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What do you think of this typology?
I like it and I'd be willing to use it
75%
 75%  [ 9 ]
I like the idea but not this particular typology
8%
 8%  [ 1 ]
I dislike this typology and the idea in general
16%
 16%  [ 2 ]
Total Votes : 12

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Stephen Curtin




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PostPosted: Sat 25 Mar, 2017 6:54 am    Post subject: Typology for cloth armour and arming garments         Reply with quote

The idea of using a typology for cloth armours and arming garments has come up a couple of times before, but as far as I know, no-one has ever actually presented such a typology for consideration by the community. I thought I'd give it a go, so here is my attempt.

Note 1. Though technically speaking leather isn't a cloth, un-hardened leather will be treated as a cloth by this typology.
Note 2. Some of the garments below are hypocritical, as the evidence for them is not 100% certain.

The letters tell us how and where the garment is to be worn.

A = worn under armour
B = worn over armour
C = worn by itself as armour

The numbers tell us how the garment was made.

1 = made from a single thick layer, such as felt or buff leather.
2 = made from multiple layers of cloth.
3 = made from soft material such as raw cotton, tow, un-spun wool etc put between layers of cloth and quilted to keep the material in place.

When you put the letters and numbers together you get a simple typology that tells you where the garment was supposed to be worn and how it was constructed. Here's the typology:

A1 = a garment worn under armour, made from a single thick layer, such as felt or buff leather.
A2 = a garment worn under armour, made from multiple layers of cloth.
A3 = a garment worn under armour, made from soft material such as; raw cotton, tow, un-spun wool etc, put between layers of cloth and quilted to keep the material in place.

B1 = a garment worn over armour, made from a single thick layer, such as felt or buff leather.
B2 = a garment worn over armour, made from multiple layers of cloth.
B3 = a garment worn over armour, made from soft material such as; raw cotton, tow, un-spun wool etc, put between layers of cloth and quilted to keep the material in place.

C1 = a garment worn by itself, as armour, made from a single thick layer, such as felt or buff leather.
C2 = a garment worn by itself, as armour, made from multiple layers of cloth.
C3 = a garment worn by itself, as armour, made from soft material such as; raw cotton, tow, un-spun wool etc, put between layers of cloth and quilted to keep the material in place.

What do you guys think. Please let me know and also please vote in the above poll.

Éirinn go Brách


Last edited by Stephen Curtin on Mon 27 Mar, 2017 4:29 am; edited 3 times in total
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Stephen Curtin




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PostPosted: Sat 25 Mar, 2017 7:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The only type of garments which don't fit neatly into this typology are the Lübeck type jacks. These are constructed like an A3 on the front where a breastplate was worn, and a C3 on back where no armour when over.
Éirinn go Brách
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Mark Moore




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PostPosted: Sat 25 Mar, 2017 8:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think you're basically on the right track here. Maybe if there IS some form of a general typology, then a lot of bickering could be avoided. Good idea. Happy As you said though...there will always be the oddball stuff that just *aaaalllmost* fits, but not quite. Since there really is so little actual physical evidence, only literary, this may be a challenge. Good luck. Happy ....McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Stephen Curtin




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PostPosted: Sat 25 Mar, 2017 8:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Mark. Yes in any typology there will always be things that don't fit exactly into any one category. I'll just add that not every type would have been used in history. For example a type C1 would be a stand-alone piece of armour made from a single thick layer of cloth or leather. I've not come across any such armour in history. OTOH type A2 might have existed historically, but at the moment the evidence is fairly thin.
Éirinn go Brách
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Mark Moore




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PostPosted: Sat 25 Mar, 2017 9:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would think that so little physical evidence of...I'll just call it 'soft armor'...exists is because it was never really saved in historic times. If it were used in battle, and the owner didn't fare well, it was probably repurposed, burned, or buried with the body...probably because it was bloody, dirty, and ragged. Just my thoughts... Happy ....McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sat 25 Mar, 2017 3:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is the last time it came up.
http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=27224

I'd prefer to use words. The regulars here all seem to use these terms the same way.

Otherwise my original suggestion: Howard Type I, Howard Type II, etc. is far more eloquent than boring letters. Happy

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Stephen Curtin




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PostPosted: Sat 25 Mar, 2017 3:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback Dan. I remember that thread. In fact I was the first person, after you, to comment, and I still use the words in the manner in which you laid out.

