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Longbow backing

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  • richard johnson
    Another thought. Spending far too much time on the internet, I see that there are quite popular but NOT-period backings that are common: fiberglass tape,
    Message 1 of 19 , Jun 24, 2014
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      Another thought.
      Spending far too much time on the internet, I see that there are quite popular but NOT-period backings that are common: fiberglass tape, drywall paper, rattlesnake skin, rawhide.
       
      I always thought that the Longbow was backed with linen, but I am wondering if other materials were used as a backing?
      And what about the possibility of decorating the linen before application?  Ok, not common but anyone know if Longbows were actually decorated?

      --
      Rick Johnson
      http://Rick-Johnson.webs.com
      "Those who give up a little freedom in return for a little imagined security will soon find that they have neither."
    • Karen Domer
      If you have a copy of the Bowyer s Bible (vol 1), there are a few parts that decribe the relative merits of different forms of backing. Linen, sinew, and even
      Message 2 of 19 , Jun 24, 2014
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        If you have a copy of the Bowyer's Bible (vol 1), there are a few parts that decribe the relative merits of different forms of backing. Linen, sinew, and even silk are useful in different ways. I have no documentation of a decorated longbow, but decorating the linen threads/string or cloth before you attach them won't change the function of the linen. Sorry I don't have more documentation, but if you want to decorate it, go for it. :)

        -Karen Domer


        To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
        From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2014 14:04:49 -0700
        Subject: [SCA-Archery] Longbow backing

         

        Another thought.
        Spending far too much time on the internet, I see that there are quite popular but NOT-period backings that are common: fiberglass tape, drywall paper, rattlesnake skin, rawhide.
         
        I always thought that the Longbow was backed with linen, but I am wondering if other materials were used as a backing?
        And what about the possibility of decorating the linen before application?  Ok, not common but anyone know if Longbows were actually decorated?

        --
        Rick Johnson
        http://Rick-Johnson.webs.com
        "Those who give up a little freedom in return for a little imagined security will soon find that they have neither."

      • David Nolan
        Well, what time period? Victorian longbows are ornate and different from English warbows, which are are different from Viking bows. Bows made of yew didn t
        Message 3 of 19 , Jun 24, 2014
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          Well, what time period?

          Victorian longbows are ornate and different from English warbows, which are are different from Viking bows. 

          Bows made of yew didn't need backing...the heartwood and sapwood combo was enough. 

          I'm unaware of any extant remains of longbow backing surviving, but maybe someone else can chime in. 

          Aengus O Nuallain

          Sent from my iPhone

          On Jun 24, 2014, at 5:04 PM, "richard johnson rikjohnson39@... [SCA-Archery]" <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

           

          Another thought.
          Spending far too much time on the internet, I see that there are quite popular but NOT-period backings that are common: fiberglass tape, drywall paper, rattlesnake skin, rawhide.
           
          I always thought that the Longbow was backed with linen, but I am wondering if other materials were used as a backing?
          And what about the possibility of decorating the linen before application?  Ok, not common but anyone know if Longbows were actually decorated?

          --
          Rick Johnson
          http://Rick-Johnson.webs.com
          "Those who give up a little freedom in return for a little imagined security will soon find that they have neither."

        • richard johnson
          i wish I had the Bowers Bible. It is on my Amazon wish list. Since the backing on my bow will be purely cosmetiic and esthetic, I was curious as to what other
          Message 4 of 19 , Jun 24, 2014
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            i wish I had the Bowers Bible.
            It is on my Amazon wish list.
             
            Since the backing on my bow will be purely cosmetiic and esthetic, I was curious as to what other materials were used around Western Europe/Great britain besides Linen.
            I really doubt that a Medieval archer would use valuable silk to back his longbow.
            Snakeskin?  Not in Ireland and are English snakes large enough or desirable enough to use?

            On Tue, Jun 24, 2014 at 2:13 PM, Karen Domer caprius_tei@... [SCA-Archery] <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
             

            If you have a copy of the Bowyer's Bible (vol 1), there are a few parts that decribe the relative merits of different forms of backing. Linen, sinew, and even silk are useful in different ways. I have no documentation of a decorated longbow, but decorating the linen threads/string or cloth before you attach them won't change the function of the linen. Sorry I don't have more documentation, but if you want to decorate it, go for it. :)

            -Karen Domer


            To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
            From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
            Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2014 14:04:49 -0700
            Subject: [SCA-Archery] Longbow backing

             

            Another thought.
            Spending far too much time on the internet, I see that there are quite popular but NOT-period backings that are common: fiberglass tape, drywall paper, rattlesnake skin, rawhide.
             
            I always thought that the Longbow was backed with linen, but I am wondering if other materials were used as a backing?
            And what about the possibility of decorating the linen before application?  Ok, not common but anyone know if Longbows were actually decorated?

            --
            Rick Johnson
            http://Rick-Johnson.webs.com
            "Those who give up a little freedom in return for a little imagined security will soon find that they have neither."




