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Armor and clothing of an early knight, esp. lower-body

Discussion in 'Research' started by Feo Takahari, May 2, 2014.

  1. Feo Takahari

    Feo Takahari Auror

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    I'm writing a sequence in which a character takes on both the appearance and the outfit of an armored knight, step by step. As part of this, I need to describe the clothing and armor of a knight (from a parallel universe with magic and monsters, but most likely equivalent to a western European around 1000 AD.) I can find history-oriented sources that fully depict what a knight in plate armor would wear, but for chain armor, they solely depict the knight's upper body--all the depictions I can find of legs and feet come from fantasy fiction.

    Were chain leggings an actual thing, or were they just something fantasy writers thought up? And what about the clothes under the leggings? And what sort of boots would a knight wear? And what about that thing they're sometimes shown wearing over armor that shows the crest of their lord--what would you even call that?

    Basically, how much of this picture is historically accurate, and how much of it is imagined?

    [​IMG]

    P.S. For what it's worth, I've already found Medieval Armor A Primer for Writers, so I at least know about gambesons and such.
     
  2. Queshire

    Queshire Auror

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    I think the thing they wear over armor with the crest is a tabard, and don't quote me on this but I think that they don't have chain pants, instead the chain shirt is just really long, going down to past the knee. Under that, maybe heavy leather pants and boots? Again I'm just talking out of my ass here so *shrug*
     
  3. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

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    I'm sure I've read that the armour of mounted Normans [1066 and all that] was pretty much a padded leather coat under a long chain-mail shirt/dress [and probably a shield]. The bottom of the chain-mail dress was split front and rear [so it laid down the side of the horse] and the sides were tied to the legs of the mounted men so they covered as much of the thigh/leg as possible [yes like chaps of the cowboys and for similar if more pointy reasons]. I seem to remember that the mail for mounted men was longer than that of those on foot, which kind of makes sense... but bother were about knee length...
    As for what covered the legs themselves... I don't remember but I would guess that if there was any it would be padded leather armour over woollen stockings.... climate permitting...

    Oh... just found this
    from here Weaponry: Norman Arms and Armour
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2014
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  4. The earliest I can find is from the 13th century. Poleyn was one of the first components of plate armor to develop (during the transition from mail to plate). It was a piece that protected the knee and the early ones were strapped over mail chausses.

    Chausses were made of mail and would extend to the knee to cover the entire leg. There would be padded layers under the chausses.

    Early on plates called schynbalds were used. They were a solid sheet of metal that covered the shin area (not encasing the entire lower leg... think of a soccer shin guard). They were strapped to a padded undergarment. By the fifteenth century greaves had replaced schynbalds.

    That is most of the early stuff that I could find (13th to 15th century). I not an expert on armor... In fact most of my stuff came from Wikipedia, but hope this helps a little.
     
  5. Guy

    Guy Inkling

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    Mail leggings weren't common but they did exist. Generally armor of the time was a mail shirt. Some were short sleeved and some long sleeved. The hem could be anywhere from hip level to the knee. It just depended on what the knight wanted and could afford. The garment covering the armor in the picture is a surcoat.
     
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  6. psychotick

    psychotick Auror

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    Hi,

    I found a pictorial glossary of armour terms (only some with pictures) on line a while ago, and while I don't have the link any longer, the name of the site was Greg's Armoring Page. You maybe able to google it.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  7. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

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    Greg Daub's Armoring page ?
     
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  8. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    If you can find them, you could do worse than consult some of the Osprey books. They have the advantage of being very targeted in terms of era and geographic location. Much of what you'll find most readily on the Net will be for later centuries, and nearly all will be English.
     
  9. psychotick

    psychotick Auror

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    Hi Cup,

    The very site.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
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