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Author Topic: A question, a query, of the leather, the leather!  (Read 6096 times)

Eva de Carduus Weald

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A question, a query, of the leather, the leather!
« on: 2014-09-30, 19:19:40 »
I am looking into perhaps going leather for a while rather than lace, er um, rather than metal.:D

Seriously though, I am curious if anyone knows anything about 1356-ish leather armor. What kinds there were, how they were made, style, etc?

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Re: A question, a query, of the leather, the leather!
« Reply #1 on: 2014-10-01, 04:43:00 »
I too am wanting to learn. :)
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Re: A question, a query, of the leather, the leather!
« Reply #2 on: 2014-10-01, 12:57:37 »

Oh boy, unfortunately, I think information is pretty sparse. We know Cuir Bouilli armor existed, but as far as I know, the manuscripts and surviving depictions are pretty scarce. And I'm not sure if there are any surviving examples of the armor itself, since leather is one of those things that tends to decay over centuries.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong. It's not one of my strong areas.
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Ian

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Re: A question, a query, of the leather, the leather!
« Reply #3 on: 2014-10-01, 13:58:51 »
That's a can of worms...

The notion of cap-a-pie leather armor is much more fantasy than reality.  There is definitely evidence for cuir bouilli (hardened leather) armor pieces in the 14th century, like hardened leather skull caps, archer's bracers and there is a surviving rerebrace that is thought to have been worn over maille (housed at the British Museum).  And of course you have leather as the foundation for splinted armors and possibly coats of plates. 

It's hard to tell if the intent of any manuscript illuminations were trying to depict leather.  Thick leather was also not cheap, so it wouldn't have been a poor man's armor like the modern aesthetic would think of it.

If you go back to the Dark Ages then the can of worms gets even worse.  It's a widely held belief in popular culture and among some reenactors that the Vikings and Saxons were using leather armor.  Of that there is virtually NO evidence at all.  The only surviving leather armor from that period is a lamellar cuirass attributed to the Rus or another steppe culture.

What specifically are you envisioning the use of leather for in the 14th century?
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Re: A question, a query, of the leather, the leather!
« Reply #4 on: 2014-10-01, 21:54:30 »
This Video makes a statement that poor Knights could be found wearing hardened leather. And Mike loades is involved with it.
(When I say poor I mean less wealthy)
He says it at 10:50
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Sir Wolf

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Re: A question, a query, of the leather, the leather!
« Reply #5 on: 2014-10-02, 11:09:59 »
http://www.museumofleathercraft.org/publications/
Leather & the Warrior (1981)
By John Waterer hardback £27.00 paperback £17.50

buy this book. then do a book report on what it says lol. i only have a few pages from it

Eva de Carduus Weald

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Re: A question, a query, of the leather, the leather!
« Reply #6 on: 2014-10-07, 22:00:26 »
Hmm well I have a buddy who does absolutely wonderful leather work, he tells me he has leather for armor he was going to make for himself but no longer fights so doesn't want the armor. For me I want it for my guard persona so it doesn't need to be functional per se but I would like it as historically accurate as possible. He tells me if I can provide him with documentation on accuracy, as he too prefers to make accurate, then he will think about making me some. :)

Sir Wolf

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Re: A question, a query, of the leather, the leather!
« Reply #7 on: 2014-10-07, 22:43:20 »
your really not going to find any. honestly i think it wasn't used save for tourney armour in later periods.

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Re: A question, a query, of the leather, the leather!
« Reply #8 on: 2014-10-08, 16:05:57 »
I think there's resistance to the idea because there's no widespread historical references to leather harnesses being used, outside of fictional works.  The few and far between references there are tend to be incomplete and as a result, of little use to the argument for.

I wish there were extant sources like there are of the metal variety, but there aren't.  So far as I know.
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Eva de Carduus Weald

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Re: A question, a query, of the leather, the leather!
« Reply #9 on: 2014-10-08, 17:29:11 »
Ah well it was worth a shot, thank you to everyone who replied. I am sure we will work something out. :) Maybe bracers or some such.