I don't suggest that we do away with words like aketon and gambeson, but when clarification is needed l think a typology could be useful. For example in my other recent thread, instead of having to clarify what I meant by aketon, I could have said an A3, and instead of trying to invent a word for what I think figures in the Maciejowski Bible might be wearing I could have said A2. All that said I respect your opinion, so thanks.

Éirinn go Brách
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Stephen Curtin




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PostPosted: Mon 27 Mar, 2017 5:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan. After re-reading the thread you linked, I've edited the OP. I realized that I was wrong to say that people didn't agree on terminology. Well some people do disagree, but most of the people who would likely use this typology are already fairly consistent with the usage you proposed in your thread.

Aketon: A lightly-padded arming garment designed to be worn under metal armour - usually mail.
Arming doublet: A lightly-padded arming garment specifically designed to be worn under plate harness. It incorporates laces ("points") to which pieces of plate are attached and can have patches of mail ("voiders") to cover gaps in those plates.
Gambeson: A soft padded armour intended to be worn by itself or over the top of other armour.
Jack: Heavily quilted cloth armour. Some are thick enough to be completely rigid - containing up to thirty layers of cloth. Can be worn by itself or over the top of other armour.

I still think that the idea of a typology has some merit. For example, in the definitions for both aketon and arming doublet, neither mention construction method. I know that it would have made things a lot easier, and less confusing, in my other recent thread to distinguish between types A2 and A3, instead of having to redefine the word aketon.

In the 15th century arming doublets thread, I remember that some people were talking about an A2 while others were talking about A3, both sides were using the term arming doublet, and this lead to some confusion.

Also as someone mentioned in your thread, a typology doesn't carry the baggage that some of these words carry. Someone else asked if a "linothorax" should be referred to as a "jack". Although these two garments were used for the same purpose (stand-alone armour), and were constructed in the same manner (numerous layers of linen quilted together), I doubt most people would be comfortable calling a "linothorax" a "jack". OTOH the designation C2 has no baggage, and could easily describe both of these armours.

I doubt that many people would feel comfortable using the word aketon to refer to a subarmalis, or using the term arming doublet to refer to a buff coat. Type A1 could easily be used to refer to either a subarmalis or a buff coat.

Éirinn go Brách
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Juraj S




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PostPosted: Mon 27 Mar, 2017 8:39 am    Post subject: A or B according to situation?         Reply with quote

What are the odds that one and the same piece of clothing can be either A or B as the wearer sees fit? Do we have any proof this was not a matter of simple choice?

Is there any significant construction difference between A & B?
The thickness of the mail doesn´t seem to really make all that much difference and it doesn´t seem impossible the wearer could sometimes wear it over and sometimes under the armour.

What are the advantages of wearing padded armour under vs over mail, anyway?
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Stephen Curtin




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PostPosted: Mon 27 Mar, 2017 2:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Juraj. I'll only answer the questions related to the typology here, as questions about wearing garments under vs over armour belong a thread of their own.

The letters A, B, and C, designate the intended use of the garment, and not the construction method. That's what the numbers 1, 2, and 3 are for.

Types A and B that were intended to be worn with mail, possibly (I'm not sure) could have been used for either purpose. However this is not the case with types A or B intended to be worn with plate armour.

Éirinn go Brách
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Juraj S




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PostPosted: Tue 28 Mar, 2017 3:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you,
I understand the idea of the two dimensions of intended use vs material construction.
My question was rather concerning whether HOW the garment is sewn (as opposed to from what materials) determines whether it is intended to be worn over or under armour.
In other words, if you have a garment in your hands, how do you determine whether it is an A or a B?
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Tue 28 Mar, 2017 3:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Juraj S wrote:
In other words, if you have a garment in your hands, how do you determine whether it is an A or a B?

Inside and outside garments are cut/tailored differently. Some have points for attaching it to the armour. The wear pattern is the best indicator of how it was used.

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Juraj S




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PostPosted: Tue 28 Mar, 2017 5:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:

Inside and outside garments are cut/tailored differently. Some have points for attaching it to the armour. The wear pattern is the best indicator of how it was used.


