25.06.2015
Evolution of knights’ hand protection

Evolution of knights’ hand protection

Not so long time ago we showed you how Steel Mastery’s craftsmen make knight gauntlets of the XIV-XV centuries. And this model is one of the great quantity of middle-age hands’ protection. In this article we’d like to tell you, how this type of armour were progressing.


Up to XI century, success of armourers in manufacture of hand protection was insignificant, so mostly hands defence have been ignored. By the end of the early Middle Ages, they began to pay more careful attention to the protection of this body part. The reason was a high injury risk, as enemy’s weapon defeats the hands firstly, and then – the other parts. To avoid cuts on the fingers, palms, hands, wrist or their total loss, medieval warriors begin to go in for the creation of more reliable hands’ protection.


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Leather gauntlets (from the left) and muffers (from the right) as elements of warrior’s garment of the  XII-XII century.


From the 2nd part of XI century, gauntlets of thick leather were put into practise. Wristbands were a differential characteristic of the leather gauntlets. Gauntlets of tannage were integral part of mail armour. Despite of the rather unreliable protection, tannage is actively used as basis for hand protection, as the leather provides with flexibility and allows to hold weapon tight. Series of miniature paintings in Codex Balduineus suggests the usage of leather gauntlets as hands’ protection up to the middle of the XVI century.   

 

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Miniature paintings in Codex Balduineus.


After chain mail shirt with long sleeves (hauberk, haubergeon) have become usual for medieval warriors, they started to add mail gauntlets (muffers) to it. Mail gauntlets (muffers) had been added to mail shirt. Muffers covered the outer part of hand, so palm was left not protected. Mail gauntlets had been attached to the sleeves of hauberk and was a peculiarity of knights during XII-XIII centuries. Muffers were more reliable hand protection, than tannage gauntlets. However, despite of leather base for gauntlets was popular and was being used for palm protection, it did not make gauntlets’ protective properties more effective, especially in case of serious injuries.


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Muffers with leather palm on miniature painting, Westminster Psalter (British library), around 1250. 


In the 2nd part of XIII century, an alternative to baggy mail gauntlet has appeared. So called “gagnepain” had outer side enforced with metal plates. Gauntlets of high firmness buckskin were prevailing in France and Italy in XIII century as well. During the battle, an additional leather strap were put on such gauntlets. It covered arm from the fingers’ bent to the elbow and was fastened on the inner side of arm.


To enforce protective effect of such gauntlet, warriors covered wrist part and the first knuckle joint of thumb with metal plates, that were sewn over the leather, and then were fastened to the gauntlets with leather strings. Wendelin Boeheim, the weaponologist, considers that “an example of safety discs on the stand” can be traced in the type of  wrist protection with round metal plates, that had being used on the metal gauntlets till the early XVI century.


Together with “gagnepain”, plate mitten gauntlets with whalebone as base have come into use from the 2nd part of the XIII century. For the moment, the exact construction of such mitten gauntlets is not known. In all probability, this type of protection had a form of the usual gauntlets covered with scales of whalebone.


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1 - Painting of mail gauntlet; monumental brass of Sir Robert de Septvans, circa 1306 (St. Mary's Church, Chartham, Kent, UK).

2 - Painting of mitten gauntlet, manuscript "The Life of Saint Denis" (the National Library of France, Paris).

3 - Scaled gauntlets from brass of Sir Richard de Burlingthorpe, circa 1310.

4 - Metal gauntlets, brass of a knight of the Eresby family, circa 1410 (Spilsby Church, Lincolnshire).

 

Further, metal mitten gauntlets came into general use by knights in the end of the XIII century. Iron plates had being attached to the fabric base or fixed between two layers of fabric. To prevent the oxidation process, a coat of copper or tinning had being applied on the iron plates. It was a necessity, as there were no possibility to remove and polish the plates. A gauntlet, that consisted of a large amount of metal parts attached to the leather base, is called “brigandine”.

 


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1, 2, 3 – Reconstruction of brigandine gauntlets, founded on Gotland in the 1929 year.


