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This 2XL size gambeson is made from heavy cotton and is padded from three layers of wool felt. This garment will give full comfort, freedom of movement and protection to the wearer. This particular gambeson weighs almost 4 kilos, most others you will see on the internet, of this size, weigh considerably less. Lighter gambesons might make nice dandy costumes, but they don't make effective armour. This gambeson may not save you money when compared to certain others, but it will save you on bruises and broken bones. It's your safety, don't go cheap on yourself!
The Gambeson, called also the Wambais and Aketon, was a quilted garment, either used as the sole defence by the foot-soldier, or, by the knight, worn under the hauberk (chain mail) to prevent it from bruising the body under the impact of a blow. Many period illustrations also show that chain mail shirts were worn below a gambeson.
The Gambeson, is perhaps the most ancient of all armours and was known to the early Egyptians. It was padded with a soft material such as wool, or tow, or cloth reduced to shreds, which was enclosed between two layers of material and then sewn together. Although offering but little opposition to a lance-thrust or the stab of a dagger, it took most of the power out of a sword cut and could stop an arrow fired from a long range. Against the mace, or a stone from a sling, it was of great use in preventing bones from being broken.
For battle re-enactors, the protection it affords from heavy blunt impacts is superior to that of chain mail worn by itself. If worn over chainmail (as was common back in the day) the protection afforded is quite substantial. The belt shown in the picture is also available, please check our listings.
I just received my one of these (mine was an XL and is a great fit for my 43" 109cm chest).
This is good quality garment with a cotton shell on wool padding - sturdy enough to be good for SCA (plus required kidney, elbow and mad-if-you-don't sword arm vambrace).
You pull it on and off over your head, similar to a hauberk.
It is exactly what I was looking for, and will serve very well with some sewn in plastic plates for kidneys and some black-cloth covered minimal elbows and vambrace. Especially if you are going for a mac bible inspired 13th century kit. Colm on 5th Feb 2016