Gambeson and Padded Jack

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Sir Thomas Hylton
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Postby Sir Thomas Hylton » Tue May 26, 2009 12:26 pm

Hiya Chaps & chapesses... All this talk of Gambesons, padded jackets Jupons, Arming Jackets, Jacks, aketon etc is sending my brain into a Tizwas... Especially as, upon recently reading up on the subject in my search for equipment to wear on the battlefield, I thought I'd gotten everything down & compartmentalised.

So for my Tupence ha'penny, I'll ask another question. If not call a gambeson, a gambeson in the 15th century, then what would we call it by that time, whether used as a thick padded jacket or as the slightly padded arming purpoint for loading & attatching your armour?

Now to further muddy the already murky water could I get away with the longer over the head long sleeve gambeson with maile over that & then the sleeveless armoured Jack loaded over the top of all that instead of the standard curicass. Would I be going too far out of period. I'm sure that looking at engraving brasses from the period I'm certain I've seen just what I'm describing as wanting to do for reenactment purposes.

And then for fear of totally Hijacking the thread is it possible to make my own Gambeson (I use that term for want of another) at a reasonable cost & still look authentic? or is it going to be better to simply buy an off the peg example like the one I've been looking at . I saw some mention on an american webbysite they recommended using movingblankets as used by removal firms as a cheap padded alternative. Must say I'm scratching my head a bit, as my gut instinct is still to go the route of buying my own Canvas & wool padding to quilt. or as I say get an off the peg number.

Again apologies in advance for hijacking the thread, as I'm fairly new to all of this :D

Regards Paul.



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Postby Colin Middleton » Tue May 26, 2009 12:56 pm

Don't appologiese, we all hijack threads and at least you're on topic, which is more than I usuall manage! :P

I tend to split things down by period to get a handle on them:

13th C (and probably earlier)
Aketon - worn under mail or on it's own. Longer at 1200, becomes shorter as century progresses.
Gambeson - worn over mail or on it's own. Similar length to the Aketon.

14th C
Early 14th C, as per 13th C, but becomming shorter still (mid thigh).
Late 14th C:
Aketon - Worn under mail or other armour.
Arming Pourpoint (French?)/Arming Doublet - Worn under full harness, close fitting. May also be called an Aketon. Waist length.
Jupon - Worn over armour (full harness). Waist length.
Jack - Worn over(?) mail or on it's own. Down to mid thigh.

15th C
Doublet Defence - Not military armour.
Arming Doublet - Worn under full harness or brigandine. Waist length.
Jack - Worn over mail (with padded doublet beneith the mail). Mid thigh in the early 15th C, rising to hips in by 1600.

Please note that all of the above terms were used with HUGE 'flexibility' in the middle ages and are often used incorrectly now (or in other words you're not the only one who's confused :wink: ).

As to make or buy, how are your tailoring skills? The 15th C Jacks are quite fitted over-coats (fitted was fashionable), as well as being built up of many layers. To get a good jack, you'll either need to pay quite a bit, or put in MANY hours of sewing. Lots of people are wearing quite cheap (and less well fitted) jacks bought off the peg on the field. What do you want and what resources do you have available?

Best wishes


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Postby Sir Thomas Hylton » Tue May 26, 2009 1:48 pm

Many Thanks Colin,

It is indeed the 15th century I've got to try & gather bits & pieces to introduce myself into re-enactments.

It'll be an arming doublet under Brigandine I'll be aiming at, though my thinking was to include some maile in the setup.

My funds are quite limited & know before going for the Brigandine I'll need the arming doublet/(gambeson, or arming jacket as most websites will still call it).

To vere slightly off track for the moment I have been reading with interest the articles on shoes & looks like quite murky waters & somehow I realise that trying to get away with some desert boots or the very distressed flat soled pixie boots I have in the cupboard under the stairs, is unlikly to cut the mustard even temporarily, whilst I try & build up finances & sell off some of my guitars & golf clubs.

So this explains why I've been considering putting together my own arming doublet & Brigandine, but if I were to go down that route I'd need to know exactly what would be about right for the timescale of wars of the roses. & exactly what lengths & materials to use. I know I'm going to need canvas, but as to how much I'm not sure.