            --
            Rick Johnson
            http://Rick-Johnson.webs.com
            "Those who give up a little freedom in return for a little imagined security will soon find that they have neither."
          • crispinanthwyr
            Linen backing was far from purely decorative and won t be in your case either. It was (and still is) used to reduce the likelihood of raising a splinter in the
            Message 5 of 19 , Jun 24, 2014
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              Linen backing was far from purely decorative and won't be in your case either. It was (and still is) used to reduce the likelihood of raising a splinter in the back of the bow. Linen was (and still is) preferred over other cloths because it is strong (compared to weight) and low-stretch. Using a modern adhesive (I use titebond III) it also gives some moderate waterproofing. There is evidence at least some of the Mary Rose bows were linen backed and there are contemporary descriptions of linen backed longbows. Once it's in you can decorate to you hearts content with acrylic paint or you can pick a fabric with a pattern. Silk goes on amazingly smooth and was available (if expensive) in period. Snakeskin wouldn't really be period for an ELB as there weren't large enough snakes in England. Rawhide could be done but it's heavy if you don't use very thin scraped hide. Drywall tape is heavy and ugly, I really recommend not using it. Duct tape is hard to get to really stay on well for a long time on the curved surface of an ELB back.
            • Will Terada
              those books are well worth it. there are four now. backing is used to prevent wood fibres from splitting off. a proper made stave bow doesnt require it. On
              Message 6 of 19 , Jun 24, 2014
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                those books are well worth it. there are four now.  backing is used to prevent wood fibres from splitting off. a proper made stave bow doesnt require it. 

                On Jun 24, 2014 3:16 PM, "richard johnson rikjohnson39@... [SCA-Archery]" <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                 

                i wish I had the Bowers Bible.
                It is on my Amazon wish list.
                 
                Since the backing on my bow will be purely cosmetiic and esthetic, I was curious as to what other materials were used around Western Europe/Great britain besides Linen.
                I really doubt that a Medieval archer would use valuable silk to back his longbow.
                Snakeskin?  Not in Ireland and are English snakes large enough or desirable enough to use?

                On Tue, Jun 24, 2014 at 2:13 PM, Karen Domer caprius_tei@... [SCA-Archery] <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                 

                If you have a copy of the Bowyer's Bible (vol 1), there are a few parts that decribe the relative merits of different forms of backing. Linen, sinew, and even silk are useful in different ways. I have no documentation of a decorated longbow, but decorating the linen threads/string or cloth before you attach them won't change the function of the linen. Sorry I don't have more documentation, but if you want to decorate it, go for it. :)

                -Karen Domer


                To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2014 14:04:49 -0700
                Subject: [SCA-Archery] Longbow backing

                 

                Another thought.
                Spending far too much time on the internet, I see that there are quite popular but NOT-period backings that are common: fiberglass tape, drywall paper, rattlesnake skin, rawhide.
                 
                I always thought that the Longbow was backed with linen, but I am wondering if other materials were used as a backing?
                And what about the possibility of decorating the linen before application?  Ok, not common but anyone know if Longbows were actually decorated?

                --
                Rick Johnson
                http://Rick-Johnson.webs.com
                "Those who give up a little freedom in return for a little imagined security will soon find that they have neither."




                --
                Rick Johnson
                http://Rick-Johnson.webs.com
                "Those who give up a little freedom in return for a little imagined security will soon find that they have neither."
              • John Edgerton
                As to silk being too valuable for a medieval archer to use as backing. Not all archers were peasants.  The nobility and upper classes commonly used the bow
                Message 7 of 19 , Jun 24, 2014
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                  As to silk being too valuable for a medieval archer to use as backing. Not all archers were peasants.  The nobility and upper classes commonly used the bow for hunting and for sport and they could afford the best in the gear they used. 

                  Jon


                  On Tuesday, June 24, 2014 3:16 PM, "richard johnson rikjohnson39@... [SCA-Archery]" <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


                   
                  i wish I had the Bowers Bible.
                  It is on my Amazon wish list.
                   
                  Since the backing on my bow will be purely cosmetiic and esthetic, I was curious as to what other materials were used around Western Europe/Great britain besides Linen.
                  I really doubt that a Medieval archer would use valuable silk to back his longbow.
                  Snakeskin?  Not in Ireland and are English snakes large enough or desirable enough to use?

                  On Tue, Jun 24, 2014 at 2:13 PM, Karen Domer caprius_tei@... [SCA-Archery] <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                   
                  If you have a copy of the Bowyer's Bible (vol 1), there are a few parts that decribe the relative merits of different forms of backing. Linen, sinew, and even silk are useful in different ways. I have no documentation of a decorated longbow, but decorating the linen threads/string or cloth before you attach them won't change the function of the linen. Sorry I don't have more documentation, but if you want to decorate it, go for it. :)

                  -Karen Domer


                  To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                  From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                  Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2014 14:04:49 -0700
                  Subject: [SCA-Archery] Longbow backing

                   

                  Another thought.
                  Spending far too much time on the internet, I see that there are quite popular but NOT-period backings that are common: fiberglass tape, drywall paper, rattlesnake skin, rawhide.
                   
                  I always thought that the Longbow was backed with linen, but I am wondering if other materials were used as a backing?
                  And what about the possibility of decorating the linen before application?  Ok, not common but anyone know if Longbows were actually decorated?

                  --
                  Rick Johnson
                  http://Rick-Johnson.webs.com
                  "Those who give up a little freedom in return for a little imagined security will soon find that they have neither."




