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Thomas La.





Joined: 05 Jun 2018

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat 09 Jun, 2018 12:54 pm    Post subject: Requesting assistance in assembling 13th century French kit         Reply with quote

Greetings everyone! Big Grin

The past few months I have been conducting research on constructing my own medieval hard and soft kit and I have decided based on personal preferences, ancestral and financial reasons to recreate a mid 13th century French knight, using the Morgan/Maciejowski Bible as my main reference.

While I've certainly learned a lot (a lot more to learn!), it seems like a bit of a struggle in trying to find authentic pictures or fabric sewing/cutting patterns. For example, I'll look up a video on youtube that appears to be authentic, but then they put on a maille coif that isn't integrated with a rounded bottom. I look up videos on how braies are worn with chausses and I get 3 drastically different patterns. The helmet will have a brass cross in the center. A templar knight with a giant red cross in the center of his surcoat....argh!

If anyone had resources on hand or could point out where I'm going wrong, I would greatly appreciate it.

The soft kit I'm mostly making myself to ensure its comfortable and properly fits. As suggested, I am completing this before attempting any actual armor purchases.

1x white linen tunic that comes to the knees
1x white long braies
2x blue woolen chausses (from what I understand, blue dye started to become very popular in the 13th century, especially in France. What kind of wool should I look for? I would need to order it online in bulk)
2x turnshoes
http://allbeststuff.com/Leather-Products/medi...rvik-Style
1x belt (no idea what an authentic belt looked like)
1x gambeson (having a lot of trouble finding a pattern online, plus I heard it suggested that gambesons for knights were thinner than those used by infantry, and all the ones I see online make you look like the Michelin man)

Meanwhile, the hard kit would almost entirely bought online:

2x maille chausses

1x maille haberauk with integrated coif, side ventail, and mittens (what size rings should I look for? problably going to buy riveted from allbeststuff)

1x Maciejowski helmet (what kind of paint should I use?)

1x heraldic surcoat (I already designed the CoA, but I have no idea how such a device was placed on a surcoat. Stenciled? Painted? Sewed on?)

1x heater shield (found a how to online)

1x arming sword, sheathe, and belt (suggestions?)

Thank you for your time!



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Ed W.




Location: New Zealand
Joined: 27 Mar 2016

Posts: 31

PostPosted: Sat 09 Jun, 2018 1:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Thomas,

There's a book called 'the medieval tailor's assistant', by Sarah Thursfield. If you're feeling a bit overwhelmed by the volume of stuff on the internet (some good, some bad, and most of it terrible) I'd suggest investing in a copy.

Regarding gambesons (to go under mail), you're right that off the shelf commercial offerings tend to be far too bulky. There is debate whether gambesons/aketons were used under mail at all in the mid 13th century. No need to revisit this debate here, so here's links to a couple of previous threads on this topic

http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=34802&highlight=
http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=34599&highlight=

hope this helps,

Ed.
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Håvard Kongsrud




Location: Norge
Joined: 10 Mar 2015
Reading list: 3 books

Posts: 59

PostPosted: Tue 12 Jun, 2018 6:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This depend on your budget and how autentic you want to go.

White linen tunic - I would suggest a pattern from the french st Louis-tunic.
blue woolen chausses - 1,5 metres of some 2/2 twill would take you a long way, cut on the bias. Go for a grayish blue that look like woad.
turnshoes - your allbeststuff-link does not show turnshoes.
belt - narrow and long, with D-buckle.
gambeson - sew yourself or be prepared to re-taylor a commercial one.
maille - demi riveted, round rivets. Be prepared to re-taylor it.
heraldic surcoat - sew it on like appliqué
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Thomas La.





Joined: 05 Jun 2018

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue 12 Jun, 2018 7:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you, both of you.

I went ahead and bought The Medieval Tailor's Assistant and it should get here in a few days. I already bought this pattern set about a month ago when I really had a difficult time looking for patterns. Mostly using it for the braies, shirt, chausses, and the two piece coif (I saw the same one in the Maciejowski Bible worn by a helmetless knight):
https://www.patternsoftime.com/proddetail.php?prod=RC024

As for the wool fabric, would something like this work out?
https://www.moodfabrics.com/dark-navy-ultra-soft-wool-twill-315184

Another question: I have a pretty big head. At my eyebrows it is a little over 24 inches / 61 cm and all the Maciejowski helms I can find have a diameter of 8 inches. Is that too snug if I plan on wearing a cloth coif + maille coif?
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Alan E




Location: UK
Joined: 21 Jan 2016

Posts: 48

PostPosted: Wed 13 Jun, 2018 3:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thomas La. wrote:
Thank you, both of you.

I went ahead and bought The Medieval Tailor's Assistant and it should get here in a few days. I already bought this pattern set about a month ago when I really had a difficult time looking for patterns. Mostly using it for the braies, shirt, chausses, and the two piece coif (I saw the same one in the Maciejowski Bible worn by a helmetless knight):
https://www.patternsoftime.com/proddetail.php?prod=RC024

As for the wool fabric, would something like this work out?
https://www.moodfabrics.com/dark-navy-ultra-soft-wool-twill-315184

Another question: I have a pretty big head. At my eyebrows it is a little over 24 inches / 61 cm and all the Maciejowski helms I can find have a diameter of 8 inches. Is that too snug if I plan on wearing a cloth coif + maille coif?