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Re: A question, a query, of the leather, the leather!
« Reply #10 on: 2014-10-08, 17:37:56 »
Why does it have to be historically accurate if you won’t be using it specifically for living history events? If you want leather armor for LARP/HEMA/SCA fighting then that is a very viable compromise on weight, functionality and cost.  ;)
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Sir Wolf

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Re: A question, a query, of the leather, the leather!
« Reply #11 on: 2014-10-09, 01:13:18 »
ya man. i mean if thats what you want then get it. always be happy :)

Eva de Carduus Weald

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Re: A question, a query, of the leather, the leather!
« Reply #12 on: 2014-10-10, 13:50:54 »
:D I might just anyway. Mostly I think the accuracy was his thing more than mine. Personally I follow the old guideline, does it work? If yes then go for it. I mean don't get me wrong, I like to be as historically accurate as I can be but I can't afford a lot so my tent is still modern, while I am going for the most inexpensive yet as historically accurate feast gear I can, and my garb is mostly made of linen, I will not hand sew the whole darn thing so sewing machine is my friend.

There is only so far I can realistically bend to accuracy. Granted if I could get my pavilion from WA to here I would totally sleep in that instead. Well that and hauling it places.

scott2978

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Re: A question, a query, of the leather, the leather!
« Reply #13 on: 2014-10-11, 01:00:44 »
Like with many things, with armor one must start from the outset by asking the question: "What do I want this for?" The answer will inform your very first steps and all the following ones. And keep in mind, you can always change directions later and do something else. You may not be able to use much of a D&D LARP outfit when switching to mid-14th century knight, but there's no reason you can't have two outfits for two different functions. I mean check out Sir Wolf, he's got like 30 different kits.

If you do decide to go historical though, there's more to it than just going to living history events. The incredible journey of learning it has taken me on to get all the details as right as I can was something I never expected. Because to be truly historical, you have to know a lot of things that aren't obvious. Start with a harness and pick any single piece of it. To be historical or rather to even know if you're being historical or not, you really need to know everything from what material it was made from and why that material and not another one that the same craftsperson had at their disposal, to things like what impact his religion had on how that guy made that item? Looking deeper into everything from points to swords will reveal to you one bit at a time an entire world, and with each new piece of the puzzle the entire picture and feeling of medieval life will come into greater focus in your minds eye. All that from undertaking to build a historical armor!

Maybe that all makes me sound like a royal nerd, but it really has been an amazing journey of discovery.

Scott


Naythan

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Re: A question, a query, of the leather, the leather!
« Reply #14 on: 2014-10-13, 04:07:47 »
Like with many things, with armor one must start from the outset by asking the question: "What do I want this for?" The answer will inform your very first steps and all the following ones. And keep in mind, you can always change directions later and do something else. You may not be able to use much of a D&D LARP outfit when switching to mid-14th century knight, but there's no reason you can't have two outfits for two different functions. I mean check out Sir Wolf, he's got like 30 different kits.

If you do decide to go historical though, there's more to it than just going to living history events. The incredible journey of learning it has taken me on to get all the details as right as I can was something I never expected. Because to be truly historical, you have to know a lot of things that aren't obvious. Start with a harness and pick any single piece of it. To be historical or rather to even know if you're being historical or not, you really need to know everything from what material it was made from and why that material and not another one that the same craftsperson had at their disposal, to things like what impact his religion had on how that guy made that item? Looking deeper into everything from points to swords will reveal to you one bit at a time an entire world, and with each new piece of the puzzle the entire picture and feeling of medieval life will come into greater focus in your minds eye. All that from undertaking to build a historical armor!

Maybe that all makes me sound like a royal nerd, but it really has been an amazing journey of discovery.

Scott


And what I would add to that, is that all journeys take time.
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