ECW Infantry Buff Coat

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Dathi
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Re: ECW Infantry Buff Coat

Postby Dathi » Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:58 pm

Anyone know where I can get some good Elk/deer skin then..?



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Re: ECW Infantry Buff Coat

Postby STEENIE » Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:57 pm

What I did find with my buff coat, that it started off a really bright honey yellow colour, but over the years it has changed more to beige (it was made for me in 1984). Yes, It still fits me :)

A few years ago, I made a leather bridle arm, a la the royal armourie leeds and that is bright yellow and really stands out against my buff coat. In the end, I am sure it will go the same way as my buff coat and tone down.

I won't put it up a photo of my buff coat, else you will all take the p*ss out of it :lol: But it is now the same colour as the buff in the painting of 'The Surrender of Breda' Looking back on this thread, I note someone talking about how buff leather of this time was much more supple than that available now, with more of a propensity to 'drape' more like cloth. The buff coat in this painting by Valesquez, is doing just that.
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Re: ECW Infantry Buff Coat

Postby STEENIE » Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:11 am

OK

I will take the risk.But please be gentle with me :*

There is one of my buff with me in it on Powick Bridge and the others are me with my boy Garra.
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Re: ECW Infantry Buff Coat

Postby Dathi » Sun Feb 20, 2011 7:27 pm

Steenie

Looks good to me.


Found this one on the Metropolitan Museum of Art website

http://www.metmuseum.org/works_of_art/c ... &hi=0&ov=0

Notice the wrap round skirt pointed to the right side



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Re: ECW Infantry Buff Coat

Postby Chris T » Sun Feb 20, 2011 7:27 pm

Helvetia is, I believe, not oil tanned but oil dressed: it is typically quite stiff. IMO the nearest leather to C17th that I have found is Claytons oiltan, not Bandsman, which due to the oil used in its production has a serious effect on metalwork (apparently), and is really too white for C17th use.

I agree that in theory cattlehide was not the first choice for a buffcoat, in practice I believe that most C17th coats were actually made from it. It should be born in mind that modern skins are to all intents and purposes always split, and anyway processed to produce an even thickness, at the expense of maximum thickness. The hide from an animal which had not been bred to reduce hide, and was considerably older than modern cattle (Beef animals must be less than 18 months old now, intensive milkers probably only last a few years) would be much thicker than the norm now. In addition being worked as draft animals was still common, and would tend to increase hide thickness.



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Re: ECW Infantry Buff Coat

Postby STEENIE » Sun Feb 20, 2011 7:51 pm

Thankyou Chris T in being kind :)

What I have seen in repro buffs which is not seen in coats of the time is the location of the waist. During the time, the waist was much higher, to make the leg length seem longer. 'Modern coats' are made with someone saying; that waist cant be right, far too high!'. then they stick on the skirts for the higher waist, and you end up with a coat with the skirt around your shins. However, , we see, as in the one you have just posted from the Metropolitan Museum, a coat, with the waist was in the right place, therefore, the skirts would be above knee. The idea is for the coat to cover the thighs and over the top of your buckets when seated on horse. Even in the Valasquez painting, whilst the skirts looks long, we can see the bottom of the skirt is still above the knee. Mind you, as the C17th went on, the waist dropped and the skirt became lower. Anyway that is my take.


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Re: ECW Infantry Buff Coat

Postby Chris T » Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:39 pm

Late C17th buffcoats are indeed longer, following the fashion for longer coats. The waist in both cases lost emphasis: largely because of changes in cut...the fashion became to cut the whole front and back as one piece rather than seperate top and tasset.

You are also right about the waist position on most repros....the truth is, sadly, that 95%+ of repro buffcoats are of a quality that, if they were doublets they would be made of nylon using a modified tracksuit pattern! I find it strange that so many who are otherwise fussy about pure wool, linen shirts and so on are prepared to put a machine sewn pseudosuede object over the top!

I cannot see the detail in your photos, but your coat seems NOT to fall into the above category!