As I say I have seen a very nice if very long (mid thigh, towards knee) over the head aketon (gambason) I really like, as well as the very short arming doublets & am torn between them, especially as the padded hose I've also seen match the long gambeson & would give me sufficient protection & would certainly save me a lot of time.

Considering the family I'm aiming my character at & the liniage, the slightly norse setup I theorise might not be so far fetched. But correct me if It'd be too much of a fo-par (sp)



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Postby rustyfrenchman » Tue May 26, 2009 2:37 pm

Thanks colin, I am clear on the subject now!


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Postby gregory23b » Tue May 26, 2009 2:50 pm

"As I say I have seen a very nice if very long (mid thigh, towards knee) over the head aketon (gambason) I really like, as well as the very short arming doublets & am torn between them, especially as the padded hose I've also seen match the long gambeson & would give me sufficient protection & would certainly save me a lot of time. "

Which period of the 15thc are you intending to portray? there are significant differences in quilted armour styles from the earlier to the middle and later.

Mid thigh is as Colin says earlier than the WOTR period, that is more circa Agincourt, ie earlier, the garments are not generic as such.

Also as he says, the later you go the higher you go, quilted armour seems to match the length of the normal garments, eg earlier jacks are similar in length to the doublets.



"whilst I try & build up finances & sell off some of my guitars & golf clubs. "

Good choice ;-)

You can't scrimp on shoes, nowadays most groups have high footwear standards, whilst not all may go for Plantagenet shoes or Anaperiod, they are starting to look more like late medieval shoes than converted modern ones.[/img]


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Postby Sir Thomas Hylton » Tue May 26, 2009 3:16 pm

So esentially Gregory 23b, unless its a taken, that my character is using arms & armour passed down through the family since the agincourt period, which I supose is a bit of leap & I supose clutching at straws a bit. considering the amout of time passed from early 1400's to mid to late 1400's.

Even in the NorthEast of England, styles are not going to be, or unlikely 50 or more years out of date, from the rest of the country & the likes of Padded armour I supose is unlikely to be passed down & even with me being in my mid 40's now I'd still probably be at least a decade out of date even if it were taken for granted I'd hung onto old armour from youth. I supose it could be a stretch of the imagination too much or not ???



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Postby gregory23b » Tue May 26, 2009 7:46 pm

That depends if you want opinion or fact, I can only offer conjecture that it seems highly unlikely that someone has a whole set of clothing and armour handed down to them from earlier periods without some form of alteration. If your persona was so poor, I would also ask why they had any armour rather than sell it for food, fighting was uncommon for most men, unless in service and then if so, why are you wearing older stuff? It doesn't add up unless you are the poorest of the poor and invariably wont have much at all.

In all honesty and I mean this with the greatest of respect that the idea of making a generic 15thc set of kit is a bad idea, not saying you are but some do and it looks wrong and the explanations too far fetched and convenient IMHO.

It all boils down to which specific part of the 15thc you want to do, mid to late offers a bit more flexibility certainly in terms of doing battles where earlier styles of say the mid 15thc are sitting alongside later ones.

WOTR is popular here in the UK, loads of groups, variations in kit standards and expectations, from quite relaxed to anally retentive, all to the good I say. If money was a problem I would start as follows:

clothes first and foremost, if you are in a thenty group then this will be your best investment, as a good set of well made and reasonably accurate clothes will last years, also as your harness comes online you will have a great foundation for it. You will be well dressed with and without harness.

Good quality used clothing is still very saleable, ie as second hand.

As for harness, if you join a group that has group kit then make use of it, any group worth its salt will have stuff for you to try before you commit loads of cash. You can have your cake and eat it.

Start by asking what the intended group standards are before you do anything.

If you are flying solo then ask yourself which groups will let you play with them or which suit your intentions. Some, as said before will be more flexible in their interpretation than others.

Best of luck.


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Postby Colin Middleton » Wed May 27, 2009 1:03 pm

That sounds like pretty good advice from G32b.

