Info. wanted deer skin/padded jack/gabison

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Tod
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Info. wanted deer skin/padded jack/gabison

Postby Tod » Sun Aug 31, 2008 11:26 pm

I've searched here but its not the best search engine in the world. Some where I read that padded jacks/gabisons were several layers of linen and some (few) were covered in deer skin.
Can some one point me in the direction of the reference. Period mid to late 15th century.
As always thanks in advance.



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Colin Middleton
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Postby Colin Middleton » Mon Sep 01, 2008 1:02 pm

It's French, from an ordenace issued by one of the French kings, I can't remember which one though. Gerry Embleton has a translation in his Medieval Military Costume book. The specification layed out there is:

30 layers of linnen, the best linnen being that reclaimed from well worn clothing (something about the wearing altering it's stiffness or softness, probably the latter). The best jacks also have a dearskin added (I always read this as being in the layers, rarther than being the facing). Under it is worn a sleeveless pourpoint (i.e. doublet, remember that this text is French), so that the man may 'float withing his jack' (i.e. move easily). This (I think) is made of 2 layers of linnen and cut 3 fingers wide at the shoulder (that means a very big arm hole).


If you're looking at doing a re-production, don't try to replace the linnen with cotton. Cotton doesn't have the same 'bounce' as linnen and apparently the squishyness of the garment is important.

Another possibility comes from John Howard's accounts where he's having 'Welsh Jacks' made as:
The body has 4 layers of linnen and 2 layers in each arm. The fron quarters of the body also have 18 layers of fustian, while only 14 layers at the back and 8 layers in the arms, the whole thing is then covered in black fustian


I think that those numbers are correct (and are very close if they aren't right). I'm told that medieval fustian has a nap, similar to moleskin, so again these garments are going to be soft and springy, while the many layers prevent cuts and stabs penetrating.

Good luck


Colin

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Tod
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Postby Tod » Mon Sep 01, 2008 3:20 pm

There are two reasons I ask.
One because I thought I'd read it some where that English ones were like that.
The other reason being I thought that linen isn't that good at keeping rain out.



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Postby Phil the Grips » Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:23 pm

It is by the time you have several layers of the stuff-my padded armour bounces water nicely and needs a proper dousing to get wet. Bear in mind too that the primary purpose is to keep steel out not water ;)


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Postby John Waller » Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:34 pm

I have no evidence that it was done but a dressing of wax, oil or grease would keep out the wet like a barbour jacket dressing.


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Postby Lindsay » Sat Sep 06, 2008 11:42 pm

I'm sure there's a reference somewhere to Highlanders painting their aketons with pitch. Will try and dig out the source tomorrow!


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narvek
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Postby narvek » Sun Sep 07, 2008 9:12 am

We disscused this (greasing, waxing, pitching jacks) quite a lot in this http://livinghistory.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=13629 thread. I did some later net-search, just to discover that this surfaces around every 5 years and still no precise answer, mainly because of one term for many thing in older languages.

The most probable way is either a tar, or a mixture of pitch and beeswax.


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