Few great finds of brigandine gauntlets had been founded out in Sweden near Visby, that is placed on the island Gotland. Quantity of parts are varied from 22 to 106 pieces (without rivets).  Metal plates has being attached under elastic base (leather or fabric) either over flexible bottom.  Also, “mixed” types of gauntlets had taken place, large-sized details of which were attached over the basis. Such type of protection was used till the 2nd part of the XIV century.


Over time, metal plates were being enlarged and being shaped into hand’s form, covering the wrist as well. Based on the leather gauntlet with metal discs and the first mitten gauntlets, the main elements of full-metal gauntlet has appeared, such as wristband, wrist plate, movable plates on the leather basis, which are shaped into the fingers’ shape. Only in the end of the XIV century, full-plate gauntlets displaced leather gauntlets with metal plates over it. One of the oldest model of full-plate gauntlets were belong to the knight of the Eresby family. Pattern of knight’s garment was founded out on his grave, dated 1410 year. This model of gauntlets consists of the backside plate with five fingers, wristbands are flat and belled.


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From the left - gauntlet with rondle, part of armour of  Federico I Gonzaga, Marquess of Mantua (Italy, circa 1480 year);  

from the right - gauntlet with lock mechanism part of armour of  Ferdinand I (circa 1560 year).


Upon a century, scale part of thumb has started to be attached with hinged joint. Besides the hinges, in the XV century scale gauntlets had gained popularity. Such-like elements of armour had rondel (on the left gauntlet only). According to expert opinion, rondel was intended for two purposes: to fix the halter and as additional block for shield. Also, full-plate gauntlets with lock mechanism were popular these times. To make lock mechanism, additional plate length to the wrist was required. This plate had splined hole, where wrist pin had been inserted. When reed were being rotated, the fist was fixed in the closed position, so weapon could be held even on hard blow. This mechanism was required to hold sword or spear on like grim death.


To the end of the XV century, development of the functional elements had been almost finished and swordsmen began to pay more attention to the design of their creation. Gothic gauntlets became the most outstanding example of the armourer craftsmanship. So, the perfect example of eye appeal and functionality is gauntlets, part of armour of Sigismund, Archduke of Austria, which are dated 1480 year. German craftsmen made these gauntlets with distinctive handiness: knuckles are covered with figured cuts and elegant extended wristbands have brass plates with lilies on it.


Generally it may be said, that in time of gothic style craftsmen paid such high attention to gauntlets, that it was never before. And gauntlets had being made not only as part of armour, but up armour’s owner as well.


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1 – perforated gauntlet, part of armour of Emperor Maximilian I (circa 1480 year)
2 – gauntlet of Sigismund, Archduke of Austria (Germany, circa 1480 year)
3 – gauntlet of Emperor Charles V (circa 1550 year).

Illustrations from “Handbuch der Waffenkunde”, W. Boeheim.


But refinement of such workpieces did not fix such weaknesses as heat-retaining effect, which didn’t allow hands ‘to breathe”. There were some attempts to correct such defect with appearance of Maximilian armour. For example, there were perforation of gauntlets, that were a part of armour of Emperor Maximilian I, made approximately in the 1480 year. Little holes on the surface of gauntlet made sweating lesser, when wearing this hand protection.


Also, armourers started to work at the ergonomics of metal gauntlets. Landsknechts had a big influence at this process, as they “set the pace” to armourer with demands for lighter and more mobile gauntlets. From the 1530 years, gauntlets without plates for knuckle protection had appeared. It happened in chase of better mobility of hand protection. Plates over the fingers had being replaced with mail or little metal rings, which were sewn on the leather basis. Sometimes you can see italian brigandine gauntlets of the middle of the XVI century, in which mail and little iron plates are combined effectually. Such mix was very good for protection from rapier, spadroons or falchion thrusts, but was absolutely useless against the heavier weapon.


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1 – Gauntlet, part of landsknecht armour of Kaspar von Frundsberg (Germany, circa 1527 year).
2 – Italian style brigandine gauntlet with mail inserts (Germany, circa 1560 year).
3 – ‘Pikeman“ gauntlet attached to the bracer (Italy, circa 1620 year).