                  --
                  Rick Johnson
                  http://Rick-Johnson.webs.com
                  "Those who give up a little freedom in return for a little imagined security will soon find that they have neither."


                • Crispin Anthwyr
                  Splinters can happen even with the best of staves. A good cloth backing will extend the life of near any self bow. Cloth will also make a kaboom a ka-crack
                  Message 8 of 19 , Jun 24, 2014
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                    Splinters can happen even with the best of staves. A good cloth backing will extend the life of near any self bow. Cloth will also make a "kaboom" a "ka-crack" which is nice if you're next to the person on the range when it happens.

                    In theory a rawhide backing can increase the draw slightly of a bow (you put it on wet and it shrinks slightly) but the added weight cancels that tiny gain so it's also just protective.

                    Sinew can increase the speed and power because it shrinks so much as it dries and remains elastic but is more effective in shorter bows (and I shudder to think the number of leg sinews it would take to back one of my 78" bows). 

                    On Jun 24, 2014, at 6:39 PM, "Will Terada will.terada@... [SCA-Archery]" <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                     

                    those books are well worth it. there are four now.  backing is used to prevent wood fibres from splitting off. a proper made stave bow doesnt require it. 

                    On Jun 24, 2014 3:16 PM, "richard johnson rikjohnson39@... [SCA-Archery]" <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                     

                    i wish I had the Bowers Bible.
                    It is on my Amazon wish list.
                     
                    Since the backing on my bow will be purely cosmetiic and esthetic, I was curious as to what other materials were used around Western Europe/Great britain besides Linen.
                    I really doubt that a Medieval archer would use valuable silk to back his longbow.
                    Snakeskin?  Not in Ireland and are English snakes large enough or desirable enough to use?

                    On Tue, Jun 24, 2014 at 2:13 PM, Karen Domer caprius_tei@... [SCA-Archery] <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                     

                    If you have a copy of the Bowyer's Bible (vol 1), there are a few parts that decribe the relative merits of different forms of backing. Linen, sinew, and even silk are useful in different ways. I have no documentation of a decorated longbow, but decorating the linen threads/string or cloth before you attach them won't change the function of the linen. Sorry I don't have more documentation, but if you want to decorate it, go for it. :)

                    -Karen Domer


                    To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                    From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                    Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2014 14:04:49 -0700
                    Subject: [SCA-Archery] Longbow backing

                     

                    Another thought.
                    Spending far too much time on the internet, I see that there are quite popular but NOT-period backings that are common: fiberglass tape, drywall paper, rattlesnake skin, rawhide.
                     
                    I always thought that the Longbow was backed with linen, but I am wondering if other materials were used as a backing?
                    And what about the possibility of decorating the linen before application?  Ok, not common but anyone know if Longbows were actually decorated?

                    --
                    Rick Johnson
                    http://Rick-Johnson.webs.com
                    "Those who give up a little freedom in return for a little imagined security will soon find that they have neither."




                    --
                    Rick Johnson
                    http://Rick-Johnson.webs.com
                    "Those who give up a little freedom in return for a little imagined security will soon find that they have neither."

                  • Crispin Anthwyr
                    Peasants? Most were free yeoman (what we today would call middle class). I could certainly see where a 1-1/2 strip of excess silk from a dress could end up on
                    Message 9 of 19 , Jun 24, 2014
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                      Peasants? Most were free yeoman (what we today would call middle class). I could certainly see where a 1-1/2" strip of excess silk from a dress could end up on a bow. 
                      One also has to remember that the local lord was responsible for providing fighters and their gear. Given the prominence of archers in English warfare in the late Middle Ages I would imagine having yours well equipped was a priority.

                      On Jun 24, 2014, at 6:43 PM, "John Edgerton sirjon1@... [SCA-Archery]" <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                       

                      As to silk being too valuable for a medieval archer to use as backing. Not all archers were peasants.  The nobility and upper classes commonly used the bow for hunting and for sport and they could afford the best in the gear they used. 

                      Jon


                      On Tuesday, June 24, 2014 3:16 PM, "richard johnson rikjohnson39@... [SCA-Archery]" <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


                       
                      i wish I had the Bowers Bible.
                      It is on my Amazon wish list.
                       
                      Since the backing on my bow will be purely cosmetiic and esthetic, I was curious as to what other materials were used around Western Europe/Great britain besides Linen.
                      I really doubt that a Medieval archer would use valuable silk to back his longbow.
                      Snakeskin?  Not in Ireland and are English snakes large enough or desirable enough to use?

                      On Tue, Jun 24, 2014 at 2:13 PM, Karen Domer caprius_tei@... [SCA-Archery] <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                       
                      If you have a copy of the Bowyer's Bible (vol 1), there are a few parts that decribe the relative merits of different forms of backing. Linen, sinew, and even silk are useful in different ways. I have no documentation of a decorated longbow, but decorating the linen threads/string or cloth before you attach them won't change the function of the linen. Sorry I don't have more documentation, but if you want to decorate it, go for it. :)

                      -Karen Domer


                      To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                      From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                      Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2014 14:04:49 -0700
                      Subject: [SCA-Archery] Longbow backing

                       

                      Another thought.
                      Spending far too much time on the internet, I see that there are quite popular but NOT-period backings that are common: fiberglass tape, drywall paper, rattlesnake skin, rawhide.
                       
