14th c. Cotton Gambeson

14th c. Cotton Gambeson

$274.95

    • Based on contemporary medieval artwork(see Historical Inspirations below)
    • Engineered for ease of motion
    • Affordable price makes it ideal for a new combatant
    • Fully quilted
    • We also make a high end Linen Gambeson
    • Hand sewn cloth buttons like those used in period
    • Available in basic Black
    • Comes in four sizes to accommodate most body types
    • Please don’t hesitate to email  call or text us(708-502-1937) with any questions about stock or availability.

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About our Cotton Gambeson

Our Cotton gambeson is based on a combination of 14th century sources, both extant garments and contemporary artwork. We've retained the most important aspects of the historical patterns, particularly the exaggerated armhole, also called 'le grande assiette sleeve', which permits complete freedom of arm movement. Made with an outer layer of cotton this gambeson has a lighter feel and is not a thick as our linen gambeson. Its closely cut arms make it well suited for use with fitted arm harness. Taking inspiration from period garment quilting designs, it is padded with three layers of 100% cotton batting and has a light weight cotton canvas lining for a combination of protection and breath-ability. We have added a collar for additional comfort. Hand sewn cloth buttons are used similar to those used in period. These compress neatly under armour, and have an almost magical zipper effect that lets you get out of the garment quickly after a long day of fighting under a hot sun.

Read more about our arming clothes in the article The Evolution of Arming Clothes.

Note: Although machine washable in cold water, we recommend dry cleaning this item in order to extend its life to a maximum. Machine drying should always be avoided if you want to extend the life of the fabric.

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Size Chart

Size Max. Chest Measurement Max. Waist Measurement
Small 40″ / 101 cm 33″ / 84 cm
Medium 46″ / 117 cm 40″ / 101 cm
Large 50″ / 127 cm 45″ / 114 cm
XLarge 56″ / 143 cm 50″ / 127 cm

Note: This chart is meant as a general reference – while the actual sizes are larger than regular sizes this is because we discovered during our market research that due to the thickness of our gambeson most people preferred a somewhat larger size than they would normally choose in the case of civilian clothing. Please note that if you are on the cusp between sizes that general fit preferences and size of your frame should determine which size you choose. For a looser fit and/or a heavier frame order the larger size. If you prefer a more tailored fit or are of slimmer build order the smaller size. This style is designed to be looser in the chest and more fitted in the waist and hips as were the historical models.

Our basic gambeson is based on a combination of 14th century sources, both extant garments and contemporary artwork. We’ve retained the most important aspects of the historical patterns, particularly the exaggerated armhole, also called ‘le grande assiette sleeve’, which permits complete freedom of arm movement. Made with an outer layer of heavy cotton  this gambeson is the ‘budget’ version compared to our linen gambeson. Its  arm pattern make it well suited for use with arm harness. Taking inspiration from period garment quilting designs, it is padded with cotton batting and has a medium weight cotton canvas lining for a combination of protection and breathability. We have added a collar for additional comfort. Handmade cloth buttons are used just like those used in period. We recommend dry cleaning this item in order to extend its life to a maximum. Machine washing and especailly drying will break down the fibers over time. If you do choose to wash your gambeson – only do so in cold water and hang to dry – never machine dry as that is the most destructive part of modern washing.

Read more about our arming clothes in the article The Evolution of Arming Clothes.

Drawing after a detail of the
“Martyrdom of Saint Catherine” in the Little
Church of Saint Francis, circa 1360

Drawing after the mid-14th C. jack
of Charles de Blois in the Musees de
Tissus in Lyon, France

Drawing after the Jupon of Charles VI
in the Musee des Beaux-Arts de
Chartes, late 14th century

Drawing after in the Catholicon circa 1348 in Liege University, Belgium

Drawing from a detail of the Weltchronik of Rudolf von Ems circa 1360 in Austria

Fighter in black Cotton Gambeson, Medieval Men’s Shirt, black Simple Hose, Decorated Medieval Belt,  and brown Tall Boots.

Fighter in black Cotton Gambeson, Medieval Men’s Shirt, black Simple Hose, Decorated Medieval Belt,  and brown Tall Boots.

Close up of front closure detail. Note the fabric buttons as well as top stitching to ensure sturdy closure.

Fighter in black Cotton Gambeson, Medieval Men’s Shirt, and red Simple Hose