silly question

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duster
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silly question

Post by duster »

can anyone please help, i know this sounds a ailly question but i have a heavy gambeson and would like to make a mail hauberk is the mail worn under or over the gambeson, please forgive my ignorance as im not a member of a group and am making the mail as a pure self project many thanks and sorry again if this is a sill question.
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Sir_John_Thomas
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Re: silly question

Post by Sir_John_Thomas »

Well common sense would say over the padding, so you have a nice quilted layer between the armour and your body, but I've seen painting of them underneath.

Have often wondered about this myself, I know I always see the mail over a gamby on the battlefield, is it safer this way, but less accurate?

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Brian la Zouche
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Re: silly question

Post by Brian la Zouche »

NOT a silly question, its only silly if you dont ask !!!
i'm new to medieval reenacting, and know nothing at all about equiptment clothing etc, so i know im going to be asking such 'silly' questions for a long time to come, sure the experts and history buffs may think they are silly, but most reenactors are helpfull, dont ask dont learn

i cant comment on your quiery as i have no knowledge of the subject, but just thought id say you have done right in asking

good luck with the project
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Marcus Woodhouse
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Re: silly question

Post by Marcus Woodhouse »

I did read one French source that described the maille being there to protect the gambeson which the author clearly regarded as being the "real" armour.
You see both maille being worn under and over a gambeson.
I wear some over a arming doublet but under a brig.
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Medicus Matt
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Re: silly question

Post by Medicus Matt »

duster wrote:can anyone please help, i know this sounds a ailly question but i have a heavy gambeson and would like to make a mail hauberk is the mail worn under or over the gambeson
You certainly need padding (or leather, or a couple of thick woolen tunics) under a mail shirt and wearing another over the top of the mail seems to come into use by the mid 13th C. Here's a passage from 'The King's Mirror', a mid 13th century Norwegian document.
Above and next to the body he should Wear a soft gambison, which need not come lower than to the middle of, the thigh... outside this, a well-made hauberk and over the hauberk a firm gambison made in the manner which I have already described but without sleeves.
The distinction between soft and firm 'gambisons' is interesting. Presumably the inner 'soft' gambeson was quite thin and light by this stage.
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Hobbitstomper
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Re: silly question

Post by Hobbitstomper »

Like Matt said. I’ve got a thick, solid linen gambeson and it would not be practical to wear mail over the top. It would be much heavier and make it hard to move my arms. Nor would it be practical to have thick padding on the arms because they wouldn’t bend at the elbows.

Extra gambesons on the outside may not be needed before 1200 because they didn’t have high powered crossbows and longbows.

Making mail is not worth it unless you price your time at less than £1 an hour or are desperate to do it. Cap-a-pie does really nice stuff for a few hundred pounds. Tailoring mail is a different matter. 20 hours of modifying a normal mail shirt can turn it in to something that fits better and looks good.

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Colin Middleton
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Re: silly question

Post by Colin Middleton »

Well the only silly question here is
duster wrote:can anyone please help...
Of course we can! :D

Matt's pretty much covered it above, but I need to stick my nose in too!

In the 13th C and earlier, the mail appears to be worn over the Aketon (also known as a Gambeson, big debate over what the two terms mean, but that was a discussion for another thread...). The mail prevents the aketon being cut, while the aketon absorbs the impact and keeps you alive.

During the 13th C, we start to see a second layer of padding worn (I tend to call this layer the Gambeson). This is worn over the mail and can get quite heavily decorated. I suspect that this top layer is composed of many layers of linnen, with a little padding and helps spread the impact, to make it harder for the mail to be foreced open (say by a spear). This layer continues to evolve to have leatehr and metal plates added.

During the 14th C, as armour develops further, things change and spread. The primary change seems to occur somewhere around 1350, but these are progressive things, so giving an exact date is impossible.

By the 15th C, the transfer is complete and the mail is now being worn under the Jack. The jack is a padded garmet composed of many (normally 20-30) layers of linnen and fustian cloth which is very resitant to penetration (by swords, arrows and spears) as well as absorbing impacts. You oftne see this re-inforced by a mail shirt or haubergon, normally worn UNDER the jack. Clear this is intended to be a 'last line of defence'. I can't beleive that there isn't a lightly padded garment worn under that (padded doublet?) to stop the mail being driven into your skin by the impact. I'm guessing that this is a reaction to the mail being more expensive to fix than the jack and the 'strongly made', quilted and composited fabric providing a good defence on it's own. There is even evidence of jacks being made with mail sewn into the fabric.

Best of luck with it.
Colin

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Colin Middleton
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Re: silly question

Post by Colin Middleton »

Hobbitstomper wrote:Making mail is not worth it unless you price your time at less than £1 an hour or are desperate to do it. Cap-a-pie does really nice stuff for a few hundred pounds. Tailoring mail is a different matter. 20 hours of modifying a normal mail shirt can turn it in to something that fits better and looks good.
I agree with that, but must say that making mail (once you figure out the pattern) is very relaxing, kind of like knitting...
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duster
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Re: silly question

Post by duster »

Thank you all for your imput and thank you for not thinking it a silly question! You have all been a great help. Its butted mail that im making as i have neither the money or the skill to make rivetted!!

P.s. If anyone knows of any reenactment groups in Cornwall, from about 12c to 15c, id be grateful if you could let me know.
I trained with the Exiles, from East London. for several years and i am looking for a sparring partner, dagger,hand and a half sword and pole weapons, anyone interested? I am based in Penzance.

Thanks again for all your help.

Steve K
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Hobbitstomper
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Re: silly question

Post by Hobbitstomper »

For butted mail Roy King's square section links are nicest if you can get away with them. They are not authentic but they are strong, light and well made. £6 a thousand and you will need 20-30000 depending on size. Or capapie rivetted mail is almost £300 for a 3/4 sleeve malshirt. You can probably get a made up butted mailshirt off ebay for well under £100 though. Some groups are a bit fussy about butted mail.

Nearest EMA club might be in Bristol. Good club for German longsword and rapier but still hours away. Look up Accademy of Historical Fencingon google.

Conquest does 12th/13th century but usually nothing as far down as Cornwall (Avon/SWales usualy at least once a year though).

There is usually a big event at Tintagel which probably gets local groups if they exist. Watch out for the authentically challenged ones though.

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aoefa
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Re: silly question

Post by aoefa »

Sadly the big event at Tintagel is no more.
Gutted as it means no more body boarding after the show in torrential rain!
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duster
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Re: silly question

Post by duster »

a big thank you again you have been a great help, looks like ill have to go it alone down here, well me and my current sparring partner .. my lovely mrs.
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Re: silly question

Post by narvek »

If I were you, I would invest into the riveted maille. Butted stuff is just getting obsolete and outdated now. And you can get it quite cheap. (second hand or India-origin).
Back here there are some events which actually prohibit butted.
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Colin Middleton
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Re: silly question

Post by Colin Middleton »

Some of us are still using butted (yes, me too), but it is being phazed out among good authety groups.

If you're looking at making it, the rivited isn't any harder than the butted really. It's more fiddely and you need a good mail tool, but the hard part is getting the rings in the right place and you need that for butted too.

Good luck with it.
Colin

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