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Making a leather covered quilted linen cuirass
#16
Hi Paul, thanks for the clarification. I can't think of a precedent for shoulders being thinner than the rest of a padded garment. Often the reverse is true and the shoulders are thicker than the rest of the garment.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen & Sword Books
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#17
Hi Dan,
In effect the shoulders are well protected. The only areas that are thinner is that under the clasps. The rest of the shoulder area is still 8 mms thick. The thin areas, too are protected by the clasps themselves. The Sutton Hoo Mound 1 grave also contained a mail shirt. The linen and the mail, together, provide very adequate protection.

Paul
Paul Mortimer
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#18
Quote:I can't think of a precedent for shoulders being thinner than the rest of a padded garment.
I can't think of a precedent for clasps like the SH ones. Still they are there...
Another way of overcoming the problem might have been to fix the clasps to the leather outer layer only and then finish the lining afterwards. Would have kept the metal from your shoulders as well.
Personally I welcome any (reasonable) attempt at "filling the blanks" - the only real criticism I have regarding Pauls textile armour is it's lack of bling ;-)
Andreas Riegel
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#19
This logic assumes that the maker had some shoulder clasps lying around and decided to make some armour that would fit them. It makes more sense for the clasps to have been made to accommodate the armour. In other words he wouldn't have made the shoulders thinner but changed the fastening mechanism to fit the shoulders. It is unlikely that the clasp would have been deliberatly designed to attach to something only 1.5mm thick if the armour was 8mm thick.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen & Sword Books
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#20
Hi Andreas,
I may have mistaken what you say - but there isn't a leather layer -- the linen is painted and waxed. I did think about fitting the clasps to something else before attaching them to the linen, but it just seemed too complicated. The metal staples on the back of the clasps are not a problem at all -- the lacings that I use - provide enough of a barrier. You are right about the bling -- perhaps I should have embroidered the front?

Dan,
I am afraid that I don't follow you at all when you say, "This logic assumes that the maker had some shoulder clasps lying around and decided to make some armour that would fit them." I don't know why you would assume that. The clasps are a fact, as Andreas says, so are the fittings that are on them. The garment that I have made isn't - it's an experiment to try and see how the clasps may have worked. In practice, it works very well - whether it is what they were doing in the 6th/7th century, I don't know and it may be that we never will. It would be handy if there were other, similar grave finds with the textiles intact.

We can't really know what was in the maker's mind when he made them or of the mind of their potential owner, either. Don't get hung up on the suggestion of Noel's that there is only 1.5 mms to play with it -- it isn't so. I am not sure how thick the linen is exactly immediately under the clasps, but is more than that. What happens is that the lacing goes up into the holes made for the staples and then returns through the textile. As long as the lacings are kept under tension there is no problem and they cannot be cut from outside the garment.

As for whether you would call layers of textiles 'armour' or not is another matter entirely -- it certainly is quite protective.

Paul
Paul Mortimer
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#21
Paul,
I mistook the outer layer for leather. Painted and waxed -good Idea! I will keep that in mind for further Projects.
Andreas Riegel
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#22
Quote:Correction, here's the link I meant to post earlier:

http://web.me.com/christian.koepfer/AER/...malis.html

Thanks, the article confirms my ideas about linen armour. The point is that it shouldn't be seen as just a 'subarmalis' for a metal armour, but as armour as such.

Then there is what people call leather armour and envision some kind of musculata in thick hard leather. Artwork evidence shows however that the leather is flexible, so it can't give enough protection. In combination whith linen armour however, you should get a working protective armour with the look of a musculata or hamata. (gravestone Marcus Favonius Facilis)That is wat I want to achieve. The pictures wil make things clearer.
[attachment=2170]25-11-2011103926.jpg[/attachment]


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Quintilianus/Jurgen Schultz

Member of Legio XI Claudia Pia Fidelis

AUDI ET ALTERAM PASTEM
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#23
Quote:Thanks, the article confirms my ideas about linen armour. The point is that it shouldn't be seen as just a 'subarmalis' for a metal armour, but as armour as such.
The idea isn't entirely implausible, IMO. But the earliest unambiguous examples of quilted, fabric armor that come to mind are the cotton shirts the Spaniards adopted from the Aztecs. And only then those shirts provided some protection against the stone age weapons they encountered. So, I'm not sure how useful a similar garment would prove in a Roman context. If a Roman was too poor to afford metalic armor I suppose a linen subarmalis was better than going Celt. Even so I can't imagine the widespread use of a subarmalis as standalone armor during the affluent age of the Late Republic and the Principate when metalic armor was in abundance and provided by the state. I'm curious what type of impression you have in mind to wear the subarmalis with. Legionary, auxiliary, marine?
Jaime
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#24
Ah, you answered my question while I was still typing my last post. :-)
Jaime
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#25
Quote:Don't get hung up on the suggestion of Noel's that there is only 1.5 mms to play with it -- it isn't so. I am not sure how thick the linen is exactly immediately under the clasps, but is more than that. What happens is that the lacing goes up into the holes made for the staples and then returns through the textile. As long as the lacings are kept under tension there is no problem and they cannot be cut from outside the garment.
Ahh. Thanks Paul. This helps.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen & Sword Books
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#26
Quote:But the earliest unambiguous examples of quilted, fabric armor that come to mind are the cotton shirts the Spaniards adopted from the Aztecs.
Quilted linen armor has been worn in Europe centuries earlier than this, both as standalone armour and as an additional layer over mail. The former is very thick - there are douments stating that they could consist of up to thirty layers of linen with an additional layer of leather over the top. Do a Google for "padded jack".

Here is one example from the Ordinances of Louis XI (1461-1483):

"And first they must have for the said jacks, thirty, or at least twenty-five, folds of cloth, and a stag’s skin; those of thirty, with the stag’s skin being the best cloth that has been worn and rendered flexible, is the best for this purpose, and these jacks should be made in four quarters. The sleeves should be as strong as the body, with the exception of the leather, and the arm-hole of the sleeve must be large, which arm-hole should be placed near the collar not on the bone of the shoulder, that it may be broad under the arm-pit and full under the arm sufficiently ample and large on the sides below. The collar should be like the rest of the jack, but not be too high behind, to allow room for the sallet. This jack should be laced in front, and under the opening must be a hanging piece (porte piece) of the same strength as the jack itself. Thus the jack will be secure and easy, provided there be a pourpoint without sleeves or collar of two folds of cloth, that shall be only four fingers broad on the shoulder; to which pourpoint shall be attached the hose. Thus shall the wearer float, as it were, within his jack, and be at his ease; for never have been seen half-a-dozen men killed by stabs or arrow wounds in such jacks, particularly if they be troops accustomed to fighting."
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen & Sword Books
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#27
Theodosius the Great wrote:

"But the earliest unambiguous examples of quilted, fabric armor that come to mind are the cotton shirts the Spaniards adopted from the Aztecs."

You really need to look at some later Roman sources. The Strategikon of Maurice (602 c.e.) mentions fabric stand-alone armours for when metal protection is not available, and the numerous manuals of the tenth century go into considerable detail.

T.
Social History and Material Culture of the Enduring Roman Empire.

http://www.levantia.com.au
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