Gambeson actively used in medieval epoch Europe in XIV century. It came from an aketon, a suit jacket or a gambison (from the English Gambeson). Knights used medieval gambeson as an indispensable element of armor plate (under drawer) or as an independent armor.
Traditionally, parts of knights armor were attached to the gambeson sleeves by linen or silk cords. In different times, this kind of armor called as a "fighting jacket". Such armor outfit was an integral part of the knight's kit. Gambeson was as an underwear of a breastplate or chain mail.
As an independent armor Gambeson was made of thick materials (presumably, the material for it was leather). Sometimes leather gambeson had from 18 to 30 protective layers.
Let’s try to understand what it is:
Gambeson in a broad sense is a padded jack, worn under or over an armour, or in a narrower context - quilted or printed fabric or leather long jacket, worn under the armour. It was also used as a separate kind of armour.
Aketon - (the term "aketon" comes from borrowing from the Arabic language al-qutn "cotton") is a cotton or linen jacket, worn under the armour, composed of several layers of thick cloth or leather, quilted together. It can be both short-sleeved, and even without them. Sometimes leather cords were sewn to the sleeves of aketon to fix the armour.
Doublet is a leather or fabric short jacket, worn under the plate armour. Unlike gambeson (in a narrow context) and aketon, doublet looked more like civilian clothes.
Pourpoint is a fabric short quilted jacket with a slim fit waist and puffed-up chest.
Jacques (jack) is multi-layer fabric short jacket, used as separate infantry armour. Sometimes it was worn over the mail armour.
Types of gambesons
- Eastern (Mongolian gambesons) – typical for East and nomads warriors – long padded gown perfect to be worn under Chinese lamellar, Mongolian armor, scale armour, or any other scale and lamellar armors. But it was also used by itself just with metal rings sewn in.
- European gambesons are the most popular and famous. Unlike the East ones, they are mostly much shorter and tighter. They had a lot of variations like:
- gambeson – padded jack worn under armour – Medieval leather gambeson,
- aketon – quilted jacket worn under or over the armor – Medieval aketon of leather,
- doublet – short padded jacket that looked more like civilian clothes – arming doublet,
- pourpoint – short quilted jacket with a slim fit waist and puffed-up chest – pourpoint of Charles de Blois stylisation.
- jacque (jack) – multi-layer widespread padded jacket that even gave its name to peasants revolts – Jacquerie.
- Female gambesons were made by special patterns to fit ladies' figures perfectly. Female royal sleeveless gambeson with delicate feminine silhouette will allow you to look like a true Lady in the heart of battle.
- HEMA jackets (HEMA gambesons) are modern quilted protection designed especially for fighters who take part in Historical European martial arts. Steel Mastery offers everything from simple training fencing set to elegant HEMA style gambeson.
- Renaissance gambesons were shortest and dandy ones like this puffed sleeves doublet.
For tailoring of the gambeson we use only natural materials. This provides not only sufficient level of protection, but also appropriate level of comfort.
Gambeson cut options and used materials will satisfy all over customers:
- supporters of historical authority - reenactments
- participants of SCA events
- Larp - "Live Action Role-Playing" participants
The proposed site models take into account the various specifics of our gambesons. At the wish of the customer gambeson can be machine or hand sewing.
As a set for gambeson warp we offer different materials (colors available): linen, silk, cotton, wool, velvet, leather, pattern fabric/brocade.
Steel Mastery offer your beautiful brocade and jacqaurd of various colors and patterns. Choose a favourite one for your medieval outfit in this article.
For the lining we use:
We can produce different types of them: short, long, sleeveless, short sleeved, closed-front.
Gambeson options: you can choose one or make your own design.
If you have any questions and additional wishes, please contact us via email [email protected] and we will be happy to provide any advice and assistance.
For tailoring of the submitted models of medieval outfits we use only natural materials. This provides not only sufficient level of protection, but also appropriate level of comfort.
Gambison cut options and used materials will satisfy all over customers:
supporters of historical authority - reenactments
participants of SCA events
Larp - "Live Action Role-Playing" participants
The proposed site models take into account the various specifics of our gambisons. At the wish of the customer it can be machine or hand sewing.
As a set for gambison warp we offer different materials:
For the lining we use:
We can produce different types of them:
Combination of two or four colored gambison is possible.
If you wish historical (mottos, names of city or area) and free nature inscriptions can be embroidered on it.
The sleeve of the gambison can be completely sewn or with a hole under the armpit for better mobility.
Padding can be done vertically, anatomically or rhomb-shaped.
The bottom edge can be decorated with festoons with configuration selected by the customer.
In case if the gambison must be fastened we offer a choice of buttons (metal, cast bronze with ornaments, buttons covered with cloth) or leather lacing.
For the plate items fastening to the gambison we recommend to use additional leather straps on the sleeves.
It is possible to select the number of layers of padding (from 2 to 6) to create the padded armour of desired thickness.
Only few simple actions are required to buy the wished gambison armour, aketon or doublet:
1. Open the page of needed model;
2. Choose outer and inner fabric for you padded under armour and its colour;
3. Choose type of sleeve attachment;
4. Select your size;
5. Choose type of fastening;
6. Add leather fastenings for plate arms, if required;
7. Choose decoration;
8. Select quantity of layers of padding, depending on your main armour.
If you wish to order such item, please choose first colour in options, and send us the second colour (and layout of colours) to [email protected]
Every model is hand-made according to the medieval patterns and customer’s individual measurements and regards.
Once you choose all options, add product to cart and make a payment. Then our manager will contact you with measurement request and specification of order’s details.
If you ran into any difficulties with choosing or you did not find required padded jack in this category, we can make it individually for you. Just send us picture with detailed description to [email protected], so we could quote you and discuss details of order.