Illustrations from “Handbuch der Waffenkunde”, W. Boeheim.

 

Necessity in good mobility was reflected in metal gauntlets with scaled fingers, which had one or few of them covered with mail only. Such particularity could be explained by active use of pointer finger when handle the sword or pole-arms.


Some of the last models has elongate wristbands, which acted as bracers and protected the forearm as well. It is so called “pikeman” gauntlet, that was in use up to the end of the Thirty Years’ War 1618-1648 years.

 


We used some information and illustrations for this article from Wendelin Boeheim’s “Handbuch der Waffenkunde. Das Waffenwesen in seiner historischen Entwicklung vom Beginn des Mittelalters bis zum Ende des 18 Jahrhunders”; Claude Blair’s “European armour” and everpresent web:) We do not pretend to be an owner of pictures, we used them as illustrative example only.


12.05.2015
Gothic full-plate armour of the XV century

Surely, you’ve seen wonderful photos of black knight of “Steel Mastery” latest photo-shoot. Beautiful, shiny armour with carving elements and brass decorative strips attracts attention at the first sight! And in this article, we’d like to tell you about this medieval body protection.


 

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Claude Blaire, the well-known English historian and weapon and armour expert, was right to name XV century as “The Golden age of armour”. At this particular time full plate armour a.k.a gothic armour has appeared.

 

Starting on the 1420 year, knight’s armour had being revolutionized. Full plate suit of armour (called also “white armour”) has replaced colourful brigandines decorated with emblems. In Germany, “white armour” has been called “Kasten-burst armour” - “box-shaped breast” because of angular form. Cuirass of Kasten-burst armour had long steel flared skirt, and the most popular model of head protection - helmet bascinet - completed the armour. Kasten-burst armour was widespread in Germany and Flanders in the beginning of the XV century.


Full kasten-burst armour, altar of Saint Leonard churge in Basele by Conrad Witz, 1435 year.

 

At this time, main european schools - german and italian - has finished its developing. What is more, in the first part of the XV century, italian masters had a strong lead, and only by the 1480-1490 year german masters were able to compete with them, and even surpass in a  short time. Nuremberg and Augsburg masters achieved a great fame, guaranteeing perfect quality and high reliability of armour.

 

In the end of the XV century, full plate gothic armour has appeared in Germany. It had been developed for complete protection of knight’s body during the battle. Sharp and piercing corners of armour’ parts (especially, on pass-guards, sabatons and gauntlets) had become outstanding characteristics of gothic armour. It combined two main features: reliable protection and good mobility. Metal used for armour was light, but firm at the same time.


Gothic cuirass, South Germany XV century. Steel. The Cleveland museum of art.

 

Usually, cuirass was consisting of two or more plates, partly overlapping one another. Oftentimes, edges of plates were saw-edged or figured. It also was repeated on the back plates.  Vertical reinforcement rib was placed centrally on the breastplate. All cuirass was decorated with fluted lines, that could override direct blow and change sliding path of weapon. Besides that, goffer essentially raised reliability and durability of armour and did not affect the weight too much. Cuirass was waist-suppressed and flared at the bottom a little. Such construction were allowing the knight to bend, unbend and ride without movements’ constraining.

 

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Often, movable tassets for thighs protection had being attached to the lower part of cuirass, despite of the some discomfort they caused during the riding. Shoulder were protected with spaulder, which were attached to the cuirass with leather strings with steel points. Large spaulder could cover upper parts of breast, back and arms.


 

Armour’s pass-guard were closed. Outer side was shaped into pointed corners, so pass-guards covered not only the joint, but bend of elbow as well. Side wings were serrated and could be decorated with grooves. Gauntlets of the gothic armour were more movable, than preceding models of gauntlets. Often, the first phalanges of four fingers had being closed with one movable plate and the farthest phalanges could move independently. Extended gauntlets were narrowed at the wrist and decorated with sharp spikes and divergent lines.

 

 

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As well as cuirass, greaves had reinforcement ribs which harden the armour. Greaves were consist of two parts, connected with hinges.