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Re: ECW Infantry Buff Coat

Postby STEENIE » Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:06 pm

so right :thumbup:

I was talking to my wife about this (something to talk about I suppose). We discussed the changes from the time when everyone made what they wore, or they had bespoke pieces made. Now reenactment is so full of 'off the peg' buying, with the new industry that are traders - called Sutlers in my time, the research that was needed to move forward has been stymied as everyone had to research and make, else there was no garments. It isn't the sutlers fault, as they supply kit 'that does'. But the development of mass production has killed off individuality and the need to find something different.

Now, we are discussing buff coats for infantry and therefore cavalry, and someone like you, has said, a repro buffcoat that is neigh on 30 years old looks good. I think we have started to re-invent the wheel. The trouble is, as members leave, they take knowledge. This means it all has to be re-discovered over and over.

I joined in 76, yet I have seen the photographs of the SK members in 68/69, with them in not only great buffcoats but immaculate 3/4 armour. I am not saying there were not the nylon boys, but nonetheless, there was stuff there, that would have made us amazed now.

When there was not the 'advantage' of traders, there was a miriad of clothing, as it was then.Not off the peg. Not everyone buying into one persons interpretation, but so much on offer from so many others. Now, whilst the masses are clothed - ish. The upper levels of development seems somehow blunted.

This is not a tangent away from buffcoats if you just ignore my musings :silent:


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Re: ECW Infantry Buff Coat

Postby Chris T » Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:26 pm

In many ways I agree: the 'mass' traders have been of great help in producing a range of easily available and affordable items such as soldiers coats, which have removed many of the real horrors, but they have also tended to produce a culture where acceptable is the highest point many aspire to.
Having said that, I think there have been signs in the last few years of a new wave of improvements. A number of units have made major upgrades to their kit quality, and of course this has tended to focus the minds of those units who considered themselves above average, and were maybe resting on their laurels. As always the problem is twofold: firstly people need to know what needs improving and how to do it, and then they need to acquire the will or skill to acquire it.

It is not helped by the C17th being a period which is seriously neglected by archeology and historians in terms of detail: I can easily purchase books on a particular type of Roman helmet, or Saxon spearheads, but there is no equivalent for our period except for the brief and general, and now quite old, 'Blackmore'.



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Re: ECW Infantry Buff Coat

Postby Dathi » Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:20 am

Speaking of Infantry buffcoats I tripped over a reference in Imperial Armies of the Thirty Years' War vol.1 relating to the purchase of arms and armour from Wurzburg for a regiment of Foot. Enough equipment was bought to arm a regiment of 3,000 men, with 1,500 muskets, 300 caliver, 200 halberds, 1,000 pike, 1,200 sets of armour and 1,851 buffcoats. It would be nice to see the reference to check the words actually used.



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Re: ECW Infantry Buff Coat

Postby steve stanley » Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:05 pm

For those who can't get to the Imperial armoury at Graz,Les Invalides has some nice 17thcent stuff...Including a sleeveless buff coat with a wrap-over front...........


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Re: ECW Infantry Buff Coat

Postby STEENIE » Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:18 pm

Steve,

I would think that Graz is cheaper to get to as you can fly into there and back for under £50, from London Stansted using Ryanair. I use the service alot as I fly into there when I go skiing at Maribor which is just across the border in Slovenia. Great little resort with a fantastic lodge and spa just at the bottom of the main slope for those who get fed up with armour (how could that possibly be?????) :lol:

If you mean the wrap over coat that has a long tab that secures acoss on the oposite waist like an apron, would this not give an indicator of foote use not mounted? Mind you, even then it would be a sod if you had to march anywhere. Though sitting on a horse would be even worse. Maybe I should try it in a toile and see how it works before I have an opinion. :^)


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Re: ECW Infantry Buff Coat

Postby steve stanley » Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:39 am

But Paris from E.Midlands is also cheap........ :) Yes,it's a strange one that coat..The whole front goes across like an early 16thcent doublet....And there's decorative stitching round the edges.....It's also pretty short..I tend to agree it's for foot use...Sadly it's displayed with an unassociated gorget concealing a lot of the upper details.

