The Doublet was a part of the medieval armour, often used in conjunction with the plate armour. The doublet itself was mainly a piece of clothing, worn under the doublet so as to provide added protection and help the wearer be more comfortable in wearing the hefty plate armour.
Different types of armour doublets were used throughout the different parts of medieval Europe. These were usually made from wool or linen. These materials were sewn together in a dense style in the making of doublet in order to provide protection to the wearer. The doublet evolved over time, primarily because it was directly affected by the kind of plate armour that the wearer used.
Although the doublet was used in different cultures long before medieval Europe, its earliest uses in medieval Europe can be traced back to the 10th century. As the use of armour in medieval European warfare increased, doublet became an important part of a knight’s gear. Later when plate armour proved more useful than chainmail armour, doublets became a regular part of the knight’s battlefield dress.
By the 13th century, doublets were used as part of battlefield armour all over Europe. This trend continued all the way until the 15th century. By the end of the 15th century, the use of the doublet had begun to decline. In some regions such as Italy, the doublet became fashionable in the non-combatant population and continued to be worn.
One of the primary uses of a doublet was under a chainmail or plate armour. The use of the doublet ensured that the soldier wearing the doublet was protected from suffering any physical chafing or bruising from the heavy armour. In the battlefield, the doublet also served as an additional layer of defence against the enemy’s weapons.
It was for this reason that doublet was also frequently used by the poorer soldiers as a standalone armour in itself. This was frequent in medieval European infantry and the doublet used by the infantrymen was significantly different from that worn by mounted knights.
The doublet used under armour was usually built from linen or wool and was stuffed with different materials. This type of doublet came with many points on the clothing to allow the attachment of different pieces of plate armour. Such pieces of armour which could not be directly attached to plate armour were even sewn on this kind of doublet. The doublet worn under armour varied in size from being waist-high to reaching up to the thigh of the wearer.
Another type of doublet which was used as a standalone armour, was built from sturdier material. Its exterior layer typically comprised of leather while a huge number of layers were added to it, sometimes as much as 30 layers of cotton. Such doublet was also long and high so that it reached the neck and protected it as well. So effective was this kind of doublet used as armour that its multiple layers could deflect even arrows from the enemy and significantly mitigated any damage from other weapons.