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What is gambeson?

What is gambeson? 2020-05-01

What is gambeson? 

Gambeson is a padded jacket, worn under armor, designed to mitigate enemy strikes. You know, it's a bit hurt when armor is worn on naked body. Even on thin clothing - still hurt.

But it is not enough for gambison only to mitigate, it’s also advisable not to boil you alive! So we use only 100% natural materials, no synthetics, so your body is not overheated and can breathe. Our gambesons' cover is made of linen, cotton, wool and other natural fabrics. And as  gambesons' padding we take a mixture of cotton and wool.

How to choose gambeson's model?  

We offer both historical ones, HEMA, hard combat gambesons.

Check carefully the gambeson’s description to make the right choice. Note that models with long sleeves are must-have for contact fights, short sleeved and sleeveless models are good for shows and archers. Quantity of padding layers are also important - the more contact and hard battle is expected, the more layers of padding you will need.

Gambeson's options, to choose: 

Cover fabric 

We offer you such outer materials as linen, cotton, wool, velvet, silk, brocade, and leather. Your image’s social status, region and historical period are important to make a fabric choice:

  • Noble knights don't wear cotton or linen (it’s too cheap for them), but velvet or silk. Even brocade if you re-enactment royal person. Linen, wool or leather are good for simple soldiers, even poor nobles. 
  • Choose linen, leather or wool cover (silk, velvet and brocade for VIPs) if you re-enactment Early Middle Ages and High Middle Ages. Silk, velvet, brocade, and leather for the rich people, and linen, wool, leather for the poor are good for Late Middle Ages and Renaissance. 
  • Leather and wool are the best choice for gambeson's cover from the practical point of view.
  • Note that cotton is hardly a good choice historical fabric for any period (except for South and East regions).

Layers of Gambeson's padding 

We offer gambesons with from 1 to 6 layers of padding. There is easy way to decide how many you need:

  • If you plan to take part at the LARP event, 1-2 layers will be enough. 
  • If you wear good plate armor or brigandine, 3 layers of padding are good.
  • If you wear just a chainmail or armor, which strength you are not so sure about, you better choose 4-6 layered gambison.  

Still not sure how many layers of padding you need? Why dont you order samples for gambesons layers padding we made just for this case.


There are 3 types of gambeson fastenings: leather laces, leather straps with buckles and buttons. Mostly in the Middle Ages rich people used buttons, poor ones - leather laces. 

If you choose laces, we recommend to order a version end with either steel points or brass points. 

We offer nickel-clad (more durable) buckles and brass (more historical) ones. 

You prefer buttons? Make a choice between modestly covered with fabric and posh casting ones.

Fastenings for steel arms 

We never forget to complete our gambesons with strong leather laces, designed to fasten armor parts (such as spaulders, plate arms and legs and other). We will sew them to the gambeson or just put them separately into your shipping parcel (for someone who simply cannot trust such a responsible matter even to us), for your choice.  

Bottom edge design

Are you modest or dandy? It is important for choosing your gambeson's bottom edge: a humble and straight edge or chic figured one. We offer numerous scallops designs, but can make a custom one by your pattern.

Two-color design 

One of Medieval fashion tricks - mi-party design. Usually, they were two-colored - left side of one color, right side of another. 

But we do not confine you in the choice of colors, their quantity and location. We will not allow anyone to limit your creative impulses and will implement even the most elaborate ideas!

Lining fabric 

The inner shell of your gambeson. It does matter for your convenience and your reenactment image's status. Cotton, linen or silk we recommend. 


When we ask your size (XS, S, M, L, XL, 2XL…) for our made-to-measure products, we need it not only to make it fit to you perfectly, but to make the price correction. Sure, you understand that products’ prices depend on the size, as the amount of work and quantity materials used differ considerably. 

Attaching of the sleeves 

3 types of sleeves attaching are available for gambesons:

standard type means normally sewed sleeves, 

half-sewed type of the sleeve has a hole under the armpit (this type provides better mobility than standard sleeve and better ventilation than standard gambison),

sleeves laced with leather straps can be attached or detached at any time (half-attached, if you want). 

Gambeson color

Guess :) You got it! It is the color of a gambeson cover.

Leather for fastening 

Here you choose the color of leather. 

Choose the best gambeson for yourself, and if you still have questions, no problem, contact us via email [email protected] and we will help you with them.

What is gambeson?



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Marcus B

Marcus B 2019-11-17 18:57:07

Sehr gut verarbeitet passt und sehr stabil. Sieht auch Klasse aus. Bin sehr zufrieden.


Volker 2019-07-19 20:16:39

Awesome armor! Sturdy but not too heavy. Fits perfect and provides good protection. And thanks to the front straps: you can actually put it on all on your own (which accelerates everything very well). Nice work, thanks!


Oliver 2019-05-28 16:29:07

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


Clara 2019-05-17 15:49:55

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. : )


Arno 2019-04-24 12:13:37

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.