 

Sabatons had being made of slim plates and had main peculiarity - very long and narrow toe-cap. There was not only fashion statement: such toe-cap was functionally useful, when knight were riding, as it prevented the loss of stirrup. Besides, rider could cause grievous bodily harm to enemy foot-sloggers. There was also specific design of sabaton, where extra long top-caps could be unstrapped not to impede the walking or running.

 

 


Late german gothic armour of Sigismund, Archduke of Austria Gothic armour. Augsburg, about 1470-1480, By Lorenz Helmschmied.


Perhaps, helmet sallet was the main characteristic of gothic armour. This hollow helmet without comb and with lumiere had long tail - neck plate, that protects back side of the head and neck. In particular, sallet has become a prototype of german helmet in the time of the Second Reich in the XX century, but with shorter neck-flap. Sallet had been complemented with bevor - a part, which protect chin and the front part of the neck. Some of german and italian armourers were making sallet with movable visor, that could be fold back, opening the face. Often, dome of helmet and visor was decorated with reinforcement rib as well as the other parts of gothic armour.

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

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Small mail elements were addition to the armour. They were covering inner side of the elbow and knee joints, armpits and groin.


Full-plate gothic armour consisted of a few tens of elements, but at the same time it wasn’t very bulky. Despite of the weight was about 20-25 kg, it’s apportioned on all the body. Historian M. Gorelik in his issue “About Balmung, Durendal and their lords” provides an interesting example: nowadays, actors engaged in movie about knights wearing the full-plate gothic armour and additional equipments, and they are able to work in such outfit for a few hours, running, jumping and performing. So, wide-spread belief, that battle armour is very comfortless and extremely heavyweight, is not absolutely truth. In this regard, german and italian armourers did their bests. Armour almost hadn’t blown and there was a big insufficiency of it, as inside the armour there was very hot during the battle.

 

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There was too hard for knight to indue the armour by himself. But with help of proficient esquire, it had taken about 20 minutes only to wear the armour. First of all, shirt, pants and padded armour had been worn. Often knights were winding fabrics around the knees to prevent chafing. Then greaves and tasses, cuirass, to which tasses had being fastened. Then there was turn of spaulders and arm protection, after which servant were helping to wear and fix sabatons. To complete garment, knight should wear sallet and gauntlets, take weapon - and here is he ready for battle!

 

 

 

Pictures without "Steel Mastery" logo are taken from the web. We do not pretend to be an owner of them and use them as illustrative example only.

30.04.2015
Plate knight gloves of XIV-XV century. How do we make them!

How to make knight gauntlets of the XIV-XV century.

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Primary knights were not wearing plate gauntlets: only shield and sword’s handguard protected the hands. Starting on the 1180 year, mail gauntlets came into use. In fact, these gauntlets were a part of mail shirt sleeve. In the end of the XIII century, first separate gloves had appeared. They were made
of firm leather with whalebone or metal plates. And by the 1350 year, almost all knights were wearing plate five-fingered gauntlets, covered with metal scales. In the 1430 year, gauntlets had become one of the most part of any armour, and gainedgreat popularity in the end of the XV century.

Let’s have a look at how Steel Mastery makes plate knight gauntlets of the 1350-1400 years step-by-step!

1. First of all, you need to take precise measurements of your hand. Preferred is to
take parameters over the glove, which you’ll sew into the plate gauntlet.  

2. Then make a pattern on the thick paper with taken measures. Cut the pattern of leaf very accurately to avoid any problems with sizing during gauntlets’ making.

3. Making of wrist. Roll the main pattern in the shape of cylinder. Use semi-automatic welding to connect butting position with little weld.

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We recommend having a photo of historical analogue as spectacular example at working place, so you could see and compare your work piece during manufacture. For example:

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Shape the work piece with hammer, beakiron and argon torch. Sure, you can make it with cold metal,
but this will extend the wrist making. At work, always remember the safety instructions: when cutting the metal, use safety glass, gloves, duck bib overalls or hoover apron.

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With chisel and beakiron, shape the ribs on the knuckles.

