"The most difficult thing in the world is to know how to do a thing and to watch someone else do it wrong without comment."
                -- Theodore H. White

Author Topic: My Harness...almost complete :)  (Read 14657 times)

merc3065

  • Forum Member
  • **
  • Posts: 56
  • New Member
My Harness...almost complete :)
« on: 2013-06-05, 15:08:32 »
Been a while since I've last posted here, but my harness is almost fully complete.

The goal here is to have something somewhat unique but remaining as close as I can to the 14th century.
It's a mixture dating from early 14th to early 15th from what I can gather.
Any thoughts on how "close" this would be to a 14th century harness?



I have the following:
15th century cloth button up padded gambeson
Visored sugarloaf (ca. 1325?) great helmet from a polish guy, screen named Tengushen
Pistoia altarpiece breastplate and backplate (ca 1350-1375?) from MadMatt's armoury in Orillia
14th century arm harness with besagews from Merctailor's in Rochester
15th century leg harness from Merctailor's in Rochester (would this pass for a 14th century leg harness?)
15th? century finger gauntlets from Merctailor's in Rochester (Where would these date? or was it strictly hourglass in the 14th?)
Medieval-ish demi greaves from Merctailor's in Rochester

Few things I need:
14th century pourpoint with points for leg harness
14th century gambeson, with points for arm harness (mine is starting to tear in places)
14th century gorget that can be used with WMA/steel sparring
14th century sabatons
14th century fully enclosed greaves
14th century padded chausses
14th century heater shield

Any ideas for how to protect your hips and your backside? 
Would maille sewn to the gambeson work or a series of hanging, cloth covered plates maybe?

I checked with revival clothing and looks to be the place for the 14th century gambeson and pour point.
I am thinking of sewing swatches of maille to exposed joints on my current gambeson as I've seen in some pictures, but not sure if that's 14th century accurate or not?

Anyone have links to where I could find some items for my shopping list above?

Thanks

Ian

  • Knight of the Order
  • Forum Veteran
  • ****
  • Posts: 2,994
Re: My Harness...almost complete :)
« Reply #1 on: 2013-06-05, 15:37:01 »
Been a while since I've last posted here, but my harness is almost fully complete.

The goal here is to have something somewhat unique but remaining as close as I can to the 14th century.
It's a mixture dating from early 14th to early 15th from what I can gather.
Any thoughts on how "close" this would be to a 14th century harness?

I have the following:
15th century cloth button up padded gambeson
Visored sugarloaf (ca. 1325?) great helmet from a polish guy, screen named Tengushen
Pistoia altarpiece breastplate and backplate (ca 1350-1375?) from MadMatt's armoury in Orillia
14th century arm harness with besagews from Merctailor's in Rochester
15th century leg harness from Merctailor's in Rochester (would this pass for a 14th century leg harness?)
15th? century finger gauntlets from Merctailor's in Rochester (Where would these date? or was it strictly hourglass in the 14th?)
Medieval-ish demi greaves from Merctailor's in Rochester

Few things I need:
14th century pourpoint with points for leg harness
14th century gambeson, with points for arm harness (mine is starting to tear in places)
14th century gorget that can be used with WMA/steel sparring
14th century sabatons
14th century fully enclosed greaves
14th century padded chausses
14th century heater shield

Any ideas for how to protect your hips and your backside? 
Would maille sewn to the gambeson work or a series of hanging, cloth covered plates maybe?

I checked with revival clothing and looks to be the place for the 14th century gambeson and pour point.
I am thinking of sewing swatches of maille to exposed joints on my current gambeson as I've seen in some pictures, but not sure if that's 14th century accurate or not?

Anyone have links to where I could find some items for my shopping list above?

Thanks

Looks really good!

It's not quite a 14th century harness, as you've stated.  It's about a 100 year span of harnesses in one.  You've dated most of the stuff correctly.  The gauntlets are mid to late 15th century.  Early 15th you see the evolution from hourglass to what you're wearing.  For late 14th, you're looking at hourglass.  For slightly earlier in the 14th, wisby style gauntlets or hourglass would be appropriate.