If you want cheap starter shoes, buy Ana's machine stitched. The fit's not as good as custom made stuff, but they LOOK like medieval shoes, which is your first priorty. When you can afford to upgrade, you then buy the fitted ones from her or Plantagente shoes and you've got a spare pair should you need them.

Decent quality soft kit is another good starter.

As to armour, if you're short on funds, start with a quilted jack. I sold off my old one when I got the full harness and now I'm regretting it and want to make a new one so that I'm not committed to the full tin. A jack, helmet and gloves will get you on the field, while you save up for better armour.

As for armour length, I'd avoide the very long gambeson/padded hosen route. You've a danger of looking 100 years out of date, not 50!

Best wishes.


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Postby Colin Middleton » Wed May 27, 2009 1:06 pm

gregory23b wrote:That depends if you want opinion or fact, I can only offer conjecture that it seems highly unlikely that someone has a whole set of clothing and armour handed down to them from earlier periods without some form of alteration. If your persona was so poor, I would also ask why they had any armour rather than sell it for food, fighting was uncommon for most men, unless in service and then if so, why are you wearing older stuff? It doesn't add up unless you are the poorest of the poor and invariably wont have much at all.


Oddly enough, I think that there is some-one in the Bridgeport Muster turned up with an alwhite harness that was used at Agincourt. That's still 1 man out of 150 or something, but clearly the metal remained in use for years. However I don't know the context around it, which is vital to knowing why it's there. It may be that a local lord had donated it 50 years ago and they simply found some poor sod who needed to borrow armour and whom it fitted. It's certainly not a direction that I would recomend to anyone seriously trying to portray an authentic persona.


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Postby Sir Thomas Hylton » Wed May 27, 2009 2:27 pm

unless I suppose you might be the Equivelent of a Teddy Boy in the 21st century & wearing classic gear because that's what you liked...

IMHO, its probably a worse offense to come in kit that hadn't been invented yet or hadn't come into fashion than wearing outdated stuff. Though I know from publications I've read about the 14th & 15th centuries, that fashion was probably more important back then than it is these days.

I supose It could be argued that I could make as much of a fashion statment wearing 14th century in the 15th century as wearing up to the minute items, but its fair comment about essentially playing safe & making sure I get mid 15th C gear.

There are two local societies I can get involved in one is 14th C & the other 15th C, I'm very tempted to join & train with both. Though definitly with the 15th C one.

Thanks again Colin & Gregory. Though As you might have noticed I've advertised a set of Wanted items, which I posted before I read your last posts here, but I hope I'm not asking for much that's out of period.

One thing I do know from what little I'veso far managed to gleem from the history of the Hylton/Hilton Family is that at least one of them liked wearing Blue & Gold, so that's something I'll incoporate. The irony is what I've also so far found out the history mentions a character at the start of the war of the Roses & then another after, but none during, which does leave much to artistic licence, up until I can zero in on in a member of that family or someone associated with them from that time.

Anyway, I now do start to get seriously OT so in order to get back on topic Ill shout


Oh Gambesons...! :lol:



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Re: Gambeson and Padded Jack

Postby Tuppence » Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:20 pm

Just found this while websearching for something else...... was clearly too busy making the things at the time it was originally posted......


couple of comments...

pourpoint, in an english context simply means something which has points. It can mean it fastens with points, or has other things pointed to it, or uses points for some other reason - all of which is as vague as all the other terminology.
'pourpoint' comes (in theory, although it could to be from the french) from the Italian perpunto (very definitely a piece of padding, simar to a gamby / acheton (but different enough not to be one). hence the confusion with it meaning exclusively a padded garment.


'arming jack' (possibly the padded thing I'm asked for most *sigh*) is a re-enactorism - have never seen the term used contemporarily - is always 'arming doublet', or 'jack', or 'fustian doublet', or 'linen doublet', or variations of that.

The term 'padded jack' is likely a modern one too - a jack was a jack.



then you get into the more complicated areas of jupons (14th century, worn over armour, padded, oft decorated, also known as gambeson - see the jupon of the black prince in canterbury), and pourpoints (though note above comments), and 'coat armour' (modern, interim term used to describe garments such as that worn by charles iv, and widely illustrated (strange shape, big sleeves, buttons, often brightly coloured)) and the like.