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After this, polish and make the first fitting up with screws. Drill the holes for rivets, which will hold the
leather. Prepare the wrist for polishing.

Then make the mobile segment of narrow metal strip and fit it to the knuckles. This element is very important part of gauntlet, because leather of fingers will be attached exactly to this segment. It allows bringing the weapon without any problems, and is also an additional protection of hand part between the gauntlet wrist and fingers.

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4. The next step is fingers’ making.

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Make the pattern on the leaf and cut it carefully. Bend the metal phalanges, hammer the knuckles and put into the shape of sphere, which will hide area of phalanges bend.

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Polishing.

Polish finish with abrasive discs. As there is the dirtiest part of our job, do not forget to use face masking (respirator) to avoid breathing abrasive dust.

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Reassembly. Fingers.

Cut leather for fingers. Rivet metal parts of phalanges to the leather with steel or brass rivets.

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Reassembly. Wrist.

Cut the leather and rivet it to the metal part of wrist with steel or brass rivets.

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General reassembly.

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So, here we lift a veil on how we make knight gloves of the XIV-XV century. This safety, historically correct hand protection will come in use during knight tournaments, medieval fencing and reenactments.

Probably, described process is seemed to be easy. But believe, making of such armour requires considerable amount of time, attention and zeal.

Do you like this review?:) Then pretty soon we’ll tell you how to create the most popular model of medieval helmet bascinet.

12.07.2014
Armory World: cheaper, faster, simpler

We're happy to announce the launch of Armory World, a subsidiary brand of Steel Mastery.

www.armoryworld.com


Why did we decide to create another brand?

Steel Mastery produces custom-made products, which means longer manufacturing times and higher prices. We analyzed the feedback from our customers and realized that a large portion of them have needs that require a different approach from us. Not everyone is willing to wait weeks and pay extra for their custom-made items. Many just want their orders delivered fast and don't need any customization.

So here comes Armory World online store, where we offer you:

  • products in standard sizes (XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL) and standard colors, but same high quality of materials and manufacturing
  • immediate shipping, as the goods you order are already in stock
  • and last but not least, considerably lower prices (circa 30% less) compared to those from Steel Mastery

 

What will we be selling on the Armory World website?
Armory World will offer bestseller Steel Mastery products, in the most popular configurations, in standard sizes and for less money :)

Check out our new
online store Armory World and let us know what you think!

10.06.2014
Leather LARP and fantasy armour

Live action role-playing games have become more popular in the recent years. That’s why Steel Mastery decides to make fantasy-addicted customers with line of unique hand-made leather and steel armour.

 

To create bracers, greaves, helmets, cuirasses and other armour, our craftsmen used natural firm waxed leather. Thickness of such type of leather is usually 3.5-4 mm – there is ideal thickness for light, but safety leather armour. For riveting simple rivets and burrs are used. We paint them in black, brown or iron-grey colour.

Women corset is dainty craftsmanship, so we make them of soft and thin leather – about 2 mm thick. Such leather takes the needed shape easily, so happy owner of our handmade corset will look not only breathtaking, but also very comfortable. And decorated spaulders and bracers will not leave any girl cold!

Armour is easy in fastening on the body and limbs with firm leather belts with steel or brass buckles. Separate parts are joined with leather straps creating full armour, e.g. arm protection.


Every workpiece can be decorated with tooling on leather, aerographics, decorative stones or another fashion jewelry. Please send pattern and desires of decoration and we will make it on your armour!

Amazing leather bags and belts will be perfect addition to your character in fantasy style. And using accessories made by Steel Mastery even in daily living, you’ll draw the delighted eye.

Make your order right now and create your unique character! And if you do not like realization of some item, please send a photo of wished model to sales@steel-mastery.com and we will craft it by your measurement.

 

For sure, our armour is ideal for LARP, as they not only distinguishes the owner from the crowd, but also protects you at worthy stage!


