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"Sheepskin Coats" Topic

6 Posts

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Heedless Horseman25 Sep 2022 6:15 p.m. PST

Nearly all figures fron Viking / Dark ages are wearing Mail, or platelets, or unarmoured.

Why does nobody consider the protection of a Thick Sheepskin coat / jacket? I have a civilian Sheepskin 3/4 length coat. The hide is quite thick… as is the fleece.

Obviously, not resistant to a 'straight on' penetration by arrow, sword, spear or axe… it would, however, definitely resist many glancing or weak strikes. Hide would certainly weaken penetration and thick fleece, absorb much impact.
It would impede movement… and, maybe, not for a Summer's day!

Not speaking of relatively thin, Bomber / Biker jackets… but a good Civilian Sheepskin Coat.


Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP26 Sep 2022 7:50 a.m. PST

That would be the same as the "buff coat" used by 15th to 17th century soldiers, both foot and mounted.


Glengarry526 Sep 2022 10:09 a.m. PST

Bulk perhaps, wearers might find it awkward and restrictive to move around in and swing a sword. Also weight and the problem of heat exhaustion, which would be common with other forms of armour. Perhaps while it may make sense there is simply a lack of evidence in archeology or literature of wearing sheepskin coats in battle? There is a fair weather bias amongst miniature manufacturers because most campaigns were fought in Spring and Summer. The gripping Beast Jomsvikings range does include figures in furs and sheepskins. link

Grelber26 Sep 2022 10:36 a.m. PST

Glengarry5, I like your concept of "fair weather bias."
Foundry does a Viking in a fur vest/waistcoat, who I think of as my "Viking biker."
Of course, leather wouldn't survive well for archaeologists 1200 years later to find. Besides, this would tend to be something that could be produced at the farm, and well, lower class, not high-class like metal armor, and the sagas, poems, and tales were written about the upper class, not the rural proletariat (so to speak).


advocate26 Sep 2022 12:24 p.m. PST

Are there any contemporary pictures of warriors – or civilians, who are largely just warriors doing peaceful things – wearing such clothes? I'm no expert, but that sort of image doesn't come to mind. I'd be happy to be corrected.

Dave Crowell26 Sep 2022 5:28 p.m. PST

I quite frequently in winter wear sheepskin mittens and vest. Both have the fleece cropped fairly short. They are quite warm, and also bulky. They would offer minimal protection in a fight. A raw hide with full fleece might offer a bit more preotection but at even greater expense in heat and loss of mobility.

Having done some experimental archeology with replica weapons and deer carcasses, there is a reason armor was made of metal. It is surprisingly easy to cut through bones.

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