The breastplate is squarely late 14th century.  The helmet is definitely early 14th.  The cuisses are definitely 15th century.  In total, from the helmet to the gauntlets you span about 125 years.

If you want to go full 14th century (I'm assuming late 14th), then you would need to get hourglass gauntlets, a bascinet, replace the cuisses, fully encased greaves, and sabs are really optional (you can also cover your feet with maille.  You should have a full haubergeon of maille on underneath all of your plate. 

In the late 14th century, the hips weren't really protected unless you had a hoop fauld (your fauld is a different style, but very suitable).  And your back would be protected by your maille haubergeon.  Backplates were not really common until the turn of the 15th century.  Padded chausses are not required if you have well fitted 14th century cuisses.

The revival clothing gamby is great, and the revival pourpoint is a thing of modern convenience.  It has no basis in history as a real arming garment, though having used one myself for many years it works very well (much better than a c-belt when properly fitted).  The real 14th century arming garment should be a close-fitted gambeson, lightly padded for maille, and tight enough in the hips and waist to support your leg  harness like mine here:
http://modernchivalry.org/forum/index.php/topic,2516.0.html
My YouTube Channel - Knyght Errant
My Pinterest

Qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum

Sir William

  • Cogito ergo sum
  • Knight of the Order
  • Forum Veteran
  • ****
  • Posts: 7,154
Re: My Harness...almost complete :)
« Reply #2 on: 2013-06-05, 15:38:15 »
Allan makes 14th C legs- I am wondering why you did not get those, especially since you're looking to complete a rig for the 14th.  I also could not say for sure what the main differences between the two styles are, but others on here can and most likely will.  That fauld I've seen before...its a nice look, but I wouldn't try to mount a horse with it on. 

Overall, your kit is good looking, how period are you looking to go?  Depending on that, you'll get a good answer.  For cosplay/ren faire and general SCA purposes, your kit's just fine.  If you're looking to get into the Living History side of things, well, you've already outlined what you'll need- except for the pourpoint - that is, if you're talking about the sleeveless vest with the mounting points at the bottom.  Better still is to have an all-in-one garmet, such as the de Blois pourpoint that Sir Ian just made, or the one he got from Jess Finley of Fuhlen Designs.  It should also serve as your aketon as you'll not need the padding of an earlier gambeson because you're wearing plate instead of maille.

That fauld you're wearing precludes the attachment of tassets (which would protect the front part of your hips, a maille skirt would cover the back and sides- combined with the aketon, that's plenty of protection); you could go with a kidney belt if you're going to be bouting and are worried about side or back shots.

The sewing of swatches of maille to the exposed parts- I'm not sure how period that is, but it makes sense; it is something I've thought of doing myself.  I've seen artwork that seems to suggest this but I can't find the references I'm looking for.

Edited to add: got ninja'd by Sir Ian.  lol
The Black Knight, Order of the Marshal
'Per Pale Azure and Sable, a Chevron counterchanged fimbriated argent.' 
“Pride makes a man, it drives him, it is the shield wall around his reputation.  Men die, but reputation does not.”

Ian

  • Knight of the Order
  • Forum Veteran
  • ****
  • Posts: 2,994
Re: My Harness...almost complete :)
« Reply #3 on: 2013-06-05, 15:42:01 »
Tassets are not 14th century, nor is the practice of sewing maille to your arming garments.  Voiders and maille skirts only appear in the 15th century.
My YouTube Channel - Knyght Errant
My Pinterest

Qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum

Sir William

  • Cogito ergo sum
  • Knight of the Order
  • Forum Veteran
  • ****
  • Posts: 7,154
Re: My Harness...almost complete :)
« Reply #4 on: 2013-06-05, 15:42:44 »
Voiders, that's the term and I stand corrected; thank you, Sir Ian.
The Black Knight, Order of the Marshal
'Per Pale Azure and Sable, a Chevron counterchanged fimbriated argent.' 
“Pride makes a man, it drives him, it is the shield wall around his reputation.  Men die, but reputation does not.”

merc3065

  • Forum Member
  • **
  • Posts: 56
  • New Member
Re: My Harness...almost complete :)
« Reply #5 on: 2013-06-05, 16:03:45 »
I had figured that there was about 100 years rolled into one.
For living history, I would have a hard time "justifying" all of these parts rolled into one harness as you've mentioned.

