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.

The scabbard’s stopped warriors’ daggers or swords from being damaged, they 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.

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.

Medieval Scabbard

Scabbard in Detail

Types of 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.

Scabbard facts:

  • The name ‘Scabbard’ comes from an old French word, the English term is the sheath.
  • Medieval scabbards protected soldiers’ and knights’ daggers and swords from damage.
  • Wood and leather were 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.
Scabbard With Dance of Death Detailing

Scabbard With Dance of Death Detailing

  • 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 scabbards 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.
Scabbard Wooden Scabbard Protects a Medieval Sword

Scabbard Wooden Scabbard Protects a Medieval Sword

  • 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.
  • Scabbards were not commonly worn across the back in medieval Europe.
  • The blade point in a leather scabbard was often protected by a metal tip.