Jac of Plait

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Jac of Plait

Postby finnobreanan on Sun Nov 29, 2009 8:45 pm

I did a search and found only one mention of a 'Jack' or 'Jac of Plait', so i will start one. Most of us are familiar with Derrick's Image of Ireland. In several of the scenes, Irish Chieftains are portrayed wearing a protective garment, similar to a Jack.
Image

I recently stumbled upon an image, published in The Border Reivers, of an original surviving example from the Royal Armouries, Langlee, Roxburghshire, England. It looks very similar to the garment being worn by the Irish Chieftain.
Image

Any thoughts or opinions on this? Anyone tried making one yet?
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Re: Jac of Plait

Postby brendan on Mon Nov 30, 2009 2:50 am

I am currently looking at Tudor era costume (making some actually) and this does look rather like a typical Elizabethan doublet (Note: I am talking design rather than timeline...cant remember date of the print)
....thinking about it, but I am committed to lower status for that time period so wont be going for the blingtastic version

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Re: Jac of Plait

Postby finnobreanan on Mon Nov 30, 2009 4:25 am

Brendan,

The difference with this garment and a doublet is that a Jack actually has plates of steel sewn into the body. (Hence all the outer stitching, to keep the plates in place.) It was considered a cheap form of armour. Image of Ireland was printed in 1581, and most of the representations of Irishmen wearing this garment were probably High Status/local Chieftains.

I also tend to represent low status (ask anyone), but I am intrigued by this protective garment and possibly incorporating it into a new (high status) impression.

http://www.lib.ed.ac.uk/about/bgallery/ ... 53_jpg.htm
http://www.lib.ed.ac.uk/about/bgallery/ ... 55_jpg.htm
http://www.lib.ed.ac.uk/about/bgallery/ ... 56_jpg.htm
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Re: Jac of Plait

Postby brendan on Mon Nov 30, 2009 4:49 am

OK, but the photo looks similar to the quilted armour shown in http://www.myarmoury.com/feature_spot_quilted.html

In terms of construction, is this essentially a brigandine?

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Re: Jac of Plait

Postby finnobreanan on Tue Dec 01, 2009 4:15 am

Here's the description of a 'Jack' from the book I posted the image from. I assume they are describing the original garment:

"Usaually sleeveless, and occassionally worn over a shirt of mail, the jack was constructed of two or three layers of quilted cloth, twill or linen, between which were sitched small overlapping iron plates. [hence the knotted threads in the diagonal patterns]...these plates were between 2.8 and 3.9 cms square. Eaxh plate was pierced in the center for the cord stitching, which formed a latticework pattern on the exterior of the garment. It extended from the neck to the upper thigh and fastened down the chest by means of hooks or thongs."

From this description of the construction of the surviving example, it bears a very close resemblance to the garments worn by Irish Chietains in Derrick's plates. They are portrayed wearing a garment with a diagonal design, very similar and in the same porportions as described. I don't think I would call these gambesons, but they are closely related. Just my opinion.
Last edited by finnobreanan on Tue Dec 01, 2009 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Jac of Plait

Postby brendan on Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:19 am

cool...that makes all sorts of sense that it is exactly what is being described
ponder... looks like some sort of evolution of the Brigandine, except more fashionable. Fabrics for out layer would have to be blingtastic (and not necessarily tasteful)

Maybe my making schedule just grew :?


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Re: Jac of Plait

Postby kevin714 on Wed Dec 02, 2009 10:54 pm

Finn,
Great topic, I hope you get lots of info.

Does anyone know exactly what this is that Hugh O'Neill is wearing? Is it plate armour or some type of Jack? And is that chainmail underneath?
It looks similiar to what the Chieftan is wearing also. Or am I off base.
Hugh O'Neill2.jpg
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Re: Jac of Plait

Postby finnobreanan on Thu Dec 03, 2009 3:00 pm

Wow, it certainly is unusual! This garment also resembles the armor worn by the "Irish Chieftain" in Derick's illustrations. Now I'm really confused! Here's a lithograph, based on this painting:
Image
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Re: Jac of Plait

Postby brendan on Fri Dec 04, 2009 6:14 pm

It definitely looks like Maille underneath
The structure of the outer garment/item is very similar to Tudor doublets of the period (and the cod piece is definitely typical of the period), however the pauldrons and means of fastening at the shoulder strongly suggest armour
The vertical ridges are not consistent with the shape of any plate from the period that I am aware of, but I do not profess to be an expert on the topic.
Rivets like those used are consistent with how brigandines are made i.e. metal plates

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Re: Jac of Plait

Postby finnobreanan on Fri Dec 04, 2009 6:26 pm

From what I've been reading, the brigandine and the Jack of Plate are very similar garments. I found some better images of two surviving examples of Jack of Plate, both from the Royal Armory at Leeds.
Image

Image

An interesting side note, one was recently excavated at Jamestowne in Virginia.
http://historicjamestowne.org/news/jack_plate.php

Ironically, I just discovered recently that I am decended from one of the original members who came with John Smith in 1607. His name was John Dods, and was listed on the rolls as laborer and soldier. Maybe it was great-great grand pappy's!
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