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Kai Lawson




Location: Madison, WI
Joined: 26 Aug 2010
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Posts: 562

PostPosted: Wed 01 Jul, 2020 7:23 am    Post subject: Ancient ‘Kevlar?’ Adding Kaolin to fabrics         Reply with quote

Sorry for the click-bait title, but I recently read the blog post here http://hollow-lakedaimon.blogspot.com/2018/07...x.html?m=1 and they mentioned some interesting ideas that have left me struggling to figure out how to weave various 3D fabrics and try to make twined/plied armors. At the very end, the author mentions the possible addition of kaolin to linen, as part of the bleaching process and how that may have partially mimicked modern Kevlar intercalation. Apparently, kaolin has been used as a very common soap additive for oil absorption. My questions are two fold:

1. How would one effectively intercalated kaolin into fabrics? Adding it during washes sounds good, but isn’t very helpful in terms of actually DOING it. I’ve been looking back at soap recipients, but any tips, advice or links to info would be very helpful.

2. The blog proposed the addition of kaolin to linen. Soap makers seem to mention that it can absorb oils and thinner lipids. Would the addition of kaolin to wool assist in the making of felt via increased absorption of lanolin and other oils? Removing these are crucial to felt making, but I am curious if the addition of the kaolin would have a similar effect on the randomized (I.e. not regular sized cells or pores) porous structure of the felt. Does the substrate require a regular or woven structure to help hold the presumably tiny solid particles of kaolin to allow for the non-Newtonian effect?

I’m looking to make a composite layer ‘soft’ armor (torso only) as a fun materials experiment, and my plan is to face the outside in homemade thick felt for water, cut and heat resistance. I’m curious if penetrative action can also be resisted somewhat without deliberately making a very stiff material with the addition of kaolin. I’m still reading through public papers on the properties, but if anyone has info, please share!

My phone is being crappy and isn’t making the url option work, and the thing is too broken to be able to delete the tags at the ends of the link without a serious tone investment. Sorry.

"And they crossed swords."
--William Goldman, alias S. Morgenstern
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Sean Manning




Location: Austria
Joined: 23 Mar 2008

Posts: 552

PostPosted: Sun 19 Jul, 2020 2:16 am    Post subject: Re: Ancient ‘Kevlar?’ Adding Kaolin to fabrics         Reply with quote

Kai Lawson wrote:
Sorry for the click-bait title, but I recently read the blog post here http://hollow-lakedaimon.blogspot.com/2018/07...x.html?m=1 and they mentioned some interesting ideas that have left me struggling to figure out how to weave various 3D fabrics and try to make twined/plied armors. At the very end, the author mentions the possible addition of kaolin to linen, as part of the bleaching process and how that may have partially mimicked modern Kevlar intercalation. Apparently, kaolin has been used as a very common soap additive for oil absorption.

Kai, the idea comes from Christopher Matthew's book The Tactics of Aelian chapter 2 and page 139. The problem is that Matthew did not chose to learn to read Byzantine handwriting and did not chose to get photos of the manuscript in Florence, so he just combined earlier printed editions, none of which used the best manuscript. That phrase is based on two editions from 1552 and 1613 which use later manuscripts where comments by later East Roman scholars have found their way into the main text.

In A.M. Devine's translation of the best manuscript, chapter 2.8, the line is "The peltasts have equipment similar to the Macedonian, but lighter." In Matthew's translation, the phrase "known as 'argilos'" is added after "equipment". The later manuscripts contain a lot of material added in the margins by east Roman scholars that got mixed up with the text, and I wonder if the person who added that phrase wanted to call the peltasts "Argive."

ἄργιλλος or ἄργιλος is a word for a type of clay in Classical Greek but I can't find it in the standard dictionary of medieval Greek.

Devine's article in The Ancient World issue 19 is in English and makes the different manuscript traditions and the problems with the printed editions very clear. Unfortunately, his edition based on the best manuscript was never printed. So before you start speculating about how to explain something, its a good idea to make sure that there is evidence for it in the first place.

If you want to learn how to weave weft-twined fabrics, look up the article by Margarita Gleba and this one by Margery Blackman.

www.bookandsword.com
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Sean Manning




Location: Austria
Joined: 23 Mar 2008

Posts: 552

PostPosted: Sun 19 Jul, 2020 6:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Also, on a quick look at the Greek the 16th / 17th century printed texts say that the peltasts' kit or arms (hopla) are called argilos. So it is not even the body armour which is called argilos, but their whole kit / arms. Until someone else checks the manuscripts, all we can say is that this detail only appears in manuscripts which we know contain things Aelian never wrote.
www.bookandsword.com
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