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Brigandine armor

Brigandine armor is a plate armor, which combines both an element of clothing and a protective element in the form of metal plates.

About Brigandine armor

The term “brigandine” comes from the name of foot soldiers «brigands», which actively used this plate armor. It was a kind of intermediate link between the full chain mail and the plate armor. 

The time of active use of brigandine armor accounts for XIV-XV centuries. As in Europe they have not immediately returned to the Roman traditions of making cuirasses, for some time brigandine was a pretty good substitute for the armor.

Brigandine armour could be divided into 4 zones:

  1. brigand body armor

Brigandine developed from an earlier version of so-called «coat of plates», which appeared at the end of the XII century. This armor, in fact, was the same brigandine only with larger plates. Sometimes there were two large plates, which closed the chest and a range of horizontal plates, which covered the stomach and the groin. From the external side at the top there were two rows of large rivets in a semicircle. At the bottom there were more rivets, but they were smaller.

The outer layer of brigadine is a jacket made ​​of leather, velvet or linen. The jacket had a form of a doublet. Very often the plates were attached to a simpler linen basis, on top of which was sewn a layer of velvet or silk. The jacket usually did not have sleeves because the brigandine was usually dressed over gambeson or chain mail. Although there are images with the examples of brigandines with sleeves. Metal plates rivet on to the inner side of the jacket. Brigandines fastened from the front or on each side with leather straps. There are also references about the lacing. Surcoat with decorations and emblem can be worn over brigandine.

The design of the brigandine was quite successful. Weight was distributed in such a way that the main thrust was on the shoulders and hips. Knight's variants of brigandines were more fitted, because were individually made to order. Such brigandines consisted of many small segments. Brigandines were notable for the quality of trimming, and the representatives of all classes, even monarchs could wear them.

When in the XV century armor began to be more used by foot soldiers, it became more baggy. The size of the plates increased. Such armor was easier to pass to other foot soldier without additional fitting , in case of the death of previous owner. Manufacture and refit of brigandines were relatively simple and could be executed on-the-spot.  Damaged knights suits of armor served as plates for soldier brigandines. The missing segments were actually cut of them.

The plates were attached to the jacket overlap. Fastening of plates could be both vertically and horizontally. Rivets on brigandines were put down in groups of a few pieces on one plate. Rivets on metal plates, made for the wealthy nobles, were made ​​of brass, bronze, and could be covered with gold or silver. Sometimes they marked them coining from the outside. Some fragments of plastic images indicate the presence of large metal breastplate at the front of some brigandines. Chains were attached to this breastplate to support the sword and the shield.

The location of plates on the jacket varied. Here are a few examples of the location of plates on the brigandine that was popular in the mid-14th century.

  • At the top there is a row of vertical plates covering the chest. Quantity of plates - 3. A row of horizontal plates covers an abdominal cavity, which is a little bit more in quantity - from 2 to 5. On each side there are two rows of vertical plates from 2 to 7.
  • The segments that protect the abdominal cavity and the sides of a soldier, are united in one row of vertical plates.
  • The armor basis of this brigandine consists of a large number (about 500) vertically arranged plates. The size of these segments is small 2-3 x 8-10 cm.
  1. brigand hand armor

  2. brigand arm armor

  3. brigand leg armor

What is interesting and attractive in brigandines of "Steel-Mastery" production?

Our main difference and advantage is in the individual making of brigandine armor. Turning to us for brigandine gauntlets, body, arms or legs protection, you can select standard models from the vast catalogue of products, or send your own, individual design or picture.

Upper part of brigandine armor (tire) is sewn only from natural materials:

  1. silk
  2. leather
  3. velvet
  4. wool
  5. suede
  6. cotton
  7. linen.

Metal plates for brigandine armor are made ​​of different materials: ordinary steel or stainless steel, titanium alloy. The use of these technologies is more practical. As a result it facilitates care for armor, increases its strength. The latter is especially important for buhurt participants. Titanium brigandine armor is notable for great strength, does not rust and has twice lower weight in comparison with steel armor.

Brigandine armor rivets are made of steel or brass at the wish of customer.

