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Carlo Arellano





Joined: 21 Oct 2007

Posts: 52

PostPosted: Wed 11 Feb, 2009 3:33 pm    Post subject: Developing stand alone cloth armor.         Reply with quote

My sparring partner and I have both the Revival gambeson and the Gambesons.com gambesons respectively. The Revival one has a little more batting in the shoulders and the Gambesons.com one has an integral elbow pad. They are both good garments and great armor platforms but seem to be a little inadequate with for more spirited bouting with steel blunts. I also have the GDFB gambeson which has really heavy padding but has severe mobility issues.

My question is this: for those in the WMA community, what qualities would be desired in a stand alone padded cloth armor? Be as specific as possible on where one needs the most mobility and protection. I do intend to use the answers in perhaps helping a friend develop a fencing gambeson for our community.

Thank you in advance.

-Carlo Arellano
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Carlo Arellano





Joined: 21 Oct 2007

Posts: 52

PostPosted: Thu 12 Feb, 2009 1:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote



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Steven H




Location: Boston
Joined: 10 May 2006

Posts: 545

PostPosted: Thu 12 Feb, 2009 3:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Different people are going to give you different answers depending largely on two factors:

1) How they fence
2) What they use (steel, wood etc.)

If your objective is a textile armour that will be used with steel I suggest just a foundation garment. You can't make something out of linen and wool that will take a blow from a steel blunt and prevent fractures. One the other side of the coin I can fence naked and if my partner has enough control (and no accidents occur) then I'm still safe. So you aint gonna get a short answer, one size fits all answer.

There are some nifty gels that harden when you hit them - they are used by stunt performers - which may be the best option for flexible and still good enough for what we do.

Given the way most people use the garments the options already on the market meet most people expectations. Which is not to say that you can't make a very good gambeson - just don't expect it to be for everyone or work for all fencing.

Cheers and good luck,
Steven

Kunstbruder - Boston area Historical Combat Study
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Carlo Arellano





Joined: 21 Oct 2007

Posts: 52

PostPosted: Thu 12 Feb, 2009 4:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I understand, I have pretty huge pain tolerance myself and require less padding and I'm not trying to take all the sting out. I was thinking functionally along the lines of the type of fencing doublet that may have been used in various schools during the renaissance and late medieval.

We already have good foundation garments out there. I'm just looking for a cross-section of opinions and am not looking to please everyone.

Thank you, for giving me food for thought.

To be more specific, i want a garment that does for WMA body protection what Terry's perforated masks do for WMA head protection.
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M. Eversberg II




Location: California, Maryland, USA
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PostPosted: Fri 13 Feb, 2009 5:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

While you may have a higher pain tolerance, using that as a method of excusing sub-standard protection is a bad idea and I highly suggest not doing it. I'm sure more than one of us here has scars and old broken bones from the same thought process.

As an aside, can I have a few closeup photos of the hilt of your sword?

M.

This space for rent or lease.
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Carlo Arellano





Joined: 21 Oct 2007

Posts: 52

PostPosted: Fri 13 Feb, 2009 10:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for you concern, I have various levels of equipment depending on level of intensity for that session. I have fought stick fights in FMA without any equipment at full contact and have been involved in weapon arts for over 26 years and my partner has been fencing for 20. I apologize for being flippant earlier but we both know our limits and are not risk takers. The impetus for this is that over the years I've found that over armoring has often led to sloppy defense. I'm not looking for a panacea, just a particular level of protection greater than the gambesons we already have but less than a harness. As I have said before I am interested in the level of protection our ancestors had in their training halls.

As requested, here is my hilt:




It is the Tinker trainer.


Last edited by Carlo Arellano on Sat 14 Feb, 2009 6:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
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PostPosted: Sat 14 Feb, 2009 12:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not to digress, but how has that Tinker sword held up for you?
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Carlo Arellano





Joined: 21 Oct 2007

Posts: 52

PostPosted: Sat 14 Feb, 2009 5:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick Kelly wrote:
Not to digress, but how has that Tinker sword held up for you?


So far it's holding up nicely. The hilt loosened a little after some intense practice sessions but was quickly fixed with a couple of allen wrench turns. What is most interesting to me is the dynamics of the blade which is stiff when being used but flexes on contact.
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David Teague




Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Joined: 25 Jan 2004

Posts: 409

PostPosted: Sat 14 Feb, 2009 2:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Carlo,

I've been using Matuls padded coats for a number of years now. We have quite a few of them and have used them in controlled freeplay with steel blunts.

Tomm tailors his coats to the person & uses different amounts of padding throughout his garments. They have more padding than the Revival gambeson... and I'm going to assume the same of the Gambesons.com gambeson.

Here is a link Gambeson Type 4

Here is a link to a vid of 2 of my asst. instructors doing a bit of freeplay with a Matuls coat (and a local custom one built to the same standard) The real Matuls coat is the longer one with the 2 star device on the sleeve. We do use the same equipment with the Albion full weight blunts. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0u_W2cY2Fk

Forgive the music as the teenage student who filmed & edited it felt the need to "pump it up" Rock intro and Irish session music for the freeplay Eek! Worried

Cheers,

DT
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Michael B.
Industry Professional



Location: Seattle, WA
Joined: 18 Oct 2007

Posts: 360

PostPosted: Sat 14 Feb, 2009 4:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The matul garmets hold up great, offer wonderful protection and look great. I can attest to the fact that the GDFB garmet is terrible. It's very limiting and its hard finding a size that fits right. One of the local instructors (not Teague) push this one for the new students, but I feel it hampers them. A couple have gotten nicer ones now though.

