The name scabbard comes from an old French word and basically means a container for a dagger or sword, the English equivalent of this word is the sheath. Scabbard’s stopped warriors daggers or swords from being damaged, it protected the blade when it was not in use.
How was a Scabbard made?
Medieval scabbards could be made from numerous materials but the most popular were leather and wood, more advanced Scabbards usually owned by wealthy people were lined with wool and the lanolin within the wool would protect the sword or dagger inside the scabbard from rusting.
Scabbard in Detail
Types of Medieval Scabbard
There were various different designs of the medieval scabbard, some were designed to be accessed at the waist worn and could be held in place by a belt, whilst others could be placed over the shoulder with the scabbard held across the back. Some more advanced scabbards would have a locket at the top of them which would stop the blade from rising up and hold the dagger or sword in place just below the hilt.
Medieval Scabbard facts:
- The name scabbard comes from and old French word, the English term is sheath
- Medieval scabbards protected soldiers and knights daggers and swords from damage
- Wood and leather was commonly used in the design of a medieval scabbard
- Quality medieval scabbards were lined with wool which stopped metal from rusting
- Quality scabbards would have a locket at the top which gripped the blade
- Scabbards could be made from soaked and dried leather
- The scabbard could be worn on the waist secured by a belt or over the shoulder
- In later medieval times thin wood was used to make scabbards
- Scabbards could also be made from metal such as brass and steel
- Later wooden scabbard were covered in fabric and leather and could have intricate designs
- Early scabbards were designed to carry a weapon and not to protect the weapon blade
- Metal scabbards were a sign of wealth and prestige and were popular amongst the elites
- Scabbards could have very intricate designs especially for the elites
- Scabbard were not commonly worn across the back in medieval Europe
- The blade point in a leather scabbard was often protected by a metal tip