoping this garment to be? Are you trying to make stand alone cloth armor or padding materiel for plate or mail? Also, what are your time and budget concerns? What are you planning on using this gambeson for? Finally, that gambeson look it would horrible for arm mobility, it looks like it cut like modern t shirt.


Good point, I am planning to use the it mostly as an under amour gambeson to wear under a round rings riveted mail shirt. Along with that as a side project I need a padded cap to wear under a helmet I have that has no leather lining.

I hadn't really given any thought to how this gambeson would be made. My plan was as optimistic as it was naive: just sew up a 'sausaged' garment and stuff it with wool, simple ... right?? Well apparently not since there were several very different types of gambeson that differed wildly in construction depending on whether they were worn under armour or as a stand-alone armour in their own right. I'm beginning to think that for an an under-armour gambeson I'm better off sandwiching 2-3 layers of wool blanket between the outer layers of linen. Kind of like this guy did:

http://intheshieldwall.wordpress.com/tag/how-to-make-a-gambeson/

For the the cap I think it would be best stuffed with wool fleece like the one that shipped with my helmet seems to be but the original cap is a bit too small for me and I'd like to add a padded neck guard. The chain mail aventail seems to give limited protection against a blow to the neck unless there is padding underneath it. However, for the neck guard I think I may use multiple layers of wool blanket rather than stuffing it with fleece.
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Stuffing for a gambeson
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum