Gambeson and aketon desgin

Feb 2011
6,428
#12
Thanks for the picture. It is much easier for me to imagine that to be as rigid as plywood. But when I think of gambeson, the first thing that comes to mind is more akin to something like this:

 
Feb 2011
6,428
#13
All that said, the main difference was that clothing was most often wool, while the gambeson was typically linen. It was either 2 layers with a filling (linen tow or raw cotton, etc.), or just multiple layers of linen, up to 30. The whole thing was quilted with rows of stitching. The reconstructed layered ones I've seen are like plywood, they cheerfully stand up by themselves! No mistaking those for regular clothing, though they WILL keep you warm!
Also, if gambeson could be "just multiple layers of linen" that has the rigidity of plywood, then doesn't that mean the linothorax (as according to some reconstructions) would be classified as a gambeson?
 

Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
4,470
Australia
#14
Also, if gambeson could be "just multiple layers of linen" that has the rigidity of plywood, then doesn't that mean the linothorax (as according to some reconstructions) would be classified as a gambeson?
Missed this earlier. Look at the primary sources on the first page of his thread. All textile armour from Europe to South America was constructed in a similar manner. It doesn't matter whether we want to call them linothoraxes, petis, escuapils, gambesons, jacks, or some other term. Sean Manning is currently collecting data for a very interesting paper on this subject. Looking forward to seeing the result.
Written Sources for Gambesons/Aketons/Pourpoints 1100-1350

His statement here is pertinent to this thread and I agree with him:
"Yes, I wish more people agreed with me that gambeson, pourpoint, jack, aketon, and jupon are basically synonyms for "quilted garment for the upper body." In some languages in some years people use 2 or 3 words and each has a more specific connotation (there is a period of about 70 years in England when the gambeson is often worn over the aketon which is worn over the shirt) but any difference in meaning is specific to a place and time, not inherent in the words."
 
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Feb 2011
6,428
#15
I'm confused with the response, sorry.
"The closest western European equivalent" to what would be the padded jack?
"Look at the primary sources on the first page of this thread", in regards to what?
Are we still talking about whether the linothorax could be classified as a gambeson?

Edit: Nvm, you edited post 14 to make it more clear.
 
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Feb 2011
6,428
#17
Then the depiction of the outer clothing on the soldiers in post 12.... what do I call them? If gambeson is as hard as plywood, and the clothing depicted in such pictures are not as hard as plywood, then they wouldn't be called gambeson. There's enough of these types of pictures around that there should be a term for them.


 
Feb 2011
6,428
#19
That is clearer to me, but wouldn't this mean that linothorax is just a type of gambeson rather than being gambeson? Because whereas gambeson could mean either flexible or hard type of armor, linothorax would only mean the hard type of armor.
 

Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
4,470
Australia
#20
As Sean said, at the time there was no distinction between the various terms - they were interchangable. I personally use "aketon" to describe underpadding, "gambeson" to describe the long flexible armours in your pics, and "jack" to describe the thick rigid armour types, but it is a purely arbitrary distinction. It would be nice if everyone used the same terms because there would be a lot less confusion. Using my personal definitions, a linothorax would be a jack.
 

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