 

19.01.2014
Costume of Landsknecht, early XVI century

Bright and recognizable charachter of german sellsword landskneсht recently gains in popularity on the medieval festivals. As a result, separate events dedicated to culture and life-style of landsknechts have appeared. In our turn, we’d like to say few words about the main detail of lansknecht’s look - costume.


By the last quarter of the XV century, fashion had evolved into the tight-fitting laced garments with a lot of colourful panels and details. But on the beginning of the XVI century,  it was to go into reverse accenting not the tenderness of body, but strength and robustness.

The main elements were left unchanged.

For example, paned sleeves were popular in the XV century, and in the XVI century outer lay was split in a way to let the interliner spill out. Victorius Swiss troop, who plundered the defeated Burgundian camp and stuffed the doublets with rich looted fabrics, is consider to be an ancestor of such style. Landsknechts were german variant of swiss mercenaries, and mode of dress was partially taken from them.


Urs Graf, 1527-1600

Simply cutting on the chausses and the jerkins was as popular as paning. Long strips of material, sometimes with lining, were sewn down the base of garment. Thin and soft materials were used for lining, e.g.silk that was appeared through the panes.


Allaert Claescz, 1520-1550

Undershirts of that period had T-shaped cut with stand-up collar, to which ruffs were sewn down. Often but not always, there were no fastenings on the collars, so shirt could be pushed through the neck like a pullover. But on the woodcuts you can see shirts with buttons or lacing on the neckline.


Leather jerkins were very important piece of clothing those times not only for practical resons, e.g. protection from weather, but also during the battles. It created a character of agressive masculine warrior, as that particular character of german soldier dominated in the first part of century.

18.12.2013
Costume of XVII century European citizen

Fashion was changing - time of long and shapeless tunics and shirts has passed. But what medieval citizen worn? We will tell you about a cotume, that was not high-fashion look of XVII century, but typical for usual european man.


Wide cut of shirt with baloon sleeves remained constant. Cuffs and neckband had buttons or lacing for fastening. Falling band was sewn separately, and often was decorated with ruffs, trim or lace.

Doublets of that period was always tight fitting and had a lining. Back of collar in one with body panel was a common feature of early XVII century doublets. The front parts of neckband was sewn separately, as the “wings” on the shoulders.


Breeches gathered on the waistband always had lining. Knee bands could be very narrow, open at outside or inside of leg, with installed buttons or hooks.

Hoses could be knitted or sewn of linen or wool. Cut on bias gave more stretch, and usually there was a slash at ankle closed tight by lacing through the eyelets.


Tailors often sewn hooks and eyes, or bead buttons on any opening. Such buttons could be covered with fabric and passed through knotted loop of leather of fabric.

All above-mentioned items make a costume, that all social groups could afford. But materials and decoration were varied depending on the social and financial status of person.

07.11.2013
Splinted and plate limbs' protection of the XIV century

Steel Mastery represents you historically correct, strong and very practical splinted and plate limbs’ protection of the XIV century. We tested it in battles - and now recommend it to you!

Splinted limbs’ protection was popular in Europe since XIII century. The main difference of splinted armour (from brigandine armour) was riveting of plates to few layers of thick linen to both inner and outer sides.

Gravestone of Günther von Schwarzburg (Saint Bartholomeus' Cathedral, Frankfurt, Hesse, Germany, 1349 year) is the best known historical verification of such armour’s using. Rivet heads are seen between the pedimental plates. This, in particular, suggest the existance of plates from the inner side of upper arm protectionbracers and greaves.

 

Effigy of Burkhard von Steinberg (Germany Hildesheim Roemer Museum, 1397 year) - splinted bracers are visible.

 

Plate limbs' protection was being appeared from the middle of XIV century. Originally, it looked like a little-curved metal plates, that were covering shoulders and hips. But in time, due to armourers’ skills development, plate protection was getting more unbeatable, one-piece bracers and greaves were hammered out.

 

Similar type of armour you can see on the effigy of Henry II the Pious Duke (Franciscan Church of St Jacob, Wrocław, Lower Silesia, Poland, 1350 year):

 

Sir Hugh de Prouz (St Cuthbert's Church, Widworthy, Devon, England, 1350 year):

Sir William de Aldeburgh (Church of St Peter and St Paul, Aldborough, Yorkshire, England, 1360 year):

By choosing material, type ad thickness of metal in options of each item, you can make your only safe medieval set of splinted or plate protection!