                      I always thought that the Longbow was backed with linen, but I am wondering if other materials were used as a backing?
                      And what about the possibility of decorating the linen before application?  Ok, not common but anyone know if Longbows were actually decorated?

                      --
                      Rick Johnson
                      http://Rick-Johnson.webs.com
                      "Those who give up a little freedom in return for a little imagined security will soon find that they have neither."




                      --
                      Rick Johnson
                      http://Rick-Johnson.webs.com
                      "Those who give up a little freedom in return for a little imagined security will soon find that they have neither."


                    • Karen Domer
                      I d usually go for linen backing on a long bow, but silk is possible. As for it being too expensive, well, there are samples of chunks of silk, or even Samite
                      Message 10 of 19 , Jun 24, 2014
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                        I'd usually go for linen backing on a long bow, but silk is possible. As for it being too expensive, well, there are samples of chunks of silk, or even Samite being used for random and not fancy things, far from where one might expect them to show up. So yeah, silk could be an option, but if you're looking for something to prevent the back from splintering, linen is good because it doesn't stretch, so it doesn't give splinters a chance to lift up.

                        That said, does anyone know of good research on the relative merits of using linen threads/string running end to end vs. linen cloth?

                        -Karen Domer


                        From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                        To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                        Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2014 14:13:09 -0700
                        Subject: RE: [SCA-Archery] Longbow backing

                         

                        If you have a copy of the Bowyer's Bible (vol 1), there are a few parts that decribe the relative merits of different forms of backing. Linen, sinew, and even silk are useful in different ways. I have no documentation of a decorated longbow, but decorating the linen threads/string or cloth before you attach them won't change the function of the linen. Sorry I don't have more documentation, but if you want to decorate it, go for it. :)

                        -Karen Domer


                        To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                        From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                        Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2014 14:04:49 -0700
                        Subject: [SCA-Archery] Longbow backing

                         

                        Another thought.
                        Spending far too much time on the internet, I see that there are quite popular but NOT-period backings that are common: fiberglass tape, drywall paper, rattlesnake skin, rawhide.
                         
                        I always thought that the Longbow was backed with linen, but I am wondering if other materials were used as a backing?
                        And what about the possibility of decorating the linen before application?  Ok, not common but anyone know if Longbows were actually decorated?

                        --
                        Rick Johnson
                        http://Rick-Johnson.webs.com
                        "Those who give up a little freedom in return for a little imagined security will soon find that they have neither."


                      • Crispin Anthwyr
                        You can look on primitive archer, it s been done there. I think it offers similar protection at lighter weight (due to lack of cross threads). However I m not
                        Message 11 of 19 , Jun 24, 2014
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                          You can look on primitive archer, it's been done there. I think it offers similar protection at lighter weight (due to lack of cross threads). However I'm not sure if that since you'd have a hard time getting it on as thin as lightweight processes linen cloth....might be a wash in the end.

                          On Jun 24, 2014, at 7:41 PM, "Karen Domer caprius_tei@... [SCA-Archery]" <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                           

                          I'd usually go for linen backing on a long bow, but silk is possible. As for it being too expensive, well, there are samples of chunks of silk, or even Samite being used for random and not fancy things, far from where one might expect them to show up. So yeah, silk could be an option, but if you're looking for something to prevent the back from splintering, linen is good because it doesn't stretch, so it doesn't give splinters a chance to lift up.

                          That said, does anyone know of good research on the relative merits of using linen threads/string running end to end vs. linen cloth?

                          -Karen Domer


                          From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                          To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                          Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2014 14:13:09 -0700
                          Subject: RE: [SCA-Archery] Longbow backing

                           

                          If you have a copy of the Bowyer's Bible (vol 1), there are a few parts that decribe the relative merits of different forms of backing. Linen, sinew, and even silk are useful in different ways. I have no documentation of a decorated longbow, but decorating the linen threads/string or cloth before you attach them won't change the function of the linen. Sorry I don't have more documentation, but if you want to decorate it, go for it. :)

                          -Karen Domer


                          To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                          From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                          Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2014 14:04:49 -0700
                          Subject: [SCA-Archery] Longbow backing

                           

                          Another thought.
                          Spending far too much time on the internet, I see that there are quite popular but NOT-period backings that are common: fiberglass tape, drywall paper, rattlesnake skin, rawhide.
                           
                          I always thought that the Longbow was backed with linen, but I am wondering if other materials were used as a backing?
                          And what about the possibility of decorating the linen before application?  Ok, not common but anyone know if Longbows were actually decorated?

                          --
                          Rick Johnson
                          http://Rick-Johnson.webs.com
                          "Those who give up a little freedom in return for a little imagined security will soon find that they have neither."


                        • Carolus
                          Technically, in period, peasant applies to any who work the soil. This can range from unfree serfs, to yeomen, to the gentry and even some impoverished
                          Message 12 of 19 , Jun 24, 2014
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                            Technically, in period, peasant applies to any who work the soil.  This can range from unfree serfs, to yeomen, to the gentry and even some impoverished nobility.  There is a vast overlap in words and many usages have changed through time.
                            Carolus
                            On 6/24/2014 3:51 PM, Crispin Anthwyr crispinanthwyr@... [SCA-Archery] wrote:
                             
                            Peasants? Most were free yeoman (what we today would call middle class). I could certainly see where a 1-1/2" strip of excess silk from a dress could end up on a bow. 
                            One also has to remember that the local lord was responsible for providing fighters and their gear. Given the prominence of archers in English warfare in the late Middle Ages I would imagine having yours well equipped was a priority.

