Padded garments and Chainmail were used prior to the development of suits of Armor and subsequently worn in conjunction with the armor suits. A Medieval knights armor was designed and developed to protect them from any new, and even more lethal, weapons that were introduced during the violent period of the Middle Ages.
Knights Suit of Armor
Medieval Knights suit of armor was extremely expensive to produce. A knights suit of armor had to be tailor-made to fit the knight exactly. Any Incorrect sizing of a Knights suit of armor would be extremely dangerous as it could hamper the knights ability to fight. The knights suit of armor was also a status symbol. The better quality of the Knights suit of armor, the more important was the Knight. Plate Armour was first introduced during the late 13th century and Full Plate Armour was introduced during the 15th century weighing approximately 50 lbs. A knights suit of armor was strong enough to protect the knight, but light enough to allow quick movement on the battlefield. A Medieval Knights Armor was a complex series of garments, chain mail and iron plate.
Parts of a Knights Suit of Armor
The Parts of a Knights Suit of Armor were a complex series of garments, chain mail and iron plate. The pieces of a Knights Suit of Armor covered the most vulnerable parts of a knight's body. The Parts of a Knights Suit of Armor are best described by explaining the parts of the body which they covered.
Medieval Knight Clothing
Parts of a Knights Suit of Armor covering the legs and the feet
The pieces of a knights suit of armor covering the legs and the feet were as follows:
- The Sabatons were the first parts of a knights suit of armor to be put on. Sabatons were armor for the feet and consisted of riveted iron plates on the boots
- Greaves were Plate armor which protected the calf and ankles
- Poleyns were Plate armor which protected the knee cap
- Cuisses were Plate armor which protected the thigh
- Spurs - The Spurs were attached to the heel of the foot by straps and used to 'spur' the Knights horse on in battle
Parts of a Knights Suit of Armor covering the arms and hands
The pieces of a knights suit of armor covering the arms and hands were as follows:
- The Besagues which were small round 'shields' laced to the mail at the shoulder to defend the armpit
- The Rerebrace for the defence of the upper arm
- The Vambrace for the defence of the lower arm
- Hand Armor - The Knights gloves were called Gauntlets and had ringed metal plates over the fingers
Parts of a Knights Suit of Armor covering the body
The pieces of a knights suit of armor covering the body were as follows:
- The Chest Armor was referred to as the Breast Plate
- The Back Armor protecting the back was called the Backplate
- Faulds were rings of armour which were attached to the breast plate and protected the hips, abdomen and lower back
Parts of a Knights Suit of Armor covering the head and neck
The pieces of a knights suit of armor covering the head and neck were as follows:
- A Visor was a detachable piece of armor which protected the face and eyes
- Head and Neck armor. In the 13th Century the helmet was called the Bascinet which had a skirt of mail called an aventail to protect the neck
Knights Armor Weapons
A Dagger, called a roundel, and Sword were attached to the Knights belt. A shield was carried for defence and recognition purposes and displayed the Knights heraldic blazon. Spikes called Gadlings were attached to the knuckles of gauntlets.