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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Fri 26 Jun, 2015 2:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

We can't be sure because nobody has actually shot an arrow at anything resembling medieval textile armour.
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Fri 26 Jun, 2015 5:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd be wary of saying arrow proof in this case but I think Dan's point is a good one. So little work has been done with good textile armour that its real capability is in question. I also question if 30 layers was the average or high end textile armour as well though.

RPM
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Pieter B.





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PostPosted: Fri 26 Jun, 2015 11:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
We can't be sure because nobody has actually shot an arrow at anything resembling medieval textile armour.


Quote:
I'd be wary of saying arrow proof in this case but I think Dan's point is a good one. So little work has been done with good textile armour that its real capability is in question. I also question if 30 layers was the average or high end textile armour as well though.

RPM


I don't want to sound harsh but this is essentially a never ending story. At least until we find some more info on what qualifies as average quality and we get some statistics on usage.

And even if we find the percentage of people wearing gambeson mark XVI 'delux', test it against average weapons being used by average people at average ranges/power it doesn't tell us how this affects the lethality against a group of people and the folks not wearing it.

If we find that 20% could likely be wearing arrow proof armor it does not take into account exposed areas on that person nor the fact that strategic placement of those people in the front rank(s) could reduce casualty rates of those not wearing it.

Perhaps proving what weapons it doesn't provide protection against goes a long way to explaining why folks wore textile armor. Perhaps the results are predictable but I'd like to see someone with a spear or polearm have a go at a gambeson to see if it does anything to protect the wearer.
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Matthew Amt




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PostPosted: Fri 26 Jun, 2015 12:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I guess I'm kind of the other way around. Sure, modern tests can be interesting, but it's too easy for people to draw false conclusions from them. One of the first being that the people who wore this stuff in deadly battles had the same concerns as us.

My feeling probably stems from my being a reenactor, and wanting to make my own reproductions of these things. So if I know what they looked like and pretty much how they were constructed, I'm good! If I can find out how common they were, even better, but since it's only me wearing it, no biggy. But as far as "HOW GOOD IS IT??" goes, well, I don't care! It was good enough for the folks back then. Again, if I can be pretty sure that layered linen was not as protective as an equal weight of bronze, great. I tend to assume that already! The Greeks didn't have all them fancy-pants joules, eh?

That said, when I'm doing a Roman demo and stab myself in the armor with my dagger, it really wakes the kids up! But it's a VERY general demonstration of "Armor Works", not an attempt to gather scientific data.

And that's why Aldrete makes me mad: He's dressed his fun plinking up as scientific tests, which will both attract major attention and make him look respectable. That nicely smokescreens his lousy research and completely erroneous conclusions.

Matthew
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Fri 26 Jun, 2015 3:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pieter,

"I don't want to sound harsh but this is essentially a never ending story."

I don't want to sound harsh but get used to this if you study history. This is how the discipline works. When we have limited information it gets even harder. IN this case it is balancing through antidotal, semi-quantifiable and other evidence is the best we have so we need to know what application these all have and decide how they interact. At the end of tons of research you might find what you are looking for but often you find you have just started over in effect or have a different result than the one you were after.

In the test you mention do you know what the variable are? How can you say it does anything in relation to your point without that?

I was told if something is worth doing it was worth doing right. I think that is still a pretty good way of looking at things in general.

Now what Dan is saying is a good point. You should be looking to see how the textile armour used in these modern tests ties to medieval ones. If they do not that is an issue. My biggest issue with Dan's hypothesis is that I have found nothing close to 30 layers of linen anywhere in all the textile armour I have seen. It shows up in a few accounts but nothing to make me think it was common or universal. To me the quality and quantity is of great importance. If 0-5% had something like this that, putting the argument aside, was arrowproof that is important. This armour covers many of the must vulnerable places on the human body. Now granted you have unprotected areas to consider as well so the factors make up everything in these discussions. They are can be barriers or building blocks depending on how you use them.

RPM
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Matthew Amt




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PostPosted: Fri 26 Jun, 2015 7:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My mantra: Good research questions the answers rather than answering the questions.

And "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing over..." Oh, sorry...

Matthew
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sat 27 Jun, 2015 3:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:
My biggest issue with Dan's hypothesis is that I have found nothing close to 30 layers of linen anywhere in all the textile armour I have seen.

30 layers would be the upper limit IMO. More than that and the construction gets too thick and cumbersome. For standalone armour, 20 layers would seem to be more typical. Jacks layered over mail would be even lighter; perhaps 10-15 layers.

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Pieter B.





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PostPosted: Sat 27 Jun, 2015 5:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Would those different types of textile armor have different quilt densities?
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sat 27 Jun, 2015 6:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Denser quilting results in a more rigid construction. You can make parts of the armour such as the stomach and shoulders more flexible by using less quilting.
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Pieter B.





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PostPosted: Sat 27 Jun, 2015 6:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Denser quilting results in a more rigid construction. You can make parts of the armour such as the stomach and shoulders more flexible by using less quilting.


Yes you have said that many times but do we actually have some numbers on it? Like distance between quilts in Arming garment X is 4 cm while the Jupon of Charles has a distance of 2 cm between quilts?
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sat 27 Jun, 2015 1:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pieter B. wrote:
Dan Howard wrote:
Denser quilting results in a more rigid construction. You can make parts of the armour such as the stomach and shoulders more flexible by using less quilting.


Yes you have said that many times but do we actually have some numbers on it? Like distance between quilts in Arming garment X is 4 cm while the Jupon of Charles has a distance of 2 cm between quilts?