                            On Jun 24, 2014, at 6:43 PM, "John Edgerton sirjon1@... [SCA-Archery]" <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                             
                            As to silk being too valuable for a medieval archer to use as backing. Not all archers were peasants.  The nobility and upper classes commonly used the bow for hunting and for sport and they could afford the best in the gear they used. 

                            Jon


                            On Tuesday, June 24, 2014 3:16 PM, "richard johnson rikjohnson39@... [SCA-Archery]" <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


                             
                            i wish I had the Bowers Bible.
                            It is on my Amazon wish list.
                             
                            Since the backing on my bow will be purely cosmetiic and esthetic, I was curious as to what other materials were used around Western Europe/Great britain besides Linen.
                            I really doubt that a Medieval archer would use valuable silk to back his longbow.
                            Snakeskin?  Not in Ireland and are English snakes large enough or desirable enough to use?

                            On Tue, Jun 24, 2014 at 2:13 PM, Karen Domer caprius_tei@... [SCA-Archery] <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                             
                            If you have a copy of the Bowyer's Bible (vol 1), there are a few parts that decribe the relative merits of different forms of backing. Linen, sinew, and even silk are useful in different ways. I have no documentation of a decorated longbow, but decorating the linen threads/string or cloth before you attach them won't change the function of the linen. Sorry I don't have more documentation, but if you want to decorate it, go for it. :)

                            -Karen Domer


                            To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                            From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                            Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2014 14:04:49 -0700
                            Subject: [SCA-Archery] Longbow backing

                             

                            Another thought.
                            Spending far too much time on the internet, I see that there are quite popular but NOT-period backings that are common: fiberglass tape, drywall paper, rattlesnake skin, rawhide.
                             
                            I always thought that the Longbow was backed with linen, but I am wondering if other materials were used as a backing?
                            And what about the possibility of decorating the linen before application?  Ok, not common but anyone know if Longbows were actually decorated?

                            --
                            Rick Johnson
                            http://Rick-Johnson.webs.com
                            "Those who give up a little freedom in return for a little imagined security will soon find that they have neither."




                            --
                            Rick Johnson
                            http://Rick-Johnson.webs.com
                            "Those who give up a little freedom in return for a little imagined security will soon find that they have neither."






                            This email is free from viruses and malware because avast! Antivirus protection is active.


                          • Carolus
                            Silk was far less expensive in period than it is today. This is one reason sumptuary laws were passed taxing many goods the upper classes wished to keep to
                            Message 13 of 19 , Jun 24, 2014
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                              Silk was far less expensive in period than it is today.  This is one reason sumptuary laws were passed taxing many goods the upper classes wished to keep to themselves.
                              Carolus
                              On 6/24/2014 4:41 PM, Karen Domer caprius_tei@... [SCA-Archery] wrote:
                               

                              I'd usually go for linen backing on a long bow, but silk is possible. As for it being too expensive, well, there are samples of chunks of silk, or even Samite being used for random and not fancy things, far from where one might expect them to show up. So yeah, silk could be an option, but if you're looking for something to prevent the back from splintering, linen is good because it doesn't stretch, so it doesn't give splinters a chance to lift up.

                              That said, does anyone know of good research on the relative merits of using linen threads/string running end to end vs. linen cloth?

                              -Karen Domer


                              From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                              To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                              Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2014 14:13:09 -0700
                              Subject: RE: [SCA-Archery] Longbow backing

                               

                              If you have a copy of the Bowyer's Bible (vol 1), there are a few parts that decribe the relative merits of different forms of backing. Linen, sinew, and even silk are useful in different ways. I have no documentation of a decorated longbow, but decorating the linen threads/string or cloth before you attach them won't change the function of the linen. Sorry I don't have more documentation, but if you want to decorate it, go for it. :)

                              -Karen Domer


                              To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                              From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                              Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2014 14:04:49 -0700
                              Subject: [SCA-Archery] Longbow backing

                               

                              Another thought.
                              Spending far too much time on the internet, I see that there are quite popular but NOT-period backings that are common: fiberglass tape, drywall paper, rattlesnake skin, rawhide.
                               
                              I always thought that the Longbow was backed with linen, but I am wondering if other materials were used as a backing?
                              And what about the possibility of decorating the linen before application?  Ok, not common but anyone know if Longbows were actually decorated?

                              --
                              Rick Johnson
                              http://Rick-Johnson.webs.com
                              "Those who give up a little freedom in return for a little imagined security will soon find that they have neither."






                              This email is free from viruses and malware because avast! Antivirus protection is active.


                            • Guy Taylor
                              I d be interested in seeing documentation for linen (or any other cloth, skin, or fiber) being used as a bow backing in period as I ve never heard of such
                              Message 14 of 19 , Jun 24, 2014
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                                I'd be interested in seeing documentation for linen (or any other
                                cloth, skin, or fiber) being used as a bow backing in period as I've
                                never heard of such being done on the English longbow.

