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  • Body Armor for Medieval Knights

    Posted on April 28th, 2011 admin No comments

    Medieval HelmetTemplar Chainmail Shirt

    You’ve likely seen pictures depicting the body armor worn by knights during medieval times. They wore chain mail and plate metal armor. They also wore padded clothing as protection underneath. They needed all the protection they could get while in battle. However, the very best in body armor was the most expensive available–much like today. (Some things never change.) Outfitting yourself with armor for battle was costly for a knight. Thus, a knight of means had an advantage as he could more fully protect his body prior to battle. This definitely gave the knight the upper hand. Plate armor was constructed of large metal plates. Plate body armor was less flexible than chain mail, however, it guarded against both slashing blows as well as stabbing. It was practically invulnerable to swords altogether. The knight had far greater protection while battling it out. This certainly gave him a psychological edge as well.

    Chain mail is designed as hundreds of tiny metal rings hooked together to create a mesh-like covering for the knight. Knights did not refer to it as "chain mail." That term came into use much later. Knights referred to it as "mail." Chain mail was effective, but how effective depended upon the material used to construct it, how tightly woven it was, the thickness of the material and weave, and lastly the method used to hook or weave the metal rings together. Although chain mail was more flexible and provided some effective protection, it could be penetrated by a stabbing blow. Slashing blows were not much of a match, but a stabbing action could certainly penetrate the rings. As a result, many knights of means opted to don both plate armor and chain metal, thus effectively doubling their protection. Plate armor looks heavy, but it was surprisingly light. The reason is that the distribution of weight was spread evenly over one’s body. We’ve all seen the caricatures of knights having to be lifted onto their horses due to their plate armor, but that is a myth. In fact, even the plate armor worn for jousting–which was much heavier than battle armor–would not have required a knight to be lifted onto their horse. Jousting armor was heavier to avoid dying from an injury during a game. But it was not used during battle, when different skill sets were needed, including speed.

    Knights wore helmets, which were arguably one of the most important pieces of their ensemble. Knights worse differently designed helmets over the course of history. Depending on the time period, he might be wearing one design or another. For example, in the very early days, a knight’s helmet looked a bit like a cap. It had a piece of chain mail attached to it. But later on, helmets were made of plate armor. The face was protected by a visor, that was somewhat frightening to gaze upon. This may have also served as psychological edge. No knight was completely outfitted without his shield. Their shields were wooden underneath a piece of animal hide and rimmed with a piece of metal. This helped the knight to protect himself from incoming arrows, sword thrusts, and other weapons.

  • Starting a Medieval Armor Collection

    Posted on February 1st, 2011 admin No comments

    Choosing the right kind of armor to fit your needs can be stressful and confusing. There are many different eras of armor and styles. Popular armor collections are often based on Medieval, Roman or Greek styles.

    The first thing to do to start off your collection is to determine what era and style of armor you are looking for. If you want it all, that makes the collection easier. If you want a specific era and specific style, pinpoint it at the beginning.
    Also, at the beginning of the collection process, it is good to determine what pieces of the armor you are looking to collect. Decide if you want the full armor with helmet, chest plate, gloves, shoes, arm and leg guards or just bits and pieces to display separately.

    When determining which pieces of armor you wish to purchase, keep in mind your possible display space. If you are in a studio apartment, an entire Roman Knight may not fit. A few helmets displayed on the fireplace mantel may work better. Shields and breast plates can always be hung on the wall to conserve floor display areas.

    If your armor collection is going to be used as costume pieces, then you will also want to consider the sizing of the armor before purchasing it. Most places, including medievalcostumesandgifts.com, offer sizing information for their products.
    If you are not looking to use your armor as costume pieces, you may also be interested in miniature versions of the armor. These will save space in your display area and often offer as many details as the full-sized replicas.

    Do your research before spending your cash. Many places offer replica armor. Some of this replica armor is battle-approved. Some armor is purely only meant for costume or display purposes. Depending on what you plan on using your armor for, make sure you are aware of the differences.

    Armor collections are a unique and growing interest. Armor helmets make for interesting display pieces. Researching the history behind helmet styles will make your collection even more interesting to visitors. Having a plan when starting your collection will benefit how it turns out in the end.

    Most of all have fun when planning your collection! There are tons of different options for armor. Be aware of what you are looking for and enjoy the new pieces!

  • Medieval Breastplate Armor

    Posted on November 24th, 2010 admin 1 comment

    Throughout history many different warriors have worn breastplates to protect their upper torso when at war. There were many different types of breastplates, designed to distinguish the warrior’s location and which kingdom or empire they stood for. During the Roman Empire breastplates were generally crafted from leather with a combination of steel inside, the outer design of the breastplate was that of a strong masculine torso, which was to intimidate the enemy. Most of the designs of Roman breastplates were influenced by Greek armor, which had the basic same craftsmanship. Plain leather breastplates were also used during both the ancient Rome and medieval time periods mainly in gladiator battles or just for common wear by officers or guards. The most popular steel breastplates were common during the middle ages worn by knights and Kings whenever they went into battle.

  • Medieval Armored Knight, Missing his Chainmail Pants

    Posted on July 9th, 2009 admin 1 comment

    Some of the customers from our sister site, redskytrader.com, use our items for display or Renaissance purposes.  These guys (The Pantless Knights) entered a big wheel contest, geared towards children, sporting our gear! They have the spiked helmet, chainmail, breastplates and all! The only item they omitted from their costume is a pair of Chainmail Pants! Check out their acceptance speech here: Pantless Knights Video!

     

  • The Medieval Mace

    Posted on June 9th, 2009 admin 2 comments

    The mace was one of the most damaging medieval weapons. It could slam through body armor without much effort.  Made of steel, iron or latten, the mace was tough to match in strength and destruction.  Phillip II of France had his bodyguards, the sergeants-at-arms, use them for his protection.

    Around the beginning of the 14th century the mace began having more intricate traits.  Since it was used as a protection weapon to the king, the mace was often adorned in precious metals and sometimes gems.  Maces made of silver also became common towards the end of the 14th Century.

    Maces in the 15th century began to change design slightly.  The head (destructive part) of the mace was attached to a metal or wood shaft, which varied in length depending upon what type of soldier the mace was used for. This shaft often had the royal family crest embellished on it to easily identify for whom a soldier was fighting.  The head had small buttons, or flanges attached to it to cause more harm and damage to enemies.  These destructive buttons were eventually replaced with ornaments or jewels more for show than use in battle.

    The mace’s shaft held a practical use as a scroll bracket in the 17th century.  The weapon became smaller and more intricate around this time.  Scroll brackets were placed on either end of the shaft and the head became smaller.  Maces are still used today in ceremonial ways rather than in battle.

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