ARN - What is your preference

Gail Taylor gtaylor at
Tue Aug 24 15:22:28 PDT 1999

Susan O'Neal wrote:

> I am writing to get some input on favored armor styles.  My daughter is
> thrilled about getting into youth rapier and we are debating about what to
> do for chest protection.  As you all are the experts on everything in light
> weapons, I thought I would ask you what your preferences are. What you have
> tried that you liked and also warnings about what really didn't work.
> Currently we are debating between the bodysuit type thing warn under your
> clothing that gives you versatility in what you wear to fight in or the
> leather vest on the outside. We saw Don Navarre's blue linen shirt and it
> was exquisite.  The multi layered trigger tunic thing looks too cumbersome
> for comfortable use.  I am very conserned that she will be adaquatly
> protected as she is just 12 and those she is competing against are not
> experienced.

Hello!  What many rapier fighters are beginning to do for protection for the
torso from blades that break flat, is use linen, which breathes MUCH better than
trigger, and is quite resistant to puncture.  Three layers of "Judy's" linen,
from "Silk Road" in Austin, will pass a drop test that's being promoted at the
corporate level.  Don Dore regularly lugs one of these testers around, if you
want to try out other types of linen or cloth.  Using the Judy's Linen, people
are making a 2 layer doublet (padded with light interfacing or a thin cotten
batting to keep its shape), and a one layer linen shirt...and using it as
armor.  This is reportedly MUCH cooler than most rapier armor; I've bought the
cloth now but have yet to construct the doublet.

As for the "chest" part...if she would like additional protection to prevent her
breasts from being hit, you can purchase breast protectors (fondly referred to
as "frisbees" by many of us female fencing folk) from the various online fencing
stores.  These are usually made of plastic or metal, and are slipped inside the
bra.  I use them when fighting schlager and when facing folk known to be hard
hitters. She'll just have to be careful about blow calling when hit on the

Finally, the placquet (sp?) that fits in the arm-pit, which was described in a
prior post, works quite well.  I've also seen people build additional layers
into the upper arm of their shirt to keep blades out of their armpits.

> Thank you so much for all information,
> Susan
> shamrock at

Isobel Hadleigh

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