 


05.09.2013
Man's outfit in 12-13 centuries

We often receive questions like “What tunic is typical for such century?” or “Are these chausses acceptable for this period?” and so on, and so on… What is meant in this article is typical european man’s costume of the XII-XIII centuries.

  

Simple cut and multilayered type were peculiarities of medieval european costume. And as church was a keystone of society, it has been also a kind of “trend-setter”: long and baggy clothes were to hide a body completely. Cut and models of clothes of all social classes were similar, except of materials: base estate used cheap and hard-wearing linen or warm wool for sewing, but prosperous citizen and noble knights had their dresses made of silk, velvet or atlas, decoratied with expensive embroidery, pearls or fur.

 

Costume of medieval man consisted of such main items as:

-undershirt - chemise;

-short pants - braies

-chausses - kind of stockings with fastenings

-upper shirt - cotta or tunic

-cap - cale with long strings

 

Military men were wearing different types of padded gambesons depending on the soldier’s form of activity.

 

Chemise is a type of underwear, that was being worn over the body under the tunic, and often it covered the braies and chausses. Peasants and  base estate were sewing undershirts of uncoloured twill fabric, but knights and rich lords were wearing thin linen or silk chemises. Oftentimes, people used saffron and other herbs to odorize and color chemises. From the XIII century, chemises were even embroidered in such a way, that decorations are seen from under the tunic or cotta.

As pants were absolutely barbarian pieces of clothing in those days, for european man it was disgracefully to wear such garment. That’s why people became to use squares of linen to cover the thighs. In time, braies became longer, strings on the legs and on the waistband had appeared as well as holes for chausses’ fastening.

Chausses have being worn separately on each leg and fastened with strings to the wide fabric belt with holes or to the holes in braies. Depending on the purposes and worthiness of costume, quantity of strings could be varied and even decorated with bows. Short chausses were popular among both men and women (who hid chausses under the long dresses). People were fastening such model of chausses under the knees with strings or fabric straps. But long chausses were being used only by men, and despite of chausses were almost hidden under the overclothes, they were often sewn of silk or atlas and decorated with expensive embroidery.

 

Wide upper cloth named cotta was being worn over the chemise. Simple cut of cotta was unchanged for centuries: only length, materials and colours could be varied. Cotta’s sleeves were being made narrower to the wrists, often with lacings. Bright red, blue and yellow cottas with length to the calf or to the knee, they were the most popular in the XII-XIII centuries.

 

And sure, small headwear - cale - was integral part of men’s medieval costume. It had popularity among both peasants and upper class. It was a cap, usually made of white linen and with hanging strings. Usually, main headwear (chaperon, bonnet, hoods, etc.) were being worn over the cale, but it also could be a separate piece of clothing. Padded cales were used as a liner for helmet.

 

Each and every soldiers were wearing gambesons, only material, quantity of layers and length of gambesons were different depending on the status and activity. In such a way, soldiers were using short, slim-cut sleeveless gambesons, archers and crossbowmen were fighting is gambesons with length till the mid-thigh.

 

Padded armour was decorated with festoons on the bottom hem and sleeves, and had fastenings on the collar.

When choosing a costume for medieval event, please do consider social status of character you want to create. As noble knight in work-clothes has the same strange look, as modern business-man wearing cut-offs during the professional meeting:)

31.08.2013
Interior design - Vezha Vedmezha

Dear friends, Steel Mastery not only makes durable and reliable armour, but also we create medieval-style interior designs.  Chandeliers, stair railing, lampshades, various decorative armour, uniform for the personnel - it's not the full list of what we make.

 

If you want to a unique design for your hotel, restaurant, house or just living room,  do not hesitate to contact us and we'll make your place inimitable!

 

Take a look at one of our interiour design projects we did for the hotel "Vezha Vedmezha" in the Western Ukraine:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See more of these photos here

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