Thank you very much.
At the risk of sounding obstinate/obtuse:
I get the point of the points for attaching, but that would only concern plate, wouldn´t it?

If we stick to the padded + mail combination, the wear argument makes perfect sense of course, but that would be a testimony to how the garment was used, not how it was intended to be used. What my point is: I am trying to rule out my suspicion that they just had a padded garment they could either wear under or over the mail and that we can´t really determine whether the piece was "intended" for one or the other or even for both possibly.

Could you please elaborate on the tailoring differences with padded + mail in mind? Thank you very much.
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William P




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PostPosted: Tue 28 Mar, 2017 5:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Here is the last time it came up.
http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=27224

I'd prefer to use words. The regulars here all seem to use these terms the same way.

Otherwise my original suggestion: Howard Type I, Howard Type II, etc. is far more eloquent than boring letters. Happy


one thing id add to your OP in that thread is that another difference between COP and brigandine is that generally brigandies are more often a bit more bodily conforming wheras the typical 14th century coat of plates is more 'boxy' due to the larger plates.
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Tue 28 Mar, 2017 6:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William P wrote:
one thing id add to your OP in that thread is that another difference between COP and brigandine is that generally brigandies are more often a bit more bodily conforming wheras the typical 14th century coat of plates is more 'boxy' due to the larger plates.


I initially said this but Timo noted that this is only true for European armours. Asian brigs aren't tailored any more carefully than CoPs.

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Andrew Gill





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PostPosted: Tue 28 Mar, 2017 6:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

For what it's worth, I can see two possible advantages of the proposed classification: firstly, the words (particularly for textile armour) are of european origin - they don't necessarily fit quite as well for non-european textile armours (for instance, it is a stretch for me to think of coconut-fibre micronesian armours, or chinese tree-bark felt armours as being gambersons or jacks, even if functionally they are similar). Then there is the fact that in the period of use, the terms were used somewhat inconsistently, which has a slight chance of causing confusion when alternately quoting and discussing an old text. A simple letter-number combination is period- and region-agnostic, and less likely to cause confusion with historical usage of these terms.

But unless it becomes widely used, it isn't very useful, and of course the nomenclature which Dan proposed is more descriptive to the unititiated (my personal qualms about classifying micronesian armour notwithstanding).
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Tue 28 Mar, 2017 10:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Juraj S wrote:
Could you please elaborate on the tailoring differences with padded + mail in mind? Thank you very much.

Not really. I know it when I see it. The main differences are across the shoulders and in the armpit.

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Juraj S




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PostPosted: Wed 29 Mar, 2017 2:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:

Not really. I know it when I see it. The main differences are across the shoulders and in the armpit.

Thank you.
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Stephen Curtin




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PostPosted: Wed 29 Mar, 2017 4:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Juraj. Let's say you have an A3 and a B3, both intended to be used with mail. I imagine that the sleeves of the A3 would be fairly close fitting to the arm, so as not to restrict movement. B3s intended for use with mail were often sleeveless or had short sleeves. We know from period images, that some 14th century B3s had long sleeves. These sleeves usually appear fairly baggy, probably to aid in put it on over armour.

Andrew. Yes coconut fibre, and tree bark felt could also be classified as cloth, and so can be included in this typology. I agree that unless this typology becomes well known and used, then it is useless. Hopefully enough people will give enough feedback in the poll to give us an idea of how many would be willing to use this or any other typology.

Not that it has anything to do with this thread, but I would prefer if we all started call oriental "brigandines" coats of plates. It seems more appropriate to me, but I doubt this will ever happen.

Éirinn go Brách
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Jason O C





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PostPosted: Sat 01 Apr, 2017 12:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

First and foremost. I would be willing to adopt this typology, but only if it becomes popular, otherwise people won't know what I'm talking about. Aside from that, i like it.

Here's one way to tell the difference between an aketon and a gambeson, at least in the late 14th century. I'm using Dan Howard's standards by calling this a gambeson, but I've mostly heard people calling what I'm referring to as a jupon. Anyway, late 14th century gambesons often had buttons running up the sleeves, this might have had to do with fashion, but it also probably aided in putting the sleeves on over your armour. I don't think that aketons would have had these buttons on the sleeves, as they might have been uncomfortable or even snagged on the inside of the armour.

Jason
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