Thigh plate fitting
Rattan Sport (SCA) armour
I am back making armour, and occasionally I get asked to explain how things are done so people can do things who are far from me and unable to visit.
I explain the inevitable Internet no fit guarantee (tm) means that giving exact dimensions is no guarantee of anything fitting, so I try and get the principles across. Getting principles across can be very hard to do in five minutes at an event, so I am making these blog posts to try and get the points written down at least.
There are a few critical principles to the thigh plate.
1)The distance from the knee safety point to the thigh fold point
2) The conicality of the thigh
3) The roundness of the thigh.
The knee safety point is distance above the knee such that a plate firmly secure there does provide protection in conjunction with the knee armour. With my militia sport armour kit, this is approximately two inches (5cm) above the knee.
Te thigh fold point is the maximum height at which a thigh plate can extend which does not inhibit the user from touching their toes while the thigh plate is in place. The torso needs to be able to fold completely over the plate and allow complete range of movement.
The conicality (the degree to which your thigh is more like a cone or a tube) is different on most people. Leonardo's drawing of the man in the circles has 'standard' conicality - very fine taper with significant drop at the knee.
The roundness of the thigh can be defined with a measuring tape, but needs to have a profile - some legs are very circular, some legs are very oval.
|The red lines are the three lines that show the distance from the knee to the top of thigh|
The green line is the distance around the thigh, best measured at the bottom and the top of the shortest red line.
(fabric padding for under leg armour)
Chausses have a great deal of variance, but are essentially a tube of padding that matches the shape of the operators leg.
Long chausses are essentially padded tights, and can go a foot covering all the way to the top of the thigh. Short chausses can cover to just under the knee to the top of the thigh plate.
Chausses can be tubes of one shape only that the operator steps into, or they can be affixed and adjusted by lacing at the back.
The example listed shown at Steel mastery is long one. It has lacing at the back of the calf to gain a tighter fit, but it is a tube over the thigh. It has a strap that goes under the foot, instead of being a full sock. I chose this example because it has a most excellent rear view.
Padding can be thick or thin by choice. I tend to use one layer of cotton-wool horse blanket all over the garment, and three layers from about two fingers above the knee to two fingers below the knee. This extra padding covers the front and sides of the knee, but does not extend to the back of the knee to allow easier bending.
I find it takes me four hours to machine sew chausses. I make short chausses and my machine has an auto-eyelet setting so I make the type that is laced at the back.