Teague, who made the one locally?

www.facebook.com/bearmountainforge2
Michael Bergstrom
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David Teague




Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Joined: 25 Jan 2004

Posts: 409

PostPosted: Sat 14 Feb, 2009 7:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Mike,

It was a one time deal.

Do you know Anne F ? She's the only Anne in my history group.

Cheers,

DT
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JE Sarge
Industry Professional



PostPosted: Sat 14 Feb, 2009 8:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I use the GDFB gambeson which I dyed oxblood and then re-enforced all the stitching with thick waxed thread. I had to go with a size larger than I normally wear and it was still somewhat stiff. After a few cycles in the dryer with no heat and normal wear, it seems to have loosened up significantly to the point to where it does not affect my mobility anymore.

A new gambeson is like breaking in a new biker jacket. Only after you have abused it for years does it finally become comfortable. Big Grin

J.E. Sarge
Crusader Monk Sword Scabbards and Customizations
www.crusadermonk.com

"But lack of documentation, especially for such early times, is not to be considered as evidence of non-existance." - Ewart Oakeshott
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M. Eversberg II




Location: California, Maryland, USA
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PostPosted: Sat 14 Feb, 2009 9:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So who makes the best gambesons?

M.

This space for rent or lease.
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David Teague




Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Joined: 25 Jan 2004

Posts: 409

PostPosted: Sun 15 Feb, 2009 12:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Depends on your needs....
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Carlo Arellano





Joined: 21 Oct 2007

Posts: 52

PostPosted: Sun 15 Feb, 2009 6:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you all, especially David for your responses. Actually this is what I'm asking,"what are your needs?" Now my needs are a gambeson for controlled bouting with steel that would be used in conjunction with a gorget, mask and gauntlets. It should probably be a little more padded in the shoulder, chest and forearm but retain a lot of mobility. Since it is being used with a gorget it would not need a collar and this would aid in dissipating heat.

Aesthetically it should be historically plausible and possibly adjustable in fit. Am I on the right track on this?
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Jason Mather




PostPosted: Sun 15 Feb, 2009 6:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Carlo Arellano wrote:
Thank you all, especially David for your responses. Actually this is what I'm asking,"what are your needs?" Now my needs are a gambeson for controlled bouting with steel that would be used in conjunction with a gorget, mask and gauntlets. It should probably be a little more padded in the shoulder, chest and forearm but retain a lot of mobility. Since it is being used with a gorget it would not need a collar and this would aid in dissipating heat.

Aesthetically it should be historically plausible and possibly adjustable in fit. Am I on the right track on this?


That is just the sort of thing I am looking for.
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Bruno Cerkuenik





Joined: 11 Sep 2006

Posts: 12

PostPosted: Thu 26 Feb, 2009 4:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matulīs Gambeson Type 4 has 5 layers in the trunk, sleeves and collar and the arms have 7 layers.

Is it enough to stand alone?
How thick is each layer?

Or, whatīs the thickness? one inch?

Iīve read a gambeson should have 20 to 30 layers. So I tested a wooden sword against a blanket folded to 32 layers and stood well against it.

Well, my needs are the same of Carlo Arellano, a gambeson for controlled bouting with steel/aluminium that would be used in conjunction with a gorget, mask and gauntlets.


Sorry for the english mistakes!

Thanks!
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David Teague




Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Joined: 25 Jan 2004

Posts: 409

PostPosted: Thu 26 Feb, 2009 10:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello All,

We use the Matulīs Gambeson Type 4 as our standard fight coat & living history soliders coat and I also have his CDB inspired Pourpoint.

It doesn't have a collar and seems to fit Carlo's needs.

I lead group that has 2 divisions. The Living History side and a WMA side.

I have many students in the WMA side who doesn't have a thing to do with the Living History side and most members of the Living History side aren't there to learn a historical martial art.

With that said here is a pic of the LH side wearing a mix of Matuls garments and those of our own making at an event from about 4 years ago.



Left to right (back & front) Ours, Matuls, Matuls, Matuls, Matuls, Ours.

You can see the thickness on the 2 front Matuls coats, left is Gambeson Type 4, right is me in my Pourpoint

Cheers,

David

This you shall know, that all things have length and measure.

Free Scholar/ Instructor Selohaar Fechtschule
The Historic Recrudescence Guild

"Yea though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou's sword art is with me; Thy poleaxe and Thy quarterstaff they comfort me."
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Sonia Focke




Location: Munich
Joined: 27 Feb 2009

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri 27 Feb, 2009 12:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

(Hi, I'm a new member and specialised in Ancient Egypt - so expect mostly Egypt-based answers from me! Wink )

When it comes to layers.... Hulit and Richardson reconstructed part of a New Kingdom scale armour based on the one found in the tomb of Tutankhamen. The latter had six layers of linen as the basis underneath its rawhide scales. When some of the replica scales had been cut away after various experiments, the two took a replica bronze axe directly to the linen. It never penetrated further than the first layer of linen!

The article: Hulit, Thomas and Thom Richardson, The warriors of Pharaoh: experiments with New Kingdom scale armour, archery, and chariots in: ”The Cutting Edge. Studies in Ancient and Medieval Combat”, Barry Molloy ed., Tempus, Stroud, 2007, 52-63

"A knight of the Table Round should be invincible
Succeed where a less fantastic man would fail:
Climb a wall no one else can climb,
Cleave a dragon in record time,
Swim a moat in a coat of heavy iron mail!"
- Lancelot, in "Camelot"
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Bruno Cerkuenik





Joined: 11 Sep 2006

Posts: 12

PostPosted: Fri 27 Feb, 2009 4:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi David,

Thanks for the pic, It seems very thick but what I donīt understand it that they say itīs only 5 layers.
5 layers of what then?


thanks again!

Bruno
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