I have 2 periods that I am very interested in, one is 1300-1325, the other is 1350-1400.
I love my helmet too much to change it out.
But I also love the style of the breastplate and faulds to change it out, so I am thinking of expanding into 2 separate kits.

To match the helmet's time period of around 1300-25, I am guessing a coat of plates, maille haubergeon with full sleeves, couters for elbows and knees? Padded maille chausses for the legs and padded maille mittens?  Or can you get away with a plated arm harness and hourglass gauntlets in addition to the coat of plates?

To match the breastplate:
Is there a bascinet that fits in with the 1350-75 range that does not involve the pointed hound/pig snout visor?  Absolutely detest that style...
I didn't know Al made 14th C legs, only ever saw the 15th century ones for sale.  I'll have to ask him about those.
Would you know where to find a good set of hourglass gauntlets to be used for WMA with steel?

Mostly I use this harness for steel sparring and wandering various events where my local group does displays.
My arm harness is too tight to fit over top my padded gambeson and maille shirt so I'd have to try it with the revival gambeson. I believe it's a bit thinner than my current one.

Sitting down with the faulds is quite easy as they collapse into each other and are quite flexible.
Not sure about horse back riding though.  Not about to try!




Ian

  • Knight of the Order
  • Forum Veteran
  • ****
  • Posts: 2,994
Re: My Harness...almost complete :)
« Reply #6 on: 2013-06-05, 16:30:29 »
Your helmet is more a harness of maille style helmet.  With that helmet I would put you in a full maille hauberk with maille chausses and strap some knee poleyns and elbow cops on you, and then cover you in a long heraldic surcoat.

You could in theory wear an open faced bascinet with your 1375ish era kit.  No visor required!  You could also go with a klappvisor style shovel-face visor, which would be more regionally associated with Germany that late in the century.  You'd also need a shorter maille haubergeon to go with that breastplate.

These two eras would also have very different style arming clothes underneath.
« Last Edit: 2013-06-05, 16:34:35 by Ian »
My YouTube Channel - Knyght Errant
My Pinterest

Qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum

merc3065

  • Forum Member
  • **
  • Posts: 56
  • New Member
Re: My Harness...almost complete :)
« Reply #7 on: 2013-06-05, 20:25:30 »
Thanks for the information, this is very helpful and should allow me to piece together what I need to make the 2 distinct styles.

What would the differences be with the arming clothes?
I assume that the maille would be heavily padded to handle the impacts of blows whereas the plated harness would more likely be thinner as there is less requirement for maille due to the plates being able to absorb a lot of the impact.

Ian

  • Knight of the Order
  • Forum Veteran
  • ****
  • Posts: 2,994
Re: My Harness...almost complete :)
« Reply #8 on: 2013-06-05, 20:45:00 »
Under an all maille harness, you'd be looking at something like this:



Under a plate harness of the late 14th century specifically, you'd be looking at something like I wear.  Arming garments become much trickier under plate, because it becomes an anchoring point for a lot of the plate bits, making the arming garments tailoring requirements go way up.  Since the Late 14th century arming cotte suspends a leg harness, the grand assiette sleeve design prevents you from having to lift your cuisses up every time you pick up your arms.  With a normal sleeve like on all modern clothing, every time you lift your arms  you will also be trying to lift your leg armor.

I wrote this for another website, but this is a little primer on supporting a leg harness properly:
Quote
The weight of the garment is really up to the maker. I elected to make this particular one fairly lightly padded. It's lighter in the padding than the gambeson you saw me put on in my video. Also, when you consider this pourpoint has replaced the two garments you saw my wear in that videol, this set up is much lighter and more comfortable than what I was previously wearing.