No. I'm hoping that the upcoming Tudor Tailor book has this kind of detail.

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Pieter B.





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PostPosted: Sat 27 Jun, 2015 2:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Pieter B. wrote:
Dan Howard wrote:
Denser quilting results in a more rigid construction. You can make parts of the armour such as the stomach and shoulders more flexible by using less quilting.


Yes you have said that many times but do we actually have some numbers on it? Like distance between quilts in Arming garment X is 4 cm while the Jupon of Charles has a distance of 2 cm between quilts?

No. I'm hoping that the upcoming Tudor Tailor book has this kind of detail.


I'd be very interested in hearing it as well.

I think I accidentally derailed this thread a little but if you want to continue talking about gambesons I have a question.

When, and why did the average footsoldier stop wearing quilted textile armor?

Looking at Dolnsteins and Urs Graf's drawings together with woodcuts depicting Landsknecht soldiers it seems like they are not wearing any armor besides plate armor after 1500-1520.

Did it get replaced by something better or cheaper? Did the threat it was primarily designed for disappearing from the battlefield? Or was textile armor not suitable for the type of warfare they fought or the cultural context within which they lived?
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sat 27 Jun, 2015 8:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pieter B. wrote:
When, and why did the average footsoldier stop wearing quilted textile armor?

Firearms. Cotton and linen are very susceptible to powder burns. Buff coats became popular because leather doesn't burn very easily.

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Pieter B.





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PostPosted: Sun 28 Jun, 2015 5:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Pieter B. wrote:
When, and why did the average footsoldier stop wearing quilted textile armor?

Firearms. Cotton and linen are very susceptible to powder burns. Buff coats became popular because leather doesn't burn very easily.


So it was the appearance of a new weapon rather than the disappearance of other weapons, interesting.

What would you say is the cutoff date/range at which it was almost entirely phased out? The pre 1500 Swiss art does show those puffed shoulder common in civilian clothing but I cannot really see whether its civilian clothing or textile armor.
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Sun 28 Jun, 2015 5:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan,

I have heard that before as well. I cannot recall where I read it but I also heard there was a increase in trade with Asia during the rise of the Russian Empire in the 15th and 16th and one of the big commodities was thick hides for the coats. It might be about more cheaper leather of the right quality.

Pieter,

We have textual and physical evidence for padded textile armour all the way through the 16th at least. We even had a buff coat that was made with padded sections from the 17th.

RPM
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William P




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PostPosted: Mon 29 Jun, 2015 7:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Depends on the type of cloth. 30 layers of the linen used to make quality tablecloths would be completely proof against longbows if they were quilted like the above kote.


are we sure that said arm guards dont contain plastic inserts or other materials? i think some modern kendo armour does incorperate plastic
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William P




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PostPosted: Mon 29 Jun, 2015 8:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Benjamin H. Abbott wrote:
Dan Howard wrote:
5. They overbuild their reconstruction. If they really wanted to reproduce Hellenistic linen armour then they should not have made it so thick that it was completely arrowproof. Pausanias said that linen armour was better for hunting because it was susceptible to a strong weapon thrust, and Alexander was almost killed by an arrow that punched through his armour. We know that linen armour can be made arrowproof; there were European examples with as much as 30 layers in their construction, but the linen armour described in Greek texts seems to have been a lot lighter.


According to the Aldrete and company, 11.5-12.25mm of their glued linen armor requires 65-75 J to defeat with a iron or bronze arrowhead. A modern hunting arrowhead of hardened steel requires much less, perhaps as little as 30-40 J. That's far from completely arrowproof. Even an 80lb composite bow with a heavy arrow might easily manage 80+ J up close.

Good point. I'll remove that section from my response in the future.


might it also perhaps be prudent to note the fact also that glued armour might be at severe risk of falling apart in the fasce of the weather as was discussed in another thread where i asked about the differences between glued and quilted textile armour
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Matthew Amt




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PostPosted: Mon 29 Jun, 2015 10:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William P wrote:
might it also perhaps be prudent to note the fact also that glued armour might be at severe risk of falling apart in the fasce of the weather as was discussed in another thread where i asked about the differences between glued and quilted textile armour


That *might* be a problem, except that rain is not likely to affect something which, as far as we can tell, never existed!

Matthew
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Philip Dyer





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PostPosted: Mon 29 Jun, 2015 10:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Amt wrote:
William P wrote:
might it also perhaps be prudent to note the fact also that glued armour might be at severe risk of falling apart in the fasce of the weather as was discussed in another thread where i asked about the differences between glued and quilted textile armour


That *might* be a problem, except that rain is not likely to affect something which, as far as we can tell, never existed!

Matthew

The think he was trying to explain one of the reasons glued linen armor didn't exist. The Ancients didn't have access to the variety of glues we do now. This is a extremely important factor, when in order you get anywhere to fight, you have to march there, having gear which doesn't disintegrate with exposure ! Your armor may been made sword, proof, arrow proof, spear proof, but if it come apart or rots before facing up against any of those things, those pluses don't matter. Quilting fabric together generally is and has has traditionally been more weather resistant.
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Mick Jarvis




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PostPosted: Mon 29 Jun, 2015 3:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William P wrote:
Dan Howard wrote:
Depends on the type of cloth. 30 layers of the linen used to make quality tablecloths would be completely proof against longbows if they were quilted like the above kote.


are we sure that said arm guards dont contain plastic inserts or other materials? i think some modern kendo armour does incorperate plastic


the kote contain no plastic, they are purely fabric, deer leather (inside of hands) and padding

the plastic components in Kendo armour are in the Do and in the suneata (if you are doing naginatajutsu)
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