Thursday, May 27, 2010

Knives and leather

love your blog.

Question about the recent post which mentioned knives easily cutting
through and leather:

I've not tested what sort of difference that it would make yet, but I
know that back in the day, the leather went through a hardening
process when it was turned into armor. As a follow up, I was
wonderning if anyone you knew ever tried using some sort of armor
specifically with knife attacks in mind (like someone wearing leather
or mail on their forearms underneath their clothes). Properly made
mail, would provide an excellent defense against slashes and some
thrusts. (Perhaps could be woven into jackets or something... would
there be a market for that kind of thing?)

hope you have a good trip.


Hi, leather used to be treated with boiling oil to make it harder, but even without that treatment ordinary leather is still pretty resistant and I like the idea of a leather jacket more and more again slashes.As a matter of fact, I brought my leather jacket to Texas during this trip.
Sure isn't perfect, and a razor sharp blade will still slash through it, but its still much better than no leather protection at all.
I really dont think mail would have much practical use.
A good leather jacket, made of quality leather, gives you some protection and still follows the gray man line of thinking.



i38warhawk said...

A leather jacket in 94 degree Texas heat, you are hardcore Fernando.

Anonymous said...

Hi FerFal!
This is in response to using leather as an added knife shield.
While you are in Texas, look for the right kind of people and they will tell you about horse leather- that's right- good old horse hide!
In a simple discription of it is like walking with iron underwear on. If you made a jacket of the stuff it literally will stand up by itself! the hide doesn't budge!
Back in my day, I had a vest made of the stuff that I wore under my leather jacket. it was tailored close to my body with the edges overlapping so there were no openings a pig sticker could get through. I had my outer upper arms protected by having the jacket inserted with the same stuff.
Now, if someone comes at you full on stab mode, you still are in a world of hurt, so you have to be pro-active in self preservation. But, slices and glancing shots wil be absorbed by the leather layers, giving you time to properly dispose of the problem...nuff said.

Anonymous said...

They also sell a belt designed for motorcycle riders that is supposed to protect your lower back / kidneys from damage - very heavy leather. Almost like those heavy weight backstrain, only without the