Mail Armour Research for the Re-enactor

Here is a collection of useful articles, papers and resources for re-enactors looking to use mail armour. Whether you’re building from scratch or modifying commercially available mail armour, most re-enactors can benefit from some extra information on how their mail is supposed to work and how it should be shaped.

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What Colour were Medieval Clothes?

Whether you’re having your medieval clothes made, or buying fabric to make them yourself, the first question new re-enactors ask is “What colour should my clothes be?” The correct, but unhelpful, answer is “It depends”. It depends on the precise period of history, the place, the socio-economic status, the profession etc of the person you’re portraying.

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Group Knives

Originally posted to the forum – research about kitchen knives for Company of the Staple by Richard.

I have been looking through various books and manuscripts in pursuit of images of kitchen and dining scenes. Sadly the desire to draw meticulously detailed pictures of kitchen and table implements seems to have been slightly lacking in the mind of the 14th century artist.

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14th Century Curfew

Medieval curfews, also known as “couvre-feu”  or fire covers, are ceramic or iron covers used to keep the embers of the fire overnight. They are an example of how doing things the medieval way is easier than trying to adapt modern ways to this lifestyle.

The current convention, and a requirement of many sites, is to put the fire out each night ,and then restart the fire each morning.

This causes a lot of additional work, particularly if water is used to put the fire out each night, as new kindling and tinder must be used to build up the fire to the ember stage.

Using a curfew to keep embers overnight, allows the initial work to be skipped, and the fire can be built back into a proper cooking fire quite quickly. It also takes less skill and know-how to get a fire going again when there are embers as a starting point, compared to starting completely from scratch.


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Tucking your dress into your belt – Sources

It can be quite easy to fall into re-enactorisms. “Why are you doing it like that?” “Oh, because so-and-so does it like this”

So my goal for 2018 is to document all the little things where when someone asks us “and why do you do it like that?”

I’m starting off with a fairly light-hearted subject -tucking your dress into your belt while you work.

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