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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.

  • The Crafty Weapons of the Medieval Knight

    Posted on March 22nd, 2011 admin No comments

    Medieval Knights had to use different weapons for different tasks. If they were engaged in ground combat, they needed one set of tools and if they were on their horses charging toward an opposing knight or enemy, then they would need an entirely different weapon. Each weapon had a specific purpose. Different stages or phases of battle required different weapons. So knights needed an arsenal of weapons. As one example, when knights are engaged in combat on the ground, they typically made use of the poleax. The poleax was so lethal, in fact, that even body armor was not enough protection. The poleax could slice right through the body armor and penetrate flesh. With its wooden handle and heavy metal head, the knight’s mace could fell an enemy knight from his horseback. With its protruding metal edges, a flanged mace would allow the knight to dent or even penetrate an enemy knight’s armor.

    The sword was an important piece of equipment. This long metal weapon had a cross-guard for the protection of the knight carrying it. This prevented the knight’s hand from sliding down the blade and cutting himself. The blade on the sword was sharp as a razor. The length of the sword allowed the knight to keep distance between himself and his enemy. However, when in close quarters, the knight employed his dagger for stabbing and thrusting his enemy. When the battle wore into a heat, the knight on the ground could get far more use and efficacy from his dagger than his sword. The lance is a popular weapon and we’ve all seen pictures of the knight on his horse with his lance. This long, wooden weapon sported a very sharp metal point. The lance’s design is based upon the spear. When knights rode on horseback against other knights, they needed their lance. This was a necessary weapon for combat via horseback. As the knight rode directly toward his enemy, he extended his lance in front of him in an effort to knock his enemy from his horse.

    The Medieval Knight would be nothing without his sword. Be fully prepared for battle with one of our steel blades! Only at Medieval Costumes and Gifts!

  • How about a Medieval Helmet for Mardi Gras

    Posted on March 4th, 2011 admin No comments

    Well that day is upon us again, but venetian masks seem too cliche, you want to stand out but still would like to be hidden…hmmm, well I got it! How about a Medieval Helmet for Mardi Gras! Be a Knight or wear a Viking helmet and dangle your beads from the horns! HUZZAH to Mardi Gras! Its time to take it medieval!

    For such a great occasion we decided to put out a promo code for our helmets! Starting Now through March 10, use promo code "MardiGras11" to receive a 15% discount! Don’t be left out for Mardi Gras, buy your helmet now! Only at Medieval Costumes and Gifts.

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