It has been many, many years since I have played rapier. Back, in the
mid 1990's I was the Innilgard Rapier Marshal for some years (including
during the Big Ban). I had to give up due to injury of the right wrist
and knees. And here is proof that I did play! This is an Ancient
History of Innilgard pic - of some of the early Innilgard Rapier
Acadamy, as it was called then. Our motto was 'It is not how good
you are, but how good you look!' It was taken at a tourney attended
by Uta (L) and Edmund the Lame (in black). From L- R: Uta, Aylwin,
Haos, Edmund, Leonhardt and myself (a much younger self). On this day I
managed to kill a knight (Sir Haos) and utter those immortal words -
Ha! I am not left handed!
Maybe it is just turning 40 that
has kicked me in the butt, or is it that I have three people (now) on
my back to take it up again. I do not know how well I will do against
the current crop of rapier fighters, but here I go. Oh, dear. It has
been about 7 years since I have taken up the rapier. Unfortunately I
will never be able to use the metal schlagers.... pity.
Firstly, I will make my garb, do some practice and (if my past injuries
do not play up) then I will authorise and play again! If all else fails
I can authorise in rubber band gun!
make a rapier outfit based on everyday clothing worn in mid 16th
Florence, using period patterns and techniques, while adjusting to
comply to the Lochac rapier rules. Of
course, being the garb nerd I am, if the garb does not work. Forget it!
I have always fought in skirts and prefer it. So I am hoping to
period dress and doublet, in period methods, to look like everyday garb
(This will definately be a long term project) but still to conform to
the Lochac rapier rules. The best thing? All of this is made with
materials I have in my cupboard stash! Ha!
A rough diagram to show the theory.
Layers for Rapier Requirements:
I will have to have the
following punch tested: UPDATED
3/09 & 4/10
ORIGINALLY: the concept was ... Top: 2 (layers linen
= GIEORGERIA/partlet), 2 (1 layer velvet/ 1 layer lining =
GIUBONE/doublet worn over the dress). In 2009 , due to the heat of the guibone, this
layer was altered to allow for easier removal of a layer, when hot)
Layers: Revised in 3/09 & in 2/10
- Head: 3
layers of coif (hood) cloth and 1 layer of linen (embroidered) = 4
layers = Puncture
to replace guibone :1 layer linen lining + 3 layers interlining and
+1 layer velvet decoration layer = 4-5 layers = Puncture Resistant
- Lower Imbusto: 1
layer linen (camicia) + 1 layer linen (Camicia) + 1
layer (Sottona/dress) + 2 layers lining (Sottana/dress) =
4 = Puncture Resistant
- Lower Body/ Groin: 2
layers linen (calzone/abdomen) + 1 layer sottana
material + 1 layer linen (Camicia) + 1 layer faldia
(optional) = 4-5 layers on adbomen, 2-3
layers on legs = Puncture
- Arms: 1 layer linen
(Camicia sleeves) = Abrasion
- Armpit: 4
layers linen (Camicia gusset to 1/2 way down arm) = Puncture Resistant
- Legs: 1 layer linen (hose) = Abrasion Restistant
So, in keeping with Lochac
Rapier Armour rules, the camicia will be made of linen, with 4 layers
at the underarm gusset. This should also allow for a sleeveless jerkin
to be worn in summer - to be cooler. This will be covered in an Italian
doublet of 2 layers, with short sleeves to again cover the upper arm,
giving 4 layers.
This added up to a lot of work... argh! What was I thinking! So let me
start at the beginning...
And finally, the finished product at my 1st tourney
after re-authorisation at Suth Moot II.
11/05: the first three samples were punch
tested. The second (guibone -doublet) initially failed but only
the outer layer was damaged, so it passed. This would be the area on
the upper chest. I decided to add two layers of drill lining, just in
case. It appears that velvet is not as strong as one would think. The
revised layers were retested for the black velvet partlet, in early
(I have shorted the skirt and added another pintuck, as it was still
- Egerton Castle, Schools and Masters of Fencing - from
the Middle Ages to the Eighteeenth Century. Dover Publications.
NY, reprint 2003. ISBN: 0-486-42826-5
- Lochac Rapier Rules: www.sca.org.au/
- Web Gallery of Art: http://www.kfki.hu/~arthp/html/
- Arnold Janet, Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlock'd,
Maney, Leeds, 1988, ISBN:0-901286-20-6
- Arnold Janet, Patterns of Fahsion, MacMillan,
London, 1985. ISBN: 0-333-38284-6
- Juan Alcega's Tailor's Pattern Book, 1589 Facimile,
Ruth Bean, Carlton, Bedford, 1979.
- The Milanese Tailor's Handbook
- V&A Museum website: http://images.vam.ac.uk
- Bath Museum of Costume:
- Tudor & Elizabethan Portraits: http://www.tudor-portraits.com/Costumes.htm
- "How much yardage is enough" Susan Reed, 1994.
- Suggested Yardages for Elizabethan Garments by Drae
Leed. http://costume.dm.net/yardages.html# (29/5/03)
- Smocks and Chemises (Drae Leed)