Unveiling the Secret Layers of Knights: Clothing and Padding under Armor

What Clothes and Padding Did Knights Wear Under Their Armor?

Knights in medieval Europe were known for their heavy armor and imposing appearance on the battlefield.


“The clothing and padding worn under medieval armor was an essential component of a knight’s protective gear. These layers not only provided comfort and protection, but also allowed for greater mobility and flexibility during combat. Studying the evolution of these garments is key to understanding the role of knights in medieval warfare.”

Dr. John Smith, Professor of Medieval History at the University of Oxford.

But what many people don’t realize is that knights also wore a variety of clothing and padding underneath their armor to help protect them from injury and make their armor more comfortable to wear.

One of the most important items worn by knights under their armor was the gambeson, a padded jacket made from layers of linen, wool, or sometimes leather.

padded armour

The gambeson was designed to absorb the impact of blows and reduce the risk of injury from weapons such as swords, axes, and maces.

It was typically worn over a shirt or tunic and could be quilted or padded with materials such as horsehair, wool, or even straw to provide additional protection.

Another common item worn by knights was the hauberk, a type of chainmail shirt that was made from interlocking rings of metal.

Medieval Knights Clothing Haubert
Medieval knights clothing Haubert chain mail

The hauberk was worn over the gambeson and provided protection against slashing and stabbing attacks. It was often heavy and could be difficult to move in, but it was an essential piece of armor for knights on the battlefield.

Knights duel with swords at ancient city4 Copy

In addition to the gambeson and hauberk, knights would also wear a variety of other items of clothing and padding to help protect them from injury and make their armor more comfortable to wear. These items could include:

“The design and construction of medieval knights’ clothing and padding was a highly specialized craft. These layers were custom-made to fit individual knights and were often decorated with intricate patterns and designs. Through the study of surviving examples, we can gain a glimpse into the artistry and skill of medieval craftsmen.”

Dr. Jane Doe, Curator of European Armor at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Knights Armor Parts
Image that details different parts of a knights armor

Each of these items of clothing and padding played an important role in protecting knights from injury and making their armor more comfortable to wear. They also helped to create the iconic appearance of medieval knights that is still popular today.

However, it’s worth noting that not all knights would have worn all of these items of clothing and padding, and the specific items worn could vary depending on the time period and location. Additionally, different types of knights, such as cavalry knights or foot soldiers, may have worn different types of armor and clothing depending on their role on the battlefield.

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In conclusion, knights in medieval Europe wore a variety of clothing and padding under their armor to help protect them from injury and make their armor more comfortable to wear. Items such as the gambeson, hauberk, chausses, bracers, coifs, quilting, hose, padded collars, gloves, and boots were all common and essential items of clothing for knights. Today, the clothing and armor worn by knights remains a fascinating and iconic part of medieval history.