[Northkeep] Gambesons redux

Carl Chipman cchipman at nomadics.com
Fri May 30 12:00:36 PDT 2003

It was pointed out to me in a private conversation that some of my posts
could be construed to be saying "don't bother making gambesons".

If so I apologize.  My point is exactly the opposite.  Gambesons are
functional at many levels providing impact cushioning, as well as sweat
absorption for better cooling, and preventing chafing of armour.  In
fact, if well done, a gambeson can serve as very good looking fighting
clothing all by itself.  I'm a big fan of gambesons.

My point is

#1) Use good materials.  Linen's are generally preferred.

#2) Use appropriate thicknesses.  The same thickness of material is
difficult to use over the entire body, as different parts of the body
have different mobility requirements. Like a tank, the heaviest armour
should be where you expect to get hit the most.  Likewise, if you're
wearing full plate, you don't need as thick a gambeson as if you're
wearing only a gambeson.

#3) Use a good pattern.  Particular points to pay attention to are the
shoulders and elbows, as those places tend to bunch or bind in the
extreme (and often non-period) method in which we fight.

Hope this helps...

See everyone at Castellan,
Jean Paul

Carl Chipman
Nomadics, Inc.
cchipman at nomadics.com

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