Medieval Armor Suit – A Fighting Man’s Must Have

For the fighting class, a medieval armor suit was a necessity many needed, but oftentimes few could afford. In an age when warfare was commonplace, the need to protect oneself was an absolute must.

Considering the weapons of the battlefield ranged from swords and lances to axes, maces, pikes and arrows, a medieval suit of armor was a nice addition to a warrior’s wardrobe.

The knight in shining armor image that is instantly conjured up by the words medieval armor suit was something that was few and far between on the field of battle. Heavy steel plate armor was expensive and hard to make, thus, few warriors actually boasted full suits. Medieval armor suit offerings, therefore, typically involved a range that included leather armor and chain links and the more elaborate plate.

The history of armor itself starts long before the advent of the medieval armor suit styles many are familiar with. Pretty much as civilization and warfare rose, so too, did the need for personal armor. Considering the frequency of battle during the middle ages, it’s no surprise medieval armor suit styles became so prevalent.

When considering medieval armor suit styles, it’s important to remember the type of warfare involved. Since warriors, and even knights, dealt with those using swords, spears and bows as their chosen weapons, armor that could protect against these blows was helpful. A good medieval armor suit was made of steel plates with chain mail used to protect areas the plates could not. The pieces, however, were heavy and costly, making them a rich man’s privilege.

Chain mail came on the scene much earlier and as a medieval armor suit, it was pretty effective. Created using thousands of interlocking circlets that were riveted closed, these medieval armor suit options were decent protection against cutting weapons and even some piercing ones as well. They, however, did not offer the protection a full medieval armor suit of plate steel could provide and were phased out by the privileged class as plate was introduced in the late 13th and early 14th centuries.

In addition to metals, leather and cloth were also used in medieval armor suit making. Cloth or leather padding was an absolute must under chain mail, and it was oftentimes the only armor available for a poorer warrior. Easier to procure and easier to make, these medieval armor suit designs did not afford the protection of their metal counterparts, but they were better than nothing.

For those interested in medieval armor suit information, history books, the Internet and re-enactment societies can provide a host of information. Sites on the Internet readily explain the history of armor and how it evolved from rudimentary to elaborate during the middle ages. Some of the better sites dealing with medieval suit armor include www.knightsandarmor.com, www.armadilloarmory.com and most good encyclopedia sites.



Return to the Medieval Armor | Medieval Shields main page

Return to Medieval Castles | Medieval Siege Weapons home page