If desired, brigandine can be decorated. The outer side may consist of several colored parts, or can have heraldic galloons, emblems and mottoes. Figure design of leather straps and buckles is possible. The bottom of brigandine can be decorated with festoons, the edges of which are bound with a decorative selvage.

An additional chest plate with chainholder can be set, decorated with painting or etching.

We manufacture brigandines individually for your measurements, by brigandine armor patterns. If you are not sure, how to define your size, please have a look at this table

What is Brigandine armor? - Brigandine armor is a plates’ armor, which combines both an element of clothing and a protective element in the form of metal plates.

What is Brigandine armor made of? - Brigandine armor is made of protective elements in the form of metal plates and elements of clothing or leather.

What is Brigandine? –  The term “brigandine” comes from the name of foot soldiers «brigands», which actively used this plate armor. It was a kind of intermediate link between the full chain mail and the plate armor. 

Brigandine vs Cuirass. What is the difference between brigandine and cuirass? - As in Europe they have not immediately returned to the Roman traditions of making cuirasses, for some time brigandine was a pretty good substitute for the armor.

What is coat of plates? - Coat of plates is an earlier version of brigandine which appeared at the end of the XII century. This armor, in fact, was the same brigandine only with larger plates. Sometimes there were two large plates, which closed the chest and a range of horizontal plates, which covered the stomach and the groin. From the external side at the top there were two rows of large rivets in a semicircle. At the bottom there were more rivets, but they were smaller.

What is the outer layer of brigadine made of? - The outer layer of brigadine is a jacket made ​​of leather, velvet or linen, suede, wool, cotton, silk.

How many layers are in brigandine? – There are 3 layers of brigandine:

  • the outer layer
  • Plates
  • Basis

Brigandine with sleeves or without sleeves? - The jacket usually did not have sleeves because the brigandine was usually dressed over gambeson or chain mail. Although there are images with the examples of brigandines with sleeves.

How brigandines fasten? - Brigandines fastened from the front or on each side with leather straps. Metal plates rivet on to the inner side of the jacket.

What were brigandine metal plates rivets made of? - Rivets on metal plates, made for the wealthy nobles, were made ​​of brass, bronze, and could be covered with gold or silver. Sometimes they marked them coining from the outside.

What location of plates on the brigandine was popular in the mid-14th century? - The location of plates on the jacket varied. Here are a few examples of the location of plates on the brigandine that was popular in the mid-14th century:

  • At the top there is a row of vertical plates covering the chest. Quantity of plates - 3. A row of horizontal plates covers an abdominal cavity, which is a little bit more in quantity - from 2 to 5. On each side there are two rows of vertical plates from 2 to 7.
  • The segments that protect the abdominal cavity and the sides of a soldier, are united in one row of vertical plates.
  • The armor basis of this brigandine consists of a large number (about 500) vertically arranged plates. The size of these segments is small 2-3 x 8-10 cm.

How brigandine can be decorated? - The outer side may consist of several colored parts, or can have heraldic galloons, emblems and mottoes. Figure design of leather straps and buckles is possible. The bottom of brigandine can be decorated with festoons, the edges of which are bound with a decorative selvage.

What can be worn over brigandine? - Surcoat with decorations and emblem can be worn over brigandine.

Which materials are metal plates for brigandine made of? - Metal plates for brigandine armor are made ​​of different materials: ordinary steel or stainless steel, titanium alloy.

What types of brigandine armor patterns exist?  - There are many types of brigandine armor patterns:

  • Lamellar;
  • Visby brigandine
  • Leather brigandine
  • Chinese brigandine
  • Medieval brigandine

What is Visby brigandine? – Visby brigandine is Brigandine based on historical prototype which was found during the excavation of Visby battle 1361.

What types of brigandine armor exists?

  • Brigandine head armor;
  • Brigandine arms’ armor;
  • Brigandine hands’ armor;
  • Brigandine legs’ armor.

What types of brigand hand armor exist? - There are two types of brigandine hand armor, which were used in Europe in the Middle Ages:

  • Different types of mittens
  • Different types of gauntlets.

What is hand brigand defense made of? - Hand brigand defense is made of:

  • cold-rolled steel,
  •  stainless steel
  •  titanium.

