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.
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.
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 protection, bracers 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):
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 lons 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:)
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.
Good news for those who cannot pay for their order at once: we introduce the possibility to pay in instalments:
- If your order total is more than 500 EUR, you may choose to pay in two instalments: 50% upon the order placement, and the balance just before the shipping, having seen the photos of your items.
- If your order total is more than 1500 EUR, you may pay in 3 instalments (40%, 30%, 30%).
If you want to use this instalment payment possibility, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org before placing your order.
We offer steel rivets and brass rivets. They are both durable and will hold the blows well. It’s up to you what to choose. Many prefer the brass ones as they look better.
We offer steel buckles and handcrafted brass buckles. They are the same from the practical point of view. If the historicity is crucial for you choose the handcrafted buckles. For SCA steel buckles are fine.
We can include a padded liner for your helmet and we strongly recommend that you order it along with the helmet. The thing is that your helmet will be made bigger that your actual head, in order to accommodate the liner. If you order a liner we will make sure that it fits your head perfectly. If you don’t order a liner from us, you will need to use your own liner and its thickness must be carefully chosen so that your head feels comfortably inside the helmet.
If you order a liner from us, you can choose whether you want us to install into your helmet or just not. We can install it with steel or brass rivets or we can sew it on. The installation type is a matter of your choice. Sewing, unlike rivets, will allow you to easily unpick the liner, wash it and sew it on again.
Methods of finish treatment
We offer here satin polishing, mirror polishing and blueing (applicable only for normal steel).
We offer a wide range of decorative options, including etching, painting, brass plates and more. The may be added to your helm in almost any combination. It’s a good idea to discuss your wishes by email before ordering.
You may choose to install a standard visor for this particular model or a interchangeable visor (available only for some models).
Visor back fixation
Here you select the way visor is fixed on the back, which include simple knot, steel or brass buckles, or a push button.
Vervelles (price for 8pcs)
Here you choose if you want vervelles which are used to attach an aventail to the helmet. If yes, you may choose among steel and brass ones.
It’s something you choose according to your particular needs. If you are going to have a good fight, take
2.0 mm stainless steel or 2.5 mm normal steel. Hardened steel is also an option, but bear in mind that it doesn’t deform (like normal or stainless steel) and may crack after a very strong blow. Titanium helmet is a light and warp-free option.
You may choose to add aventail and select its type among padded cotton or padded wool aventail, or leather, or chainmail one.
You might be wondering: who are these people who make the Steel Mastry products? How do they look like and what brought them to doing medieval armour pieces? We have decided to uncover a bit this mystery :) and present you our team.
We'll start with the craftsmen who work in our blacksmith shop.
Mikhail, 36 y.o.
I’ve been working for the last 15 years with metal in general, and since 2012 with medieval armour in particular. I’m the captain of the Association of Historical Clubs of Kyiv, where I consult on history and armour manufacturing. My work at Steel Mastery is also a pleasant hobby, because I do what I like. I’m fond of making fool plate armours.
Sergey, 41 y.o.
My acquaintance with the metal had commenced in 1988. Since 2003 I work in smithy. I’m on close terms with metal. I also like to work with wood, but work with metal is more interesting and pleasant. What lovely handicrafts one can make with the metal! Every thing made by my hands bears a part of my soul. I forge helmets.
Gennadiy, 37 y.o.
I’ve been working with metal just for a few years, I had felt the desire to work exactly with this material. I like sledge-hammers:). I also like the creative approach we use in making handicrafts and their exclusivity. I’d love to comprehend that art of the medieval armourers with which they crafted their extraordinary products.
Igor, 48 y.o.
I started in 1998 with metal processing and forging. Now I’m specialized in making plates for brigandines, scale and lamellar plates. I like to work with the metal and I like the things which come out… unusual, magic in a sense. It’s a great feeling when you with your own hands turn a piece of metal into a reliable and convenient piece of armour.
Igor, 49 y.o.
I might say that I had inherited love to the metal working. My grandpa was a welder; my father was a metal turner. At 16 I started working as tool-maker, and later as shipwright. But I’ve always wanted to create something special of this material, so when I tried to work in the medieval smithy I realized that this is exactly what I want to do.
some new articles we have recently put online:
Painted kite shield can be seen on the miniatures starting from the IV century. The most popularity it gained in VIII-XII centuries and was used by cavalry and infantry forces. But in time, the body protection had got better and the main armour - chainmail - has been changed to brigandine or plate armour, so knights have started to use short triangle shields.
Scale armour can be found on the Byzantine miniatures in the V-VI centuries, and later - in the XIII-XIV cc. - on the paintings in slavonic churches. This armour protects the body perfectly and provides freedom of mobility.
Brigandine short bracers were popular in VIII-XIII centuries and were used together with long-sleeved chainmail. The bracers are made of thick (4-6 mm) croupon leather with installed and rivetted metal plates.
we're delighted to announce our participation in the Visby medieval market on Gotland, Sweden!
We heartily welcome you to visit our stand! You will be offered a great selection of our 100% natural gambesons, protective and durable brigandines, medieval clothes and other products from Steel Mastery.
Apart from that we will offer you a possibility to make a custom order from our website with a discount!
Please note that we'll be present ONLY during the last 4 days of the market: from Thursday 8 August to Sunday 11 August.
See you there!
Yours, Steel Mastery