And this gambeson http://www.revivalclothing.com/index.as ... &ProdID=38 is apparently inspired partly by the Jupon of Charles VI of France (and by a mid C14 Jack and by .... )



common confusion and incorrect information.

the one pictured is (somewhat loosely) based on the doublet of charles de blois, the pourpoint of charles iv having an entirely different shape (and being slightly later).

the de blois doublet was just that - a doublet - it was never a jupon. it was made in silk, probably not padded (although possibly in the chest for aesthetic reasons (i.e to make the wearer look like he had a bigger chest - as shown in assorted illustrations)) and the quilting shown in the circulated photographs is now believed to be unsympathetic 19th century (or later) restoration.
Stella Mary Newton asserted that the doublet would have "maintained a vice like grip" on the wearer, in the manner of a corset.
oh, and the grande assiette sleeve is a very particular cut, that wasn't really around for very long, (the de blois doublet estimated to be of c 1360 - 1370) because cutting advanced and the style became irrelevant - and the design of the sleeve makes the garment incredibly uncomfortable to wear (more so if you make it in 'arming fabrics'), because by definition, the excess fabric from the sleeve will bunch under the armpit.



and don't forget, that some terms will have been region specific, or have had different meaning in different places - language wasn't a standardised thing.


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Re: Gambeson and Padded Jack

Postby Colin Middleton » Wed Dec 16, 2009 2:09 pm

Tuppence wrote:'arming jack' (possibly the padded thing I'm asked for most *sigh*) is a re-enactorism - have never seen the term used contemporarily - is always 'arming doublet', or 'jack', or 'fustian doublet', or 'linen doublet', or variations of that.


Can I join you in the 'sigh'ing? ]:)

I'm surprised about the terms 'fustian doublet' and 'linen doublet' as this implys that those fabrics were only ever used to make doublets as arming doublets.

Also, the Howard accounts make mention of Welsh Jacks and Scottish Jacks (I think), which are interpreted to be armour jacks.


Tuppence wrote:oh, and the grande assiette sleeve is a very particular cut, that wasn't really around for very long, (the de blois doublet estimated to be of c 1360 - 1370) because cutting advanced and the style became irrelevant - and the design of the sleeve makes the garment incredibly uncomfortable to wear (more so if you make it in 'arming fabrics'), because by definition, the excess fabric from the sleeve will bunch under the armpit.


Sarah Thursfield had a doublet on her stall at TORM which had a variant of the grande assiette sleeve (I think), which she's experimenting with as a later development. It might be worth having a chat with her about it.


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Re: Gambeson and Padded Jack

Postby the real lord duvet » Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:04 am

so they had padding under the armour to protect you from the shock that can carry through.

armour that stopped you dieing

and padding on top to protect the armour from being damaged too?



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Re: Gambeson and Padded Jack

Postby Colin Middleton » Thu Dec 17, 2009 1:44 pm

Yes. Kind of like wearing a plakart over mail, over padding if you think about it.


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Re: Gambeson and Padded Jack

Postby gregory23b » Thu Dec 17, 2009 5:51 pm

"pourpoint, in an english context simply means something which has points. It can mean it fastens with points, or has other things pointed to it, or uses points for some other reason - all of which is as vague as all the other terminology.
'pourpoint' comes (in theory, although it could to be from the french) from the Italian perpunto (very definitely a piece of padding, simar to a gamby / acheton (but different enough not to be one). hence the confusion with it meaning exclusively a padded garment."

Alas, that is not the case, I thought so too based on the 15th c english thing, but in fact the word point in that context is to do with how the doublets used to be constructed, ie pointed or quilted together, I will dig up the correct reference, a guy on the continent provided the whole thing, which simultaneously deflated and inflated me as it was a misconception that I had supported and then became new more clearer knowledge.

Hence, the Charles de Blois Pourpoint is a quilted garment.

here we go

taken from the AA

"Btw, a pourpoint is called a pourpoint because pourpoindre was medieval French for quilt / stitch through (which this garment still was in the 14th c.). Not because it had points. I think the French did not call those laces points, but something like aglets. And the word pourpoint has been around since at least the 13th c. IIRC, so even before the age of having all sorts of steel/leather plate armour hanging off cour arming garment by means of laces.