When were first historical mentions of gauntlets? - First mentions of gauntlets with plates refer to the second part of the XIII century. We could get an idea of such defense from description in the military chronicles and sepulchral figures (for example, gravestone of Robert De Blois, Norfolk, Great Britain). In the 1361 year, there was gory battle between the Swedes and the Danes. These times, brigandine armour was widely used by almost all European knights. So, it is not surprising, that large quantity of gauntlets was founded in the mass grave.

What is the design of gautlets? - Design of gauntlets represented metal plates, which were attached to the smooth base (most likely, leather base). Sample #1 has short wristband, one large plate for palm protection and narrow straps over the phalanges. Gauntlet #2 does not have a wristband (probably, it hasn’t’ been preserved). Besides, small plates of this gauntlet had being attached under the base, and big wrist and knuckle plates were attached over it. At the same time, sample #3 has long widen wristband consisted of 17 thin plates and which is fixed with two belts on the wrist. Total amount of details in this gauntlet was about hundred.

What was brigandine mitten used for? - Brigandine mitten was used for holding side-hold shield. This mitten provides good mobility and safety of fingers and the inner part of hand.

Where brigandine arm protection was widespread? –Brigandine arm protection was widespread in Europe, Asia and Вyzanthium.

Where is Brigandine arms' protection been using? - All samples of  brigandine and splinted bracers, bicep protection and full arms are perfect for participation in the tournaments of medieval fencing, historical festivals, bohurts and reenactment events. Depending on the complement, such defense is compliant to the standards and rules of such social movements, as SCA (The Society for Creative Anachronism), HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts), HMB (Historical medieval battles).

What is SCA?  - SCA is The Society for Creative Anachronism is an international living history group with the aim of studying and recreating mainly Medieval European cultures and their histories before the 17th century.

What is HEMA? – HEMA is Historical European Martial Arts refers to martial arts of European origin, particularly using arts formerly practiced, but having since died out or evolved into very different forms.

The first page of Codex Wallerstein - a 16th-century convolution of three 15th-century fechtbuch manuscripts, shows a fencer with various arms.

What is HMB? - HMB is a Historical medieval battles, is a rather young modern sport, full contact fighting with the use of offensive and defensive weapons characteristic of the Middle Ages.

How brigandine arm’s defense were made? - Steel plates were riveted with overlap on the leather or cloth base. Such method gave high level of protection of crushing blows, stabs and slashes. At the same time, such armour did not hinder movements of knight and weighed less than chainmail. Besides, it was rather easy to make such armour (skills of top-level armorer were not required). Every competent forger could create brigandine elements. In addition, comparing to plate armour, brigandine protection was cheaper.  

When brigandine armor was used? – Brigandine armor was used in the XIII-XIV centuries. But as historical sources shows, knights were used to wear brigandine bracers and protection of upper arm even in the XII century.

What is a typical feature of brigandine armour? – A typical feature of brigandine armour was riveted plates on the outside and inner side of base. Such design was raising protection properties of armour and didn’t have any gaps for blades.

What are plate elbow caps? - Plate elbow caps are elements of brigandine arm’s defense which complemented brigandine or splinted bracers and protection of upper arm.

What is splinted protection for upper arm (bicep)? – Splinted protection is an element which protects limbs.

What was splinted protection of limbs made of? - Splinted protection of limbs was made of croupon leather with thickness 3.5-4 mm and narrow metal plates of normal steel 1.0 mm. Plates are riveted with steel rivets to the leather from the inner and outer sides of armour. There are also leather belts with steel buckles for the fixation on the arm.

What brigandine leg protection consists of? - Brigandine leg protection consists of:

  • Brigandine tassets;
  • Plate knee caps
  • Brigandine protection for under-knee part

What were brigandine tassets made of? - Brigandine tassets were made of thick 3-4 mm leather. Metal plates were overlapped from the inside.

What are plate knee caps?  - Plate knee caps are a part of brigandine leg protection.

How thigh protection and greaves were fixed? -  Thigh protection and greaves were fixed from the back side of leg with leather belts. With straps, warrior attached them to the chausses or holes in the belt. Together with plate knee caps, knight had reliable protection and could fight in mounted or dismounted actions.