I'd suggest taking a look at this thread http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=36537

Member of Exiles Medieval Martial Arts.
Currently teaching Fiore's art in Ceredigion
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Joshua Waters




Location: South Carolina
Joined: 15 Dec 2013

Posts: 37

PostPosted: Wed 13 Jun, 2018 4:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you are still looking for a helmet, I cannot recommend Patryk Nieczarowski enough. His early style helms are fantastic, and great quality. And he has made Maciejowski style helms before.
Not too long ago I had a raised conical helm commissioned with him, and it turned out fantastic.



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Thomas La.





Joined: 05 Jun 2018

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun 22 Jul, 2018 9:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thought I would give an update on progress.


After some consideration and reading the fascinating discussions, I decided to go with a custom made double layer linen cote instead of a gambeson. Not only for making a slimmer figure and being easier than making a gambeson, but it enhances my soft kit (did not know the unseemliness of wearing just an undershirt).

I was also able to come across a faux wool fabric that has the look and stretchiness of real twill wool at a much cheaper price. It's a dark army green instead of the desired blue, but I'll just make due.

While assembling the soft kit, I looked further into selecting the right arming sword for a mid 13th century knight (circa Maciejowski Bible), and I've certainly run into an impasse. With a budget set aside for about $300 or (preferably) less, I've certainly found a lot of interesting swords (no Type XII Confused ), but I find myself hesitant on several of them due to my lack of knowledge. Any input would be appreciated.

13th Century Arming Sword - Atrim Design - Type XIV by Kingston Arms
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=SM36050
So I was originally enraptured by this blade. 13th century, a massive discount, and I've seen a lot of positive reviews both written and on youtube. However AFAIK, according to Oakeshott, Type XIV is very late 13th century (1275) so its outside of my time period (yet shows up in the Maciejowski Bible?! Time-travelling crusaders?! Eek! ).

Sword of Tancred by Windlass
http://kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=501423

I fell in love with the look of this sword, and the fact that it comes with an integrated sword belt, but I have heard of some people having minor issues with the pommel. Plus its apparently more of a 12th century blade/Type XI so I don't know if it would be appropriate. Finally, its really long and I don't know if it would be comfortable to wear and not have it constantly bang on the ground.

Hanwei Tinker Norman Sword
http://kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=SH2426
Also really like this blade, but apparently this is a Type XI, so it might have the same problems as the Windlass sword. Also, it has side rings and from my research scabbards with side rings are more of a late medieval thing.

European Sword #9 by Ronin Katana

http://kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=RKE9
I've heard some nice things about Ronin Katana, but it has the same issue as the Hanwei Tinker in that it has side rings with that design of sword belt I haven't seen in 13th century art. Plus the design of the sword itself looks too antiquated for the time period.

Sorry in advance, I probably said a lot of ignorant things, but I think I'm getting there. Big Grin
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Michael P. Smith




Location: Muncie, Indiana
Joined: 11 Jul 2018

Posts: 40

PostPosted: Mon 23 Jul, 2018 6:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

FWIW..... back in the day when I did 13th century, I did not use an actual padded "gambeson." I referred to it as an aketon and it was 4 layers of hemp canvas. It was comfortable, did not limit motion, and offered rigidity under the mail.
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Michael P. Smith




Location: Muncie, Indiana
Joined: 11 Jul 2018

Posts: 40

PostPosted: Mon 23 Jul, 2018 11:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'll chime in once more. I'm not an "expert" by any means, but I'm not sure I'd get TOO keyed up over the Kingston/ATrim sword being called a Type XIV. As Oakeshott himself says, dating a sword is difficult. And as you've pointed out, the Morgan Bible shows a lot of swords that could be reasonably interpreted as a Type XIV (or at least similar in profile to the Kingston sword). Type XI's might be a bit old fashioned by 1250, but there ya go.

As for scabbards.... it'll be tough to find an accurate scabbard included with a sword in the bargain price range. The best you might expect is one that isn't awful, that you can add, say, a split style suspension to. I'd made one of those before and it's not too hard. Good luck!
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Ed W.




Location: New Zealand
Joined: 27 Mar 2016

Posts: 31

PostPosted: Mon 23 Jul, 2018 12:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

$300 is a pretty modest budget, especially if you're hoping to get a decent scabbard and belt thrown in. My suggestion would be to focus on the sword, if it comes with a scabbard that's just a bonus. Scabbards and belts are nice evening projects to do at home, swords are a bit more tricky. Focus your spending on things you can't make yourself.

Out of the swords you listed, I think the Kingston Arms is by far the best buy.

Regarding synthetic substitutes for natural fibers (linen and wool), you may find that synthetic fabrics don't breathe as well as natural ones so you might get a bit more hot and stuffy. Also if you're going to events don't get too close to the camp fire!

Ed.
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