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Re: ECW Infantry Buff Coat

Postby Dathi » Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:40 pm

It is a bit odd that buff coat. I can't see someone wanting to ride wearing that, as that apron will be a right pain. Walking/marching may be easier if the buff is lot more supple than we expect from modern buff.



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Re: ECW Infantry Buff Coat

Postby Neibelungen » Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:38 am

Wouldn't you all rathar have one of these lovely items.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Leather-Re-enactment-Jerkin-Buffcoat-Sealed-Knot-NEW-/280625040799?pt=UK_Collectables_Militaria_LE&hash=item41568e4d9f



Mmmmm... lovely bit of chrome suede.


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Re: ECW Infantry Buff Coat

Postby STEENIE » Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:41 am

I had a look at that 'buff coat' on ebay. I must have been lost for words before, but I cannot remember when :o

Is that a seam around 'it' somewhere near the bottom to make tabs? I think all I have said about some people having no idea where the C17th waist was. I also said about things going backwards, due to 'off the peg' items like this.

Sad for the poor sod who parts with his money thinking the manufacturers must have researched what they are making. :thumbdown:

Mind yóu, I maybe totally wrong and this is the product of the most dynamic research since Firth and I know nothing. :)


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Re: ECW Infantry Buff Coat

Postby Merlon. » Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:00 pm

The individual selling that "Buffcoat" on Ebay has posted before on this forum, did not always get a warm welcome. Has held somewhat contentious views on more well known ECW Traders products.
Can't make my mind up wheher it is four or five star wang.



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Re: ECW Infantry Buff Coat

Postby Neibelungen » Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:26 pm

Can't make my mind up wheher it is four or five star wang.


Only 4 star... He Hand sewed it. A real 5 stars would have been machined or preferably glued.


There's cheap and then there's cheap. I love the fact he's proud of a good 3mm thickness. Still, a 100% improvement on a 2mm suede


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Re: ECW Infantry Buff Coat

Postby STEENIE » Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:20 pm

Neibelungen wrote:
Can't make my mind up wheher it is four or five star wang.


Only 4 star... He Hand sewed it. A real 5 stars would have been machined or preferably glued.


There's cheap and then there's cheap. I love the fact he's proud of a good 3mm thickness. Still, a 100% improvement on a 2mm suede



Without having a look again, does he not say hand finished not hand sewn. Like all hand sewn but for those few pretty stitches you all want to see?

What is that storm collar thing at the neck? I think I would have used velcro as it would have worked well and wouldn't have detracted from the level of authenticity of the garment.


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Re: ECW Infantry Buff Coat

Postby Neibelungen » Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:12 pm

Hand Finished is what it says.

(probably means the eyelet holes were done with a hand punch)

but then a majority of re-enactment stuff is that level. Which is fair enough for visual enterpretation. (and cost)


Maybe 4.5 stars then. It is buff.... (colour) Would have been nice to see in a purple.


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Re: ECW Infantry Buff Coat

Postby Tod » Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:37 pm

Merlon. wrote:The individual selling that "Buffcoat" on Ebay has posted before on this forum, did not always get a warm welcome. Has held somewhat contentious views on more well known ECW Traders products.
Can't make my mind up wheher it is four or five star wang.


That seller is banned from this site.



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Re: ECW Infantry Buff Coat

Postby Chris T » Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:01 pm

Not a nice item! I have always tried to tell people that you need the right materials, the right pattern and the right techniques to get an accurate item: this is a great example of failing to achieve on all three.......

Previously these coats were described as 'vegtan': at least this has now been ammended!

I have my doubts about the hand stitching...this is being used now by quite a few people to mean "sewing machine operated by human", and is part of the general devaluation of terms which are plaguing the re-enactment world now, especially from internet supliers:

"Handsewn".........not by robot.
"Fully Authentic"........zip removed.
"Battleworthy".......recycled beancan.
"Wool mix".......1% wool.
"Fully Approved by Society X".......used by their worst member 25 years ago if you were lucky!



