Re: [sig] Re: construction of Polish shield
- Greetings Diane!
>> I have heard that an arrow will not penetrateI got some problems with my mail recently, so I don't know if my
>> tightly woven silk.
>> Could that be an explanation for its use in this
>> type of shield?
letter about shields made of fig-twigs (or rods? have no idea of the
correct word). Just to be sure:
1. First, silk is really very hard to tear. BTW, I've got a funny
confession of a women's underwear fabricant given in a magazine. He
said that modern synthetic fabric has no difference with natural silk
either to the eye or in terms of wearing it (endurability, hygienic
qualities, etc). So you see, if there is no difference with nylon or
whatsoever..., that are used in wodern personal armor - ....? Also,
the classical Chinese "The Journey to the West" once mentioned the
battle dress of 7 layers of quilted silk.
2. But second, much of that properties do work only involving the
effect of freely hanging fabric (the arrow easily breaks through the
tight (strained?) fabric, but gets stuck in freely hanging one. This
effect led the Spartans to update their shields by fastening thick felt
"curtains" to their bottom edges). It doesn't work if the fabric lies
on anything, either.
3. If only my guess is right (the original message didn't say if the
cords went concentrically, or it was really a piece of cloth glued to
onto the shield), it is the usual pattern of a nomadic shield, known
in Old Russia under the Turkish name of calcan (calca is a Turkish for
"shield") - a leather or twig-woven shield in a shape of a very low
cone or really "a very flat wok". It was provided with belts for
triple-way carrying, as the classical "greekish-type" handling through
two belts offered not a belt but two criss-crossed belts at the elbow,
which made possible to hang it on the elbow and let the left hand free
(essential for nomadic arrow-fight), or grip it as a Viking shield
with a central handle. If my guess is right, then silk was needed to
weave the strong but flexible fig tree twigs into the pattern of a
basket bottom, being sure that a blow, scratching the surface of the
shield, won't cut the cords that keep the device together.