                                Taillear

                                On 6/24/14, Carolus eulenhorst@... [SCA-Archery]
                                <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                > Silk was far less expensive in period than it is today. This is one
                                > reason sumptuary laws were passed taxing many goods the upper classes
                                > wished to keep to themselves.
                                > Carolus
                                > On 6/24/2014 4:41 PM, Karen Domer caprius_tei@... [SCA-Archery]
                                > wrote:
                                >>
                                >> I'd usually go for linen backing on a long bow, but silk is possible.
                                >> As for it being too expensive, well, there are samples of chunks of
                                >> silk, or even Samite being used for random and not fancy things, far
                                >> from where one might expect them to show up. So yeah, silk could be an
                                >> option, but if you're looking for something to prevent the back from
                                >> splintering, linen is good because it doesn't stretch, so it doesn't
                                >> give splinters a chance to lift up.
                                >>
                                >> That said, does anyone know of good research on the relative merits of
                                >> using linen threads/string running end to end vs. linen cloth?
                                >>
                                >> -Karen Domer
                                >>
                                >> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                >> From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                                >> To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                                >> Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2014 14:13:09 -0700
                                >> Subject: RE: [SCA-Archery] Longbow backing
                                >>
                                >>
                                >> If you have a copy of the Bowyer's Bible (vol 1), there are a few
                                >> parts that decribe the relative merits of different forms of backing.
                                >> Linen, sinew, and even silk are useful in different ways. I have no
                                >> documentation of a decorated longbow, but decorating the linen
                                >> threads/string or cloth before you attach them won't change the
                                >> function of the linen. Sorry I don't have more documentation, but if
                                >> you want to decorate it, go for it. :)
                                >>
                                >> -Karen Domer
                                >>
                                >> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                >> To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                                >> From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                                >> Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2014 14:04:49 -0700
                                >> Subject: [SCA-Archery] Longbow backing
                                >>
                                >>
                                >> Another thought.
                                >> Spending far too much time on the internet, I see that there are quite
                                >> popular but NOT-period backings that are common: fiberglass tape,
                                >> drywall paper, rattlesnake skin, rawhide.
                                >> I always thought that the Longbow was backed with linen, but I am
                                >> wondering if other materials were used as a backing?
                                >> And what about the possibility of decorating the linen before
                                >> application? Ok, not common but anyone know if Longbows were actually
                                >> decorated?
                                >>
                                >> --
                                >> Rick Johnson
                                >> http://Rick-Johnson.webs.com
                                >> "Those who give up a little freedom in return for a little imagined
                                >> security will soon find that they have neither."
                                >>
                                >>
                                >>
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > ---
                                > This email is free from viruses and malware because avast! Antivirus
                                > protection is active.
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                              • Siegfried
                                ... Can you (or someone) provide some documentation for this? Back when I researched and made a longbow of my own ... and when I was playing with making
                                Message 15 of 19 , Jun 26, 2014
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                                  On 6/24/14, 6:28 PM, crispinanthwyr@... [SCA-Archery] wrote:
                                  > There is evidence at least some of the Mary Rose bows
                                  > were linen backed and there are contemporary descriptions of linen
                                  > backed longbows.

                                  Can you (or someone) provide some documentation for this? Back when I
                                  researched and made a longbow of my own ... and when I was playing with
                                  making wooden crossbow prods...

                                  I could find no documentation that linen/cloth backing of any kind was
                                  period. In fact, when the first website came around with someone
                                  selling inexpensive longbows (woodbows.com I believe), that were linen
                                  backed...

                                  I swear I remember everyone saying how 'modern' they were, not period, etc.

                                  Now everyone on this thread is taking linen backing as period.

                                  So what changed. Who has some documentation, I'm interested!

                                  Siegfried


                                  --
                                  Barun Siegfried Sebastian Faust, OP - Baron Highland Foorde - Atlantia
                                  http://hf.atlantia.sca.org/ - http://crossbows.biz/ - http://eliw.com/
                                • David Nolan
                                  I, too, am wondering where this linen backing period documentation is. From my conversations with Steve Stratton and other members of the English Warbow
                                  Message 16 of 19 , Jun 26, 2014
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                                    I, too, am wondering where this "linen backing" period documentation is. From my conversations with Steve Stratton and other members of the English Warbow society who have had extensive experience handling the bows themselves...there was no evidence of any backing materials.

                                    However, if there's new documentation saying differently, I'd be interested in hearing about it!

                                    YIS.
                                    Aengus O'Nuallain


                                    On Thu, Jun 26, 2014 at 9:53 AM, Siegfried siegfried@... [SCA-Archery] <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                     

                                    On 6/24/14, 6:28 PM, crispinanthwyr@... [SCA-Archery] wrote:
                                    > There is evidence at least some of the Mary Rose bows
                                    > were linen backed and there are contemporary descriptions of linen
                                    > backed longbows.

                                    Can you (or someone) provide some documentation for this? Back when I
                                    researched and made a longbow of my own ... and when I was playing with
                                    making wooden crossbow prods...

                                    I could find no documentation that linen/cloth backing of any kind was
                                    period. In fact, when the first website came around with someone
                                    selling inexpensive longbows (woodbows.com I believe), that were linen
                                    backed...

