Lots of medieval combat and LARP beginners believe that an armor suit itself is enough for good protection, but this delusion dissipates after the very first training bout. Medieval knights have never worn steel armor over their naked bodies! While armor protected them against direct penetrations, padding clothes were used as a shock absorber, which mitigates impact and further increases the strength of the armor. The most frequent type of medieval padding clothes was a gambeson armor — defensive quilted jacket, worn underneath the plate armor. Moreover, the gambesons often were the only arming that European infantrymen could afford. Up to the 15th century infantry in poorer regions continued to wear gambesons on the battlefields. Padding clothes had its own unique features depending on the region, eg the Eastern warriors often worn their gambesons over the armor to avoid overheating in the sun, and the Slavic underarmors in contrast to the European were quilted diagonally, not vertically.
Middle Ages gambeson usually consisted of numerous layers of fabric sewn together, and often had been further padded with wool. They varied in length — from short waist jackets and up to the reaching the ground, in cut of the sleeves and in the method of fastening. Some of the late samples were difficult to set apart from the elegant noble garments, such as decorated doublets and velvet pourpoints with a narrowed waist and loose breast, but most of the militias had to be content with a unpretentious quilted jackets.
As well as the medieval tailors did, we sew gambesons according to the individual measurements of each customer. We have an advantage over our ancestors, as we do have cotton-based batting, that allows to reduce weight of the gambeson significantly and to keep its authentic look at the same time. You can choose one, two or three layers of batting depending on what level of protection requires. Quilting keeps batting layers in place, preventing them from rubbing against each other during twists, bends and other natural movements. Medieval gambesons with one layer of batting are thin and lightweight, whereas a three-layered gambeson is quite bulky and have high thermal insulation, so you can request extra layers of batting if needed. ArmStreet gambesons are manufactured of 100% natural fabrics, which guarantees the excellent level of comfort. The lining is made out of flax linen as it quickly absorbs moisture and dries quickly. Time-proved design ensures safety and excellent cushioning for buhurt, single combat and trainings. When ordering custom gambeson you have an opportunity to choose the fabric and color, two-colored option is also possible. Your garment can have removable sleeves for ease of fencing. Leather arming points to attach the armor pieces are available on request.
Six reasons to buy medieval gambeson from ArmStreet:
- Historically accurate gambesons and buhurt models;
- Custom size (made to order);
- Authentic fabrics and variety of colors;
- Extra layers of batting;
- Arming points and other customization on request;
- Shipping worldwide!
Wide range of our medieval gambesons store will undoubtedly satisfy both proponents of historical authenticity and SCAdians, because of their beautility and comfort in wear. If you're going to buy medieval gambeson, you might be also interested in additional elements: an arming cap with a pelerine to cover the cheeks, throat, neck and the top part of the shoulders, and the arming choses to protect the legs. Keep in mind that the absence or insufficiency of padding can cause complex injuries during buhurt.
You may also read our article on gambesons and fabric armor to get some historical perspective on the topic.