Interesting Facts about Medieval Leather Armor

If you’re interested in purchasing authentic European style armor, chances are you may have done some research on medieval leather armor already. Leather armor, much like chain mail armor, was designed by blacksmiths for knights and soldiers to use as protection during combat. Leather armor was very popular in the early middle ages, because it was much cheaper to find than other types of armor; it was easier to make than metal ring or plate mail, and many soldiers could make their own repairs of this armor if necessary.

Who Used Leather Armor

Medieval Leather ArmorLeather armor was used by lower classes, but it was also used by nobles who either couldn’t afford more expensive armor or who chose to use leather armor as a base layer. Even as metal armors became more popular, leather armor was still used as the first layer of defense for certain areas of the body. During most of the middle ages this type of armor was the first choice for many soldiers and other individuals who needed protection during battle. Leather armor provided great protection from slashes from an enemy sword or dagger. As time went on, leather was used as an alternative to heavy metal armors when soldiers needed to maintain mobility and quickness on the battlefield.

Types of Leather Armor

Leather was the primary construction tool used for many types of armor. Originally, soldiers wore leather jackets or vests to block blows from enemies during battle. As blacksmithing became more sophisticated, people began to attach metal plates to their base layer of leather to provide additional protection. Leather armor that was left untreated only worked well for a short time. If left untreated, leather armor would often rot.

As a method of protecting the armor, people learned that boiled leather would last much longer. Boiling leather armor in a vat of oil or wax was one method to help the leather mold into certain shapes. Once boiled, the leather would be left alone to harden and dry. This would result in armor that was lighter than other types of metal armor, but was thicker and tougher than untreated leather. Boiled leather could be used to make chest plates, leather gloves, and elbow and knee pads.

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