As far as the fit goes, I tried to make this garment as tight as possible to match the function I was getting out of the vest. This was the key factor in making the CdB Pourpoint, because I wanted it to pull double-duty as that vest and the gambeson all-in-one like I believe a true 14th century arming cotte would have. Once I had the muslin prototype completed I started tweaking the pattern a little bit to achieve that really tight fit through the waist and hips. Once I got it to the point where it would provide the same girdling effect as the vest, I took the muslin garment apart and traced it over the paper pattern to show what I had cut away so that when I cut the real thing from linen it would achieve the same result.

There are two other factors in getting the proper leg suspension besides it being tight in the right areas. We know that in order to support the legs without excess fatigue, the weight of the legs should be supported by the hips and waist, and not the shoulders. So when the garment is tightly fitted and being pulled down by the legs, the goal is that it can't move further down because your waist is theoretically the narrowest part of your body, and since your hips are wider than your waist, the garment is 'stuck' in the vertical plane and can't shift lower. To prevent any weight from going to the shoulder however, you need to ensure that the torso of the garment is long enough, that when the legs pull downward and the garment is locked in to position, that the top of the garment is not pulling on the shoulders at all. It just needs the smallest amount of excess up top and it will work just fine.

The last part to the proper fit is that the garment in my opinion should use spiral lacing and not buttons. Buttons will work if your garment is perfectly tailored and you never change size. Spiral lacing allows more flexibility in the fit and function of the garment. If you get bigger for instance, you can still lace it nice and tight. There may be a slight gap in the front closure, but the garment will still function appropriately, and truly that is all that matters with an arming cotte.

So, the too-long did not read version:
Ensure the garment is tight enough to firmly girdle the hips and waist
Ensure the garment's torso is long enough that when supporting a leg harness it does not put tension on the shoulders
Preferably use a spiral laced closure instead of buttons to control how tight the garment is

If you achieve those three things, than the cotte will serve you just as well as the modern vest solution in properly suspending a leg harness. The bonus here is of course that I got to shed a full layer of clothing, and I was in full control of how padded my garment is. All of this was driven by a desire to have a more historically appropriate set of arming clothes, and shed a little unnecessary bulk.
« Last Edit: 2013-06-05, 20:45:36 by Ian »
My YouTube Channel - Knyght Errant
My Pinterest

Qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum

Sir James A

  • Weapons & Armor addict
  • Knight of the Order
  • Forum Veteran
  • ****
  • Posts: 6,043
Re: My Harness...almost complete :)
« Reply #9 on: 2013-06-05, 22:10:57 »
Hey, welcome back. Sir Ian covered everything I could think of, and more.
Knight, Order of the Marshal
Sable, a chevron between three lions statant Argent

Sir Wolf

  • He Who is Not to be Named
  • Knight of the Order
  • Forum Veteran
  • ****
  • Posts: 5,389
  • i have too many hats
    • man e faces
Re: My Harness...almost complete :)
« Reply #10 on: 2013-06-05, 22:17:47 »
looks cool though!

Lord Dane

  • The Hound, Hunter, and Hammer of Justice
  • Knight of the Order
  • Forum Acolyte
  • ****
  • Posts: 1,900
  • Selflessness, Service, Justice.
Re: My Harness...almost complete :)
« Reply #11 on: 2013-06-06, 06:21:26 »
Agreed. Looks good.
"Fides, Honos, Prudentia, Sapiencia" (Faith, Honor, Prudence, Wisdom)
"Fiat justitia ruat caelum" (Let justice be done)

Sir Gerard de Rodes

  • "Chivalry our Strength, Brotherhood our sword"
  • Knight of the Order
  • Forum Acolyte
  • ****
  • Posts: 816
  • Robor meum Deus
    • The Freemen Of Gwent
Re: My Harness...almost complete :)
« Reply #12 on: 2013-06-18, 21:43:03 »
Looking good merc3065, I do like the breast and back  ;)
G.
"War is at first like a beautiful girl with whom all men long to play,but in the end like a repulsive hag whose suitors all weep and ache" Samuel Hanagid (993-1056)