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Re: ECW Infantry Buff Coat

Postby The Keeper of Mings Coat » Sun Feb 27, 2011 7:31 pm

Hahaha Chris - you could probably make a whole index of those terms.

£119.99 and down from £149!!!! I couldn't tell it was meant to be a coat until I enlarged the picture. It's a, er, sack! with arms..... Dear oh dear.


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Re: ECW Infantry Buff Coat

Postby Dathi » Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:40 pm

Just found this on the Wallace Collection website

http://wallacelive.wallacecollection.or ... &sp=T&sp=0

A close look at the picture suggest that this was not sleeved, the armpit seams look neatly turned in with nothing attached.



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Re: ECW Infantry Buff Coat

Postby Foxe » Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:07 pm

It doesn't look ever so thick either, does it?


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Re: ECW Infantry Buff Coat

Postby Chris T » Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:18 am

Those grinding axes have managed to distort the true facts about buffcoats.

Sleeveless coats seem to have been common: they are mentioned in accounts, shown in illustrations and survive in some numbers. They also varied considerably in thickness, the thinner parts of the 'Littlecoat' examples are less than 2mm thick.

We do not need to 'prove' that all buffcoats were sleeved and thick to know that they were not machine sewn with synthetic thread and overlapped seams out of chrome split.



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Re: ECW Infantry Buff Coat

Postby Dathi » Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:48 am

Chris T, the Wallace buffcoat was interesting because it's french, listed as actually made from deer skin and the skirts have an amazing drape to them, the armpit holes look to be completely finished with no signs of any attachements or stitched in sleeves and there doesn't appear to have any lining that I can see. The Wallace may provide more info when they reply.



I remembered this from Calendar of State Papers, Ireland, 1600.

From Sir George Carew to the Privy Council o August 25th 1600 at Cork

Captain Harvey received a shot on his morion, a blow with a pike in his back (but escaped killing by the benefit of his buff coat), and had his horse slain under him.

'Elizabeth I: volume 207 part 4: August 1600', Calendar of State Papers, Ireland, 1600 (1903), pp. 335-404"

That's the earlist reference I have in English sources.



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Re: ECW Infantry Buff Coat

Postby Chris T » Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:21 pm

Sorry, was not trying to suggest it was not interesting........

Some of us have become a bit fixated on all buffcoats being the same...actually, most surviving ones show some differences from the next in cut and detail.
I believe that most buffcoats were supplied with a tape sewn around the inner edges, to which a tailor could attach a lining without actually having to stich through any leather. Whether a lining was actually installed or not was up to circumstance, but it means that internal stitch holes do not prove that a lining existed. In a similar fashion the tape could be used to attach cloth sleeves, or to hold a lacing / hook band so detachable cloth or leather sleeves could be added, but again does not prove that this was always done. In general the preservation of buffcoats is biased towards the better examples, just as in all other fields of costume /equipment.

Thanks for the reference, it is indeed the earliest use of the term 'buffcoat' for an English source I am aware of. There are, however some earlier illustrations, of which the one of Martin Frobisher springs to mind. Although not a buffcoat in later terms (lacking the long tassets) it looks like a thick, protective item rather than a leather jerkin. If I remember correctly some of the woodcuts of English troops in Ireland show what certainly look to me like infantry buffcoats: one can reasonably expect an item designed for foot use to be different to one for mounted use.



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Re: ECW Infantry Buff Coat

Postby steve stanley » Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:21 pm

Don't know if it's still there,but in the catalogue of the 1988 Armada exhibition is a Museum of London buff jerkin dated 1570-90.........


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Re: ECW Infantry Buff Coat

Postby Chris T » Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:20 pm

I believe that is the one illustrated in Waterers 'Leather and the Warrior'.

It is a nice item, but I do not know how the dating was arrived at (except maybe in an Armada exibition 1580 -1590 was seen as suitable :-))......it could easily be 1620s or even later as well.




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