Review about items

  • Middle Ages brigandine with fastenings in the front
    Middle Ages brigandine with fastenings in the front
    BRIG-01

    Kelly

    I would like to thank all the team of Steel mastery for this armor! As I'm quite tiny girl I had doubts that brigandine will fit me good and be comfortable and not too heavy (however it's a bit heavy, lol)) But workmanship is remarkable, size is very good and there is really great customer support:)

  • Middle Ages brigandine with fastenings in the front
    Middle Ages brigandine with fastenings in the front
    BRIG-01

    Charles

    Brigandine looks good, fits good and protects good. Excellent quality of materials (i have it with leather cover and cotton lining, with stainless steel plates 1.5); also i like the option of changable spaulders. Highly recommend fo SCA fighters.

  • Middle Ages brigandine with fastenings in the front
    Middle Ages brigandine with fastenings in the front
    BRIG-01

    Johan Thedwall

    Got my brigandine and its fits perfect, just like a glove. Will order more from Steel masters in the future.

  • Visby brigandine with fastenings on the back, 1361
    Visby brigandine with fastenings on the back, 1361
    BRIG-02

    Lucas

    Brigandine fits perfects and keeps ups with the hits. Thank you!

  • Mongolian (Asian) warrior armor: 11 - 17 century
    Mongolian (Asian) warrior armor: 11 - 17 century
    BRIG-04

    Clyde

    I just got this armor and must say it is impressive! Every piece is excellent and all together fits me very good. my complimets to crafters:)

  • Mongolian (Asian) warrior armor: 11 - 17 century
    Mongolian (Asian) warrior armor: 11 - 17 century
    BRIG-04

    Jeremy J. Wilson

    Khatanga is absolutely outsatnding; crfatsmanship shows through every stitch and rivet. I was afraid it will be a bit heavy but it is very comfortable and fitting is really good. Lots of compliments to all Steel Mastery team

  • Mongolian (Asian) warrior armor: 11 - 17 century
    Mongolian (Asian) warrior armor: 11 - 17 century
    BRIG-04

    Stan

    Super cool brigand armor! I have it with titanium plates and black leather cover. It is light enough and holds the hits good, I'm totally satisfied. I also have Asian style padded coat from this store and must say it is the best choice for wearing under this khatanga. It took about 2 months from placing of order till receiving of my armor and it's totally ok as for this custom armor. Big thanks to artisans!

  • Mongolian (Asian) warrior armor: 11 - 17 century
    Mongolian (Asian) warrior armor: 11 - 17 century
    BRIG-04

    LEROY 

    J'ai reçu cette armure il y a peu de temps. Les finitions sont parfaites et la qualité de fabrication est parfaite. J'ai opté pour un modèle en tissus et en titane de 1 mm. J'ai choisi le titane pour des raisons de solidité et de légèreté. je souhaite utiliser cette armure autant en combat libre quand tournage vidéo de combat chorégraphié. Pour le moment je l'ai utilisé en combat d'entrainement et de démonstration et je ne suis pas déçu. Les plaques tiennent le choc sans problème. Donc pour finir un bon produit fait avec soin I received this armor recently. The finishes are perfect and the build quality is perfect. I opted for a fabric and titanium model of 1 mm. I chose titanium for reasons of strength and lightness. I want to use this armor in free combatand also in choreographed video shooting. For now I used it in training and demonstration combat and I'm not disappointed. The plates hold the shock without problem. So to finish a good product done with care

  • Brigandine of European knight: 13-14th century
    Brigandine of European knight: 13-14th century
    BRIG-05

    Jeroen Moritz

    I have had extremely good value from my purchase of this brigandine, it has a vast array of customisation and it is very comfortable and relatively light to wear. Barely feel hits in combat, with only minor exterior damage to the brigandine from time to time. Extreme ease of use, no need to make someone your squire for 20 minutes 5 straps is all it takes. In and out under 3 minutes. Have worn this brigandine for 8 hours straight with only minor exhaustion during the day. Does get heavier in the later hours. Used to own a gothic platemail, but cleaning and maintenance weren't for me. Not a huge fan of coat of arms hiding armor either, so the brigandine was a very good compromise between both. Would recommend stainless steel as a upgrade since you cannot clean the steel inside and the upgrade is very affordable. If you are looking for good protection, ease of use, low maintenance, high quality and good pricing, look no further. The brigandine is the piece of armor you seek.

