Instructables

How to make an 11 Cent. Padded Gambeson

Picture of How to make an 11 Cent. Padded Gambeson
A Gambeson (spelling varies as this word predates the OED) is the second to third layer of clothing worn under armor, the first layer may or may not be "small clothes" or underwear, the second layer may or may not be other clothing such as trous or trousers and a tunic or shirt.



 
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Step 1: The history

Picture of The history
The Gambisons primary purpose is to provide padding from impact , and secondary is as a insulating cooling layer.

Historically in Europe it would have been made from wool or if your were fabulously wealthy linen, cotton or even silk.  This may apply in Asia, I do not know.

Many argue that the lozenge or diamond pattern quilting is not historically accurate, but I'm not so sure, I've seen a chess piece from the Isle of Lewis that clearly depict a diamond pattern and the pieces carved there demonstrate a high degree of accuracy.  Additionally the Bayeux Tapestry show something that may be diamond pattern, the diamond pattern is logical since it holds the batting in place very well.

Regardless of historical influence, diamond pattern sewn padded material is readily available at most fabric stores and is acceptable to average observer as not dispelling the illusion of authenticity.

If you must be historically accurate this is not the project for you, I have no primary evidence but would be happy to hear from someone who does.

Step 2: Disclaimer and Advice

Picture of Disclaimer and Advice
THIS IS NOT A ENTRY LEVEL SEWING PROJECT!  IF YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TO USE A SEWING MACHING OR SEW BY HAND YOU CAN MAKE EXPENSIVE MISTAKES! 

IF YOU ARE USING SOMEONE ELSES SEWING MACHINE MAKE SURE YOU ASK PERMISSION TO INCLUDE YOUR PARENTS IF APPLICABLE.

ON MY FIRST SEWING PROJECT I SEWED MY THUMB TO A PIECE OF LEATHER WITH MY MOTHERS UPOSTERY MACHINE, I SCREWED UP THE MACHINES TIMING AND HAD TO PICK THE STICHES OUT OF MY THUMB ALONG WITH A BROKEN NEEDLE.  IT REALLY HURT A LOT AND TOOK ME FIFTEEN YEARS TO OVERCOME MY FEAR AND MEMORIES. 

GET LESSONS, GET HELP DON'T GET HURT.
Rune Cutter (author) 4 years ago
Thank you, the gambeson is the first layer everything else builds off it, later the jupon allows armour to fastened directly to it with ties, I prefer earlier studies and sport oriented combat so I go with what works for me.
Veve Tech4 years ago
An amazing piece of instuctabality. I've seen  a gambeson before, but I had no clue as to what it was called.
supersith224 years ago
 Very cool. Your's are definitely some of my favorite instructables!
Rune Cutter (author)  supersith224 years ago
Thanks, more coming!