> Message: 19
> Date: Tue, 01 Apr 2003 06:23:52 -0000
> From: "Gomez Addams" <GomezY3K@...>
> Subject: leather Armor question???
> Being an archer, I have been kind of pushed into the combat archery
> and so I need armor (and being an archer and not a walking tank I
> need light armor)... In researching, I haven't found much
> information on actual historical use of all leather armor in Medieval
> times. I have found references and pictures of Metal AND leather
> armor (plates of metal riveted to leather) but have not found
> anything about what styles were worn by the common soldiers in the
> Medieval times... About all the pictures I have seen show the
> archers with either lightly padded armor, or no armor at all... I
> have looked at the various sites which have patterns for making
> leather armor and also have looked at the various commercial
> offerings and as far as I can find out these have little to no basis
> in fact, especially the commercial leather armor (way to much fantasy
> there)... Can anyone give me some references or information on what
> armor I need to be able to do combat archery and still be reasonably
> accurate and authentic as an archer....I would appreciate it...
What you've found in your research is pretty much correct: archers
wouldn't wear much armour. I don't know what time period you're shooting
for, so I'll give some examples based on different centuries.
You would wear a padded jack and, if you were lucky, a chapel de fer.
Possibly an old-fashioned conical helm with nasal. If you do this, you'll
have to hide stiff leather or pla**** "ouchie" plates in the back of the
jack to provide adequate kidney protection. Elbows and knees would have
to be hidden, as for most of this century, only the richest knights would
have had solid metal polyens and couters. The helm would obviously have
to be modified to meet SCA armour standards, but many armourers can
arrange to have a mail drape cover most of the inauthentic parts of the
Again, padded jacks would be most likely. An old-fashioned coat of plates
(St. Maurice style, rather than Wisby, perhaps) would not be unreasonable.
A bascinet without a faceplate (get one with a bargrill and paint the
bargrill black as most people don't "see" bargrills when they're properly
painted) would be acceptable for a helm towards the latter half of the
century, but by far the most common would be the "kettle hat." The kettle
hat resembles nothing so much as a metal pith helmet. Arm and leg
defenses would most likely have to be hidden.
You can get away with a lot more here. Brigandines are common, as are
maille over the arms and legs for archers. The mail should be pointed to
the arming doublet. Please visit http://www.wolfeargent.com
for some of
the best info around on this time period. (If you e-mail chef de chambre,
trust what he tells you, he KNOWS.)
I would also recommend going to www.armourarchive.org for all your armour
questions. There are plenty of extremely knowledgable people there who
specialize their knowledge in armour. Also there are some of the
country's top armourers, including Wade Allen, Jeffery Hedgecock, Tom
Justus, Patrick Thaden, and every once in a while Robert MacPhearson.
(Chef de Chambre is also on this board.) Hope this has been helpful.
SKA: Sigismund von Strassburg
Armour Archive: Siggy
"What's that thing?"
"Well, it's a highly technical, sensitive instrument we use in
computer repair. Being a layman, you probably can't grasp exactly what
it does. We call it a two-by-four."
-- Jeff MacNelley, "Shoe"