The most precious items to a knight were his armor, weapons, and his warhorse. These three items were very expensive. Many knights hoped to regain some of the cost through loot when they conquered enemy towns and cities.
During the Medieval era between the 5th and 15th centuries, army units would wear different types of Knight Armor
depending on their function, but typically the armor consisted of Mail or Chainmail and much later Full plate.
Parts of early-stage medieval armor was made up of interlocking iron rings which would have been welded. Slowly small plates or discs of iron were included in the armor design to shield the exposed areas of the knight wearing it.
The medieval armor sustained progress and became more and more urbane which in return led to the introduction of toughened leather. The leather was then welded or sewn together with strong iron pieces.
The armor then progressed and reached the full plate at the end of the medieval period. With the improved techniques, craftsmen started using a lot of different materials to make the armor dense but much lighter. The materials used in the making of armors include bones & hard leather during this era.
Mail And Chainmail Knight Armor:
Mail and Chainmail Armor are the most realistic form of medieval armor used in the early medieval ages. The mail armor consisted of small metal rings joined together in a pattern to form a mesh.
Initially, when mail armor was first made, it was very expensive to make and time-consuming as well. It was said that after the battle, the body of the dead knights was looted for their mail armor.
This armor was commonly used throughout most of the medieval era and is still used today in the 21st century. This type is very flexible but expensive to make.
During the start of the medieval era, knights usually did not have much head safety as they usually only wore a Mail Coif and a Hauberk. The Coif and the Hauberk were made from this chainmail and the interlocking rings of metal which were then woven into some sort of suitable fabric.
Medieval Armor in the Early Medieval Period:
In early times, the knight armor consists of various types of cloth and leather being combined before the arrival of armor craftsmen. It generally did not provide much protection.
With the advancement in technology, craftsmen discovered new techniques to make armor such as iron smelting. By this method, different metal can be forged into new different shapes which make the armor more flexible. In this way, the very first form of medieval splint armor came into being.
This typical type of armor was used to protect the limbs of the soldier wearing it. It consisted of metal strips which were fixed to the fabric or leather covering. These strips were arranged perpendicularly and then penetrated so that it can be easily sewn on to the material.
Knight Armor from the 14th Century:
At around the 14th-century chainmail armor became unsuccessful against more advanced weapons of that period. So, the plate was developed, but mail was still used by some lighter battle soldiers and on cavalry horses.
In the later times of the medieval era, many experiments were done with various types of armor. Therefore, it became more complicated. Fully up-to-date mail armor started taking place and specifically chest armor, favored by archers, known as Brigandine was included in the armory of almost all knights.
Types of Medieval Armor:
Different types of medieval armor are as follows:
· Gorget – would safeguard the neck
· Cuirass – safeguard the breast area
· Plackart – designed to add more armor to the front Faulds – safeguard the waist and hips
· Cowter – protected safeguard elbows
· Spaulders and Pauldrons – safeguard shoulders and everything in that area
· Vambraces – used to safeguard the arms
· Gauntlets – safeguard the hands
· Poleyn – safeguard knees – afterward attached to the Chausses and Tasset to safeguard the upper leg area
· Greaves – safeguard the lower area of the leg
· Cuisse – safeguard the sides of the legs
· Sabaton – covered the foot.
Those body parts which did not have plate protecting them were generally covered by mail called Gousset and an additional padded fabric called Doublet or Double doublet was worn under a harness.
Full Plate Medieval Knight Armor:
The very first form of plate armor was developed in the Middle East which was then taken by other countries. In the last era of medieval times, armor became very complicated as it was designed to safeguard every part of the human body.
Different items were added and made an impact such as full plate armor and helmets of varying shapes and sizes. A brigandine was also developed to add the leather armor before the iron and plate were attached to it.
During the 14th century, many new weapons came into being. Like the high strength crossbow which can penetrate early chainmail armor and can cause damage. So, the armor craftsman faced difficulty in producing a strong and tough armor.
The major period of armor transition began when the first plates of armor were shaped. Medieval Knight Armor had come a long way to its almost perfect form of plated mail which was at times also called plated chain-mail, splinted mail or even splinted chainmail.
This form of armor contains mail armor which was fixed with plates. The plates of Armor have different variations depending on the country they are used in and usually have the mark of the country which the soldiers fought.
The first plate armors were used for body protection. They consist of large plates worn along with laminar pauldrons. The forms afterward were created by plates of iron and steel and covered the wearer completely.
The downfall of the full plate suit of armor
started as weapons advanced and inventions such as rifles and gunpowder invented. Knight armor became used only for decorative purposes for wordplay and occasionally fashion for Kings.
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