Armorers and blacksmiths of the XV century were in search of finding out a more natural way to lay on the steel plates of armor one on another. The question was to combine high safety properties, articulation and of course stylish look. The answer “came” from crustaceans. Steel plates of cuirass are overlapping each other
Usually, brigantine was made of small plates. However, small plates were kept impact badly, and since the small-plate brigantine supplanted usual, the plates were again enlarged, making the former bigger, but better fitting to body. A characteristic feature of a big-plate brigantine, in addition to large plates, was a skirt of laminar structures, that was
Body Armour: History, Types, and Advantages
As soon as one person picked up a weapon, another person decided to protect his body with armour from those weapons. The history of costume made body armour dates back hundreds of years. Initially, people used fabric that was woven with threads and stuffed with felt or batting as well as just roughly dressed leather. The armour of this type was called quilted armour.
Of course, you couldn’t expect such body armour to protect you very well because the weapons’ hits were still quite damaging. Therefore, the warriors began to add steel rings on top of their quilted armour. These rings were ranging from 3 to 8, and sometimes up to 15 centimeters in diameter. Then, the blacksmiths learned to planish metal bars into small plates. The size of these metal plates was from 3*3 cm up to 15*15 cm. This advancement in blacksmith art initiated the era of costume-made brigandine armour, leather armour with metal plates, and lamellar armour.
The difference between these body armour types was that in brigandine armour, the metal plates are fastened to the base (leather or fabric) with rivets. The lamellar armour is assembled on leather laces.
On our website you can find a wide selection of brigandine armour as well as lamellar armour. Both HMB and IMCF allow using both types of body armour, so we will be happy to create a tailor-made costume for you with lamellar armour or brigandine armour.
With the development of the blacksmith crafts, costume body armour developed as well. The masters started making armours that allowed to cover large sections of the body with solid metal plates. This is how white body armour came to be. Why white? This type of armour was called white because the metal wasn’t covered with leather or fabric, but rather it was polished, giving it a light white color. As a result, custom-made cuirass of various types appeared.
The infantry and poor knights could only afford a steel breastplate. This type of body armour differs in that the back remains open, expecting that the wearer doesn’t turn his back to the enemy during the battle. The lack of back protection helps to cut some costs on costume-made body armour as well as reduce the overall weight of the body armour.
Of course, open areas of the body are potentially vulnerable to the enemy, but practically all of the knight’s body was coated by metal plates that covered one another in one way or another. This virtually eliminated injuries and guaranteed the owner’s safety on the battlefield.
There is a story about a king, who was attacked by the enemy’s army and thrown off his horse. Because he was completely covered with metal plates that remained intact, his warriors had a chance to get to him and fight off the enemies. The king ended up uninjured despite the numerous blows with different kinds of weapons.
In museums, we can often see that the thickness of the metal, from which the protective weapons were made, varies from 0.8 to 1.5mm. Samples up to 4mm thick are encountered too, but those are rare isolated cases and generally, they relate to the tournament armour. In the modern historical fencing, we must choose the right balance between convenience and protection, between thickness and comfort.
Before you purchase your body armour, you need to decide what is going to be its purpose – is it primarily for dueling or buhurt? Choosing the armour for dueling, you can use less thick materials. However, for buhurt, you need an increased thickness of metal or you need to use titanium or hardened steel. You can read about the thickness selection here. With proper physical training, you can use heavy armour even during the dueling.
The most famous army that actively used body armour was the Roman Empire army. Of course, these soldiers wore the armour that was relevant for that time and matched the military tasks of that period. The enemy armies possessed neither weapons nor armours that could withstand the Roman kind, which was the reason Rome was able to conquer half of the known-at-that-time world. It was due to the defensive armour that Romans had the advantage on the battlefield.
Therefore, when you’re choosing any chest plate armor (also known as armor breastplate), you’re not choosing just another brigandine or custom made cuirass. You’re choosing a winner’s path. Like the ancient Romans, you’re making a choice to win the duel or buhurt.
Forge of Svan has vast experience in manufacturing a variety of chest armor and we won the trust of the HMB and IMCF fighters from all over the world. We also have a 100% guarantee on our equipment.
So don’t delay, choose your armor from us right now and become a witness that we are number one company in the world for making chest armor for full-contact battles.