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Eastern (Mongolian) gambesons

Padded and quilted armor clothing was an important part of Eastern armor during any period and in any region. Oriental gambesons perfectly fit with Eastern lamellar and laminar armor and resemble civilian clothes differing only in thickness.

About Eastern (Mongolian) gambesons

Padded and quilted armor clothing was an important part of Eastern armor during any period and in any region. Oriental gambesons perfectly fit with Eastern lamellar and laminar armor and resemble civilian clothes differing only in thickness.

There were no Mongolian artifacts of the quilted defense found that clearly relate specifically to the Golden Horde armor. However, an abundance of such artifacts found in China, Korea, Rus, Persia, and other countries of the region indicates the widespread use of such protection.

Quilted lined with cotton/felt/fabric clothing was worn under armor and designed to cushion enemies’ blows and protect from the sun.

Oriental padded armor clothing’s cut was exactly resembling the cut of other oriental clothes so the “oriental gambeson” was a quilted robe or a quilted vest. The high-status warriors’ quilted protection was distinguished not by the cut type but by the high cost of the materials used and even more. For example, in the “Message of Genghis Khan”, it is indicated that according to legend Genghis Khan wore a simple canvas dress. His canvas caftan was stored as a treasure at the court of Mongol sovereigns in China. Thus, the cut and material of the quilted protection of nobility and ordinary people could be the same. Talking about materials - silk, cotton, leather, felt, wool, linen were typically used for Eastern quilted armor.

Interestingly, wearing too thick padded protection wasn’t traditional - warriors wore a few not too thick quilted robes on top of each other.

A quilted dressing gown belongs to Oriental armor set from the XII and up to the XVII century. 

A huge variety of quilted artifacts as well as their images and sculptures have been preserved:

For example, gazakhand of Arabian writer and commander Usama ibn Munqidh, XII century. Armor consisted of five layers: linen lining, mail of small rings, padded cotton layer, “Frankish mail” of big rings, and ornamented outer layer.


Chopcut – padded vest with vertical stitching on a common soldier of Bokharan town militia forces 


Various Central Asian, Mongolian and Far-Eastern padded under-vests and cuirasses


Kazakh warrior in padded armor, XVth-XVIth century

And don't forget about Ming paper armour. They were made of silk paper and functioned as a gambeson worn under other armour or by itself.

By the way, it was even still worn by the Hui people in Yunnan in the late XIXth century.

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Review about items

Eastern Gambeson
Sangho Cho
Eastern Gambeson

This Gambeson is authentic and practical. The Gambeson is made with quality materials--not hot and muggy poly, frail fabrics, or way too soft. I have used it in various sparrings involving heavy sparring weapons and the Gambeson prevented injuries. It is also surprisingly not too hot. It is hot of course, but given how thick this is, it is amazing that I don't overheat in generally cool weather in 15~20 Celsius degree. Which in turn, makes this a good armor even as standalone. The Gambeson is authentic. it is notable that the wraparound part goes right side up. Which is makes it even more authentic for a Korean person such as me. The only complaint I have is that the extra layer of sleeves made it a little too tight on my arms. I hope that next time, when a customer orders extra layers in the sleeves, the Steel Mastery team should add an extra few centimeters to the arm measurement of the customer.

Eastern Gambeson
 Atte Lommi
Eastern Gambeson

A well-made quality product, even when ordered in 5 layers the mobility is excellent and the fit great. At such thickness the gambeson is noticeably heavy to use, but using a belt makes the weight still distribute nicely. Due to this model overlapping, 10 layers (about 5 cm of padding) in front is plenty of protection. The long, flaring hem is rather stiff in 5 layers (especially at first), which makes it look a bit goofy but protects thighs very well on its own even when leg is bent enough to actually be in contact with the hem.

Eastern Gambeson
Eastern Gambeson

Good workmanship and nice materials, though it is a bit heavier than I expected (3 layers and leather cover).

Eastern Gambeson
Eastern Gambeson

I heard nothing but only good reviews about Steel Mastery from my friends. However, I've never ordered custom-produced products on-line, as I doubted it may be manufactured well without personal attendance (my body has some "peculiar" features, hehe). Finally, I ordered this Eastern gambeson (two-layered, black linen), provided measures and approximately in a month, I got my gambeson. What can I say - these guys have an eye for custom manufacturing! Firm stitching, nice fabrics, and what is the most important - gambeson fits me so good, not even like a glove, but like a skin, lol)) So, 5 of 5 stars and highly recommended!