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Re[2]: [sig] Re: construction of Polish shield

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  • Alexey Kiyaikin
    Greetings Diane! ... I got some problems with my mail recently, so I don t know if my letter about shields made of fig-twigs (or rods? have no idea of the
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 11, 2002
      Greetings Diane!

      >> I have heard that an arrow will not penetrate
      >> tightly woven silk. 
      >> Could that be an explanation for its use in this
      >> type of shield?

      I got some problems with my mail recently, so I don't know if my
      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.

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