  • European brigandine of the 14-15th century
    European brigandine of the 14-15th century
    BRIG-06

    John Robertson

    I ordered a Brigandine and wasn't disappointed. Very pleased with a quality item. Would definitely order from them again and would recommend them without inhesitation.

  • European brigandine of the 14-15th century
    European brigandine of the 14-15th century
    BRIG-06

    Olivier Girard

    Achetée en bleu & rouge, titane. Travail ahurissant de perfection, solide et magnifique ; une vrai pièce pour un paladin ! Le travail de customisation est génial, le suivi est très appréciable (et évite les erreurs) !

  • European brigandine of the 14-15th century
    European brigandine of the 14-15th century
    BRIG-06

    olivier

    Juste Perfect ! Very nice work, beautiful built, light as mithril :) !

  • European brigandine of the 14-15th century
    European brigandine of the 14-15th century
    BRIG-06

    Anders

    My brigandine arrived yesterday and I like it very much! Very beautiful work for a good price. Now just have to test it in combat:)

  • European brigandine of the 14-15th century
    European brigandine of the 14-15th century
    BRIG-06

    James

    I am completely satisfied with this brigandine. Quality of materials is superb, fit is good. All seams are firm, belts are riveted firmly as well. Price is also perfect for this custom thing. Thank you!

  • European brigandine of the 14-15th century
    European brigandine of the 14-15th century
    BRIG-06

    Kevin Morel-Chevillet

    High quality for a good price. Measures and choices have been respected. Really nice fabric, leather and metal pieces! Perfect work, thank you very much!

  • European brigandine of the 14-15th century
    European brigandine of the 14-15th century
    BRIG-06

    Alexandre Mederres

    Really satisfied, the quality of work done is beautiful, it cash very well shock

  • Brigandine of Spanish knight - 14th century
    Brigandine of Spanish knight - 14th century
    BRIG-12

    Oliver

    the brigandine arrived today. It fits perfectly. Thank you and the crafters very much.

  • Brigandine of Spanish knight - 14th century
    Brigandine of Spanish knight - 14th century
    BRIG-12

    Clara

    Hello, I have received my brigandine and I can inform you that I am extremely satisfied with the quality. It both fits and looks amazing. If I had the money I would definitely buy from steel mastery again. : )

  • Brigandine of Spanish knight - 14th century
    Brigandine of Spanish knight - 14th century
    BRIG-12

    Arno

    I got my brigandine and very satisfied with it! Quality workmanship and materials (I have it made of beautiful wine red velvet with brass rivets). Staprs are strong enough. Also a big thanks for additional rivets and straps.

  • Large-plate brigandine
    Large-plate brigandine
    BRIG-14

    Dan

    I got my brigandine just in time and very happy with it. Excellent service and outstanding work, compliments to blacksmiths!

  • Large-plate brigandine
    Large-plate brigandine
    BRIG-14

    Marc

    Wow, this brigandine is superb! It is well-worked and materials are so good! I have it with titanium plates and it is lighter than I expected. Very good fitting and very practical design. I am so happy to have it. Highly recommended!

  • Brigandine for staging and LARP, model 1
    Brigandine for staging and LARP, model 1
    BRIG-15

    Karl Antony

    Perfect quality. Fast delivery. Ann you are the best! Thank you for all your help!

  • Khatangu degel of the Golden Horde warrior, XIV-XV century
    Khatangu degel of the Golden Horde warrior, XIV-XV century
    BRIG-18

    Olaf

    Thank you so much for this brigandine, I'm expressed! Nice custome fit, it looks beautiful and workmanship is outstanding. Look forward to order more from you shop.