                                    I swear I remember everyone saying how 'modern' they were, not period, etc.

                                    Now everyone on this thread is taking linen backing as period.

                                    So what changed. Who has some documentation, I'm interested!

                                    Siegfried

                                    --
                                    Barun Siegfried Sebastian Faust, OP - Baron Highland Foorde - Atlantia
                                    http://hf.atlantia.sca.org/ - http://crossbows.biz/ - http://eliw.com/


                                  • richard johnson
                                    the only time you NEED backing like that is when the back is tillered to the point where it may splinter. A good piece of wood and a decent tiller who doesn t
                                    Message 17 of 19 , Jun 26, 2014
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                                      the only time you NEED backing like that is when the back is tillered to the point where it may splinter.
                                      A good piece of wood and a decent tiller who doesn't expect perfect lines wouldn't need to back.
                                       
                                      In my case, I am not a historian, just someone knowledgeable enough to ask questions to fill my gaps and thought that backing my new longbow (the post office sent it to the wrong address so it has to be redelivered) would make it more 'period'.
                                      It appears that I am incorrect.
                                       
                                      Lord of Rings always has these decorated bows but I don't recall anything I've read that says that Period bows were decorated. 
                                      Which makes another question.  Modern hunters paint their bows or make camo-sleeves to blend in.  Of course these same guys wear forest-camo clothes forgetting that deer are color-blind so they should wear orange mottled clothes to save an unexpected bullet in the back.
                                       
                                      Anyone recall hearing is the Period hunter would camo his bows?

                                      On Thu, Jun 26, 2014 at 7:36 AM, David Nolan davnolan88@... [SCA-Archery] <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                       

                                      I, too, am wondering where this "linen backing" period documentation is. From my conversations with Steve Stratton and other members of the English Warbow society who have had extensive experience handling the bows themselves...there was no evidence of any backing materials.

                                      However, if there's new documentation saying differently, I'd be interested in hearing about it!

                                      YIS.
                                      Aengus O'Nuallain


                                      On Thu, Jun 26, 2014 at 9:53 AM, Siegfried siegfried@... [SCA-Archery] <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                       

                                      On 6/24/14, 6:28 PM, crispinanthwyr@... [SCA-Archery] wrote:
                                      > There is evidence at least some of the Mary Rose bows
                                      > were linen backed and there are contemporary descriptions of linen
                                      > backed longbows.

                                      Can you (or someone) provide some documentation for this? Back when I
                                      researched and made a longbow of my own ... and when I was playing with
                                      making wooden crossbow prods...

                                      I could find no documentation that linen/cloth backing of any kind was
                                      period. In fact, when the first website came around with someone
                                      selling inexpensive longbows (woodbows.com I believe), that were linen
                                      backed...

                                      I swear I remember everyone saying how 'modern' they were, not period, etc.

                                      Now everyone on this thread is taking linen backing as period.

                                      So what changed. Who has some documentation, I'm interested!

                                      Siegfried

                                      --
                                      Barun Siegfried Sebastian Faust, OP - Baron Highland Foorde - Atlantia
                                      http://hf.atlantia.sca.org/ - http://crossbows.biz/ - http://eliw.com/





                                      --
                                      Rick Johnson
                                      http://Rick-Johnson.webs.com
                                      "Those who give up a little freedom in return for a little imagined security will soon find that they have neither."
                                    • John Edgerton
                                      ...but I don t recall anything I ve read that says that Period bows were decorated.  It may be correct that period longbows were not decorated. However,
                                      Message 18 of 19 , Jun 26, 2014
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                                        "...but I don't recall anything I've read that says that Period bows were decorated."

                                         It may be correct that period longbows were not decorated. However, there are numerous examples of period laminated recurves/horsebows/etc. being both covered and decorated. 

                                        Jon


                                        On Thursday, June 26, 2014 7:55 AM, "richard johnson rikjohnson39@... [SCA-Archery]" <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


                                         
                                        the only time you NEED backing like that is when the back is tillered to the point where it may splinter.
                                        A good piece of wood and a decent tiller who doesn't expect perfect lines wouldn't need to back.
                                         
                                        In my case, I am not a historian, just someone knowledgeable enough to ask questions to fill my gaps and thought that backing my new longbow (the post office sent it to the wrong address so it has to be redelivered) would make it more 'period'.
                                        It appears that I am incorrect.
                                         
                                        Lord of Rings always has these decorated bows but I don't recall anything I've read that says that Period bows were decorated. 
                                        Which makes another question.  Modern hunters paint their bows or make camo-sleeves to blend in.  Of course these same guys wear forest-camo clothes forgetting that deer are color-blind so they should wear orange mottled clothes to save an unexpected bullet in the back.
                                         
                                        Anyone recall hearing is the Period hunter would camo his bows?

                                        On Thu, Jun 26, 2014 at 7:36 AM, David Nolan davnolan88@... [SCA-Archery] <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                         
                                        I, too, am wondering where this "linen backing" period documentation is. From my conversations with Steve Stratton and other members of the English Warbow society who have had extensive experience handling the bows themselves...there was no evidence of any backing materials.

                                        However, if there's new documentation saying differently, I'd be interested in hearing about it!

