On a purely medical note.
Silk has been known for quite a while to promote clotting, and healing of
wounds. Silk sutures are known to cause less scarring than other types.
Also, and you should be able to try this yourselves, it is known that if you
cut your finger, arm, etc, and then pass that affected area through a
spiders web, the silk will stick to the wound and your injury will heal much
faster, (although I wouldn't recommend this, as band aids and other 'modern
methods' are available)
Yes, silk fibers are much stronger than linen, cotton, jute, etc, and would
have less of a tendency to break, and more than a good chance to 'wrap and
catch' on broad heads.
BUT, against bodkins or similar arrowheads, the fibers of the silk garments
known to have been used in period would be too far apart and so the bodkin
would spread the fibers and pass straight through, as would most 'non
On the other hand. Using period silk fabrics, and 4oz leather, you can make
a VERY good 'bullet proof' vest.
Take four pieces of silk fabric, and two pieces of 4oz leather (suede works
JUST as well, if not slightly better)...
Place the first piece of leather on the table, with the grain going
horizontally. Now place a piece of silk over it, with the weave at 45
degrees to the grain of the leather, and then place another piece of silk
with the weave 'horizontal - vertical'. Another piece of leather on top of
this, with the grain vertical, and then two pieces of silk in the same
orientations that I just gave.
Quilt these together with the quilting about 3 to 4 inches apart.
I placed this 'gambeson' against an oak beam 4 inches thick, and shot it
from 100 yards with an 8mm Mauser.
It stopped the bullet!!!!!!!
OK, it left an inch deep depression in the oak but the bullet had not
actually gone through to the oak.
Removing the 'gambeson' and putting another 4x8 in front of the first, the
same rifle put a bullet through BOTH pieces of wood!!!
A little 'food for thought'
Robert of Ravenshill
From: Carolus Eulenhorst [mailto:eulenhorst@...
Sent: Friday, April 02, 2004 11:22 AM
Subject: Re: [SCA-Archery] Re: Netting
This is the first I have heard of such a thing. Any references, how
about time and culture?
On Fri, 02 Apr 2004 10:53:37 -0000 "Kinjal of Moravia"
> --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, "jameswolfden"
> <jameswolfden@y...> wrote:
> > --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, "Kinjal of Moravia"
> > <gusarimagic@r...> wrote:
> > > Apparently the 'swing effect' is
> > > more important than material. Besides this looks just like
> > wash
> > > hung out to dry.
> > >
> > > Perhaps the Mongolian archer use of silk for armor was more
> > > effective that we believe.
> > >
> > > kinjal
> > Not if the "swing effect" is the most important aspect. The body
> > the archer would prevent the swing effect.
> > My understanding is that the silk was worn next to the skin but
> > that armor was still worn. This might be either lacquered leather
> > or iron plates depending on what part of the cavalry the archer
> > was part of. The silk was supposed to minimize the damage
> > caused by any arrows that got through the armor.
> > James Wolfden
> Of course. Yet I also wonder if the "belief that arrows would not
> kill them" (arrows could be easily removed without festering
> also provided an 'armor' of sorts.
> In a similar vein, I have come accross allusive references to a
> cloak worn by ancient archers. It was attached to the left wrist
> such that it hung down from the bow hand to form a 'shield'. The
> outside (enemy view) was patterned to give a false impression as to
> the archer's form, while the inside (friendly view) was colored for
> identification and protection from 'friendly fire'. Now I wonder if
> the loose hanging drape might not have provided some actual physical
> protection as well. I will have to experiment, and will certainly
> make one to add to my garb.
> any help here from myth or stories??
> here is an excerpt from a ballad including the idea....
> "The Talon of Styria" (stair-ee-ah)
> All dread whispered him the Talon the Talon of Styria
> None knew from whixt he faire came none dare ask of his
> Strong bound left arm was never seen for his cloak fastened
> the wrist
> To a gauntlet set with razor teeth and a flail of leather and
> No coward ever saw sword and lived his long reach hand was
> never still.
> Raven locks were woven with feathers but scarce hid quivered
> arrows true.
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