  • Khatangu degel of the Golden Horde warrior, XIV-XV century
    Khatangu degel of the Golden Horde warrior, XIV-XV century
    BRIG-18

    Tom Eldwin

    I just done some training in behourd. 15 min of fighting with 7 assault (2/2 fighters). The bracers are ok with only 3 lacers that are damaged but not totally. The brigandine is really cool and get just a cut of 1cm. A strong hit with à two handed axe on my ribs. No damage for me. Thank you to you and and you're blacksmith.

  • Munich brigandine (corazzine) from Hohenschwangau castle,1360-1450 (14 - 15 century)
    Munich brigandine (corazzine) from Hohenschwangau castle,1360-1450 (14 - 15 century)
    BRIG-20

    Jörg

    Big thanks to the whole team! This corazzine is one of the most splendid armor I've ever had!

  • Munich brigandine (corazzine) from Hohenschwangau castle,1360-1450 (14 - 15 century)
    Munich brigandine (corazzine) from Hohenschwangau castle,1360-1450 (14 - 15 century)
    BRIG-20

    T. Frank

    The armor is solid and quite handsome. Great product.

  • Munich brigandine (corazzine) from Hohenschwangau castle,1360-1450 (14 - 15 century)
    Munich brigandine (corazzine) from Hohenschwangau castle,1360-1450 (14 - 15 century)
    BRIG-20

    Lucas Custer

    I would definitely recommend it. It was my first time buying armor online, easy to order and fast delivery, good packaging. I collected my order at Orange medieval market, so shipping was for free. I met there my manager, with whom I was doing the order and the owner of the store. They are very nice and reliable guys.

  • Munich brigandine (corazzine) from Hohenschwangau castle,1360-1450 (14 - 15 century)
    Munich brigandine (corazzine) from Hohenschwangau castle,1360-1450 (14 - 15 century)
    BRIG-20

     Prince Val

    I was the first to command this brigandine, she is perfect, well formed, solid and resists well to shocks ! Elegant and noble, I recommend it to all knights of high rank !

  • Royal brigandine for SCA and fencing
    Royal brigandine for SCA and fencing
    BRIG-24

    Georg

    I am satisfied with my Royal Brigandine. It is carefully crafted and fits well. Also the small bag with the reserve for a repair is really great.

  • Royal brigandine for SCA and fencing
    Royal brigandine for SCA and fencing
    BRIG-24

    Georg

    I received the parcel shipment. The small bag with the reserve for a repair is also really great. I am also satisfied with the Brigantine. Thanks for that!

  • Royal brigandine for SCA and fencing
    Royal brigandine for SCA and fencing
    BRIG-24

    Daniel

    I received my custom made brigandine and it is fantastic! Quality of materials and workmanship is very good. Specail thanks for a small bag with spare detalis (rivets, a piece of fabric, belt). great servise, guys, keep it up! Cheers from France!

  • Leather laminar mitten
    Leather laminar mitten
    FA-13

    Pete.T

    Well made, fits very well and able to take a direct hit with force.

  • Leather laminar mitten
    Leather laminar mitten
    FA-13

     PL. G.

    Awesome mitten, fits well, used in buhurt duel, strong enought to get my hand out of trouble. I recommend.

  • Set of leather laminar mittens
    Set of leather laminar mittens
    FA-1313

    Manuel Gonzalez

    Recently purchased the a set of laminar mittens. The craftsmanship and details are incredible!!!! Very nice and beautiful craftsmanship work!!! They feel and fit great, really love how they conceal and cover the hand. What I also like is that they seem easy to repair in case the leather gets damaged or if the straps break. Finally was able to test them on a light sparring match, love how they felt around the handle of the sword and the freedom of movement they offer my hands. Compared to other mittens & gloves that I have tried for practicing H.E.M.A. these gloves actually let me feel the handle of the sword and allow me to have a proper grip on the sword. So far so good and I am really satisfied with them.

  • Leather brigandine bracers
    Leather brigandine bracers
    BRG-10

    Olly

    Bracers are good, leather is perfectly carfted. Also its quite flexible so I may wear brace over more or less thick underarmor and regulate width with belts. Special thanks to professional and kind customer service manager who answered all my questions promptly.

  • Brigandine arms of the XV century
    Brigandine arms of the XV century
    BRG-05

    Louis

    These arms are really effective! You have done a great job, thank you!