                                        YIS.
                                        Aengus O'Nuallain


                                        On Thu, Jun 26, 2014 at 9:53 AM, Siegfried siegfried@... [SCA-Archery] <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                         
                                        On 6/24/14, 6:28 PM, crispinanthwyr@... [SCA-Archery] wrote:
                                        > There is evidence at least some of the Mary Rose bows
                                        > were linen backed and there are contemporary descriptions of linen
                                        > backed longbows.

                                        Can you (or someone) provide some documentation for this? Back when I
                                        researched and made a longbow of my own ... and when I was playing with
                                        making wooden crossbow prods...

                                        I could find no documentation that linen/cloth backing of any kind was
                                        period. In fact, when the first website came around with someone
                                        selling inexpensive longbows (woodbows.com I believe), that were linen
                                        backed...

                                        I swear I remember everyone saying how 'modern' they were, not period, etc.

                                        Now everyone on this thread is taking linen backing as period.

                                        So what changed. Who has some documentation, I'm interested!

                                        Siegfried

                                        --
                                        Barun Siegfried Sebastian Faust, OP - Baron Highland Foorde - Atlantia
                                        http://hf.atlantia.sca.org/ - http://crossbows.biz/ - http://eliw.com/




                                        --
                                        Rick Johnson
                                        http://Rick-Johnson.webs.com
                                        "Those who give up a little freedom in return for a little imagined security will soon find that they have neither."


                                      • Carolus
                                        Recent evidence has shown that furniture, walls, etc were heavily decorated but that the paints and finishes did not survive and therefore, for many years, it
                                        Message 19 of 19 , Jun 26, 2014
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                                          Recent evidence has shown that furniture, walls, etc were heavily decorated but that the paints and finishes did not survive and therefore, for many years, it was believed that there was little decorative treatment in the medieval period.  It is only with teh availability of sophisticated scientific instruments that we have different evidence.  Much of this is still only available in scarce professional journals so it is not in the common "everyone knows" realm yet.  With this in mind, I would say go ahead and decorate your bows bearing in mind that the practice is consistent with period concepts but not provable.
                                          Carolus
                                          On 6/26/2014 10:30 AM, John Edgerton sirjon1@... [SCA-Archery] wrote:
                                           



                                          "...but I don't recall anything I've read that says that Period bows were decorated."

                                           It may be correct that period longbows were not decorated. However, there are numerous examples of period laminated recurves/horsebows/etc. being both covered and decorated. 

                                          Jon


                                          On Thursday, June 26, 2014 7:55 AM, "richard johnson rikjohnson39@... [SCA-Archery]" <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


                                           
                                          the only time you NEED backing like that is when the back is tillered to the point where it may splinter.
                                          A good piece of wood and a decent tiller who doesn't expect perfect lines wouldn't need to back.
                                           
                                          In my case, I am not a historian, just someone knowledgeable enough to ask questions to fill my gaps and thought that backing my new longbow (the post office sent it to the wrong address so it has to be redelivered) would make it more 'period'.
                                          It appears that I am incorrect.
                                           
                                          Lord of Rings always has these decorated bows but I don't recall anything I've read that says that Period bows were decorated. 
                                          Which makes another question.  Modern hunters paint their bows or make camo-sleeves to blend in.  Of course these same guys wear forest-camo clothes forgetting that deer are color-blind so they should wear orange mottled clothes to save an unexpected bullet in the back.
                                           
                                          Anyone recall hearing is the Period hunter would camo his bows?

                                          On Thu, Jun 26, 2014 at 7:36 AM, David Nolan davnolan88@... [SCA-Archery] <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                           
                                          I, too, am wondering where this "linen backing" period documentation is. From my conversations with Steve Stratton and other members of the English Warbow society who have had extensive experience handling the bows themselves...there was no evidence of any backing materials.

                                          However, if there's new documentation saying differently, I'd be interested in hearing about it!

                                          YIS.
                                          Aengus O'Nuallain


                                          On Thu, Jun 26, 2014 at 9:53 AM, Siegfried siegfried@... [SCA-Archery] <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                           
                                          On 6/24/14, 6:28 PM, crispinanthwyr@... [SCA-Archery] wrote:
                                          > There is evidence at least some of the Mary Rose bows
                                          > were linen backed and there are contemporary descriptions of linen
                                          > backed longbows.

                                          Can you (or someone) provide some documentation for this? Back when I
                                          researched and made a longbow of my own ... and when I was playing with
                                          making wooden crossbow prods...

                                          I could find no documentation that linen/cloth backing of any kind was
                                          period. In fact, when the first website came around with someone
                                          selling inexpensive longbows (woodbows.com I believe), that were linen
                                          backed...

                                          I swear I remember everyone saying how 'modern' they were, not period, etc.

                                          Now everyone on this thread is taking linen backing as period.

                                          So what changed. Who has some documentation, I'm interested!

                                          Siegfried

                                          --
                                          Barun Siegfried Sebastian Faust, OP - Baron Highland Foorde - Atlantia
                                          http://hf.atlantia.sca.org/ - http://crossbows.biz/ - http://eliw.com/




                                          --
                                          Rick Johnson
                                          http://Rick-Johnson.webs.com
                                          "Those who give up a little freedom in return for a little imagined security will soon find that they have neither."






                                          This email is free from viruses and malware because avast! Antivirus protection is active.


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