An online dictionary says:
pourpoindre to quilt, perforate, equiv. to pour-, for par- (< L per) through + poindre (< L pungere to prick, pierce, puncture; see point )

And a middle Dutch translation of the Pelerinage de la vie humaine by Guillaume de Digulleville (written c. 1331) also describes this:
Want dat wambeys es ghemaect met vele steken, daer om eest oec gheheten porpoint. Hier bij es te verstane soe wie die dit wambeys ane heeft gedaen, met vele steken wert hij weert ende sonder steken en es hij niets wert.
"Because the wambeys is made with many 'stabs', that is why it is also called a porpoint. Here it is to understand that who wears this wambeys, with many 'stabs' it is worth a lot, and without 'stabs' it is worth nothing."
The 'stabs' here can be regarded as the stitches through the fabric, the quilting together of all the layers. Or 'sewn all over' as with the paltoks description.

A middle English edition of 1450 of the same text confirms the whole thing:
And riht as the doublet is maad with poynynges For whi it is cleped a purpoynt riht so who so hath it on of prikkinges he bicometh armed Bi prikkynges it is worth that that it is and with oute prikkinges it is no thing woorth.
Considering the Dutch version, the poynynges and prikkinges apparantly are the same thing; stitches through the layers. Saying that doublet is made with points, thinking the points are the laces, sounds quite strange. Hoe does one make a doublet by means of or with laces? Saying it is made with quilting is far more logical.

Of course the description of a quilted doublet would not stand anymore by 1450, since by then it had lost all the layers and typical quilting one can see on for example the Charles de Blois doublet. But as many texts were copied / translated over and over in those times, without altering it to fit the fashion of the day, that would explain it. "

Author, Bertus Brokamp.


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Re: Gambeson and Padded Jack

Postby Dave B » Thu Dec 17, 2009 5:54 pm

Gosh.

Backwards and sideways with a fishfork and all that.


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Re: Gambeson and Padded Jack

Postby Tuppence » Mon Dec 21, 2009 2:02 pm

Hence, the Charles de Blois Pourpoint is a quilted garment.


I take your point on the quilting, as the italian also has a similar root.

however, first hand examinations of that particular garment refer to it as being largely unquilted (except possibly in the chest area), and as most of the quilting visible today being poorly carried out later restoration (it's quilted to a later backing).

and it can also refer to a garment that simply has visible stitching on the front - it would be wrong to assume that eans quilting - it could simply mean decorative stitching, or stabstitching for another reason.




so they had padding under the armour to protect you from the shock that can carry through.

armour that stopped you dieing

and padding on top to protect the armour from being damaged too?



nope.

depends what date you are talking about, but for most later dates an arming doublet would have little or no padding. effectively if you need lots of padding to make your armour work, you just don't have very good armour (maily true of later dates).

the top layer of padding is just a different way of protecting you.


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Re: Gambeson and Padded Jack

Postby gregory23b » Mon Dec 21, 2009 2:49 pm

"and it can also refer to a garment that simply has visible stitching on the front - it would be wrong to assume that eans quilting - it could simply mean decorative stitching, or stabstitching for another reason."

That is what I infer from Bertus' text, that the quilting may or may not have been padding as such, but a well made and well sewn garment, in that a well made (modern) jacket has more stitching underneath the surface in underlayers etc than at first meets the eye.


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Re: Gambeson and Padded Jack

Postby Tod » Mon Dec 21, 2009 2:56 pm

I missed this first time round. Please tell me no one doing serious medieval is wearing desert boots or pixie boots. I thought it was only the 17th century groups that did that?
Any one wearing modern footwear in re-enactment should be bloody shot. There are enough of us shoemakers out there.



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Re: Gambeson and Padded Jack

Postby gregory23b » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:18 pm

"Any one wearing modern footwear in re-enactment should be bloody shot. There are enough of us shoemakers out there."

Word bro'.

However, there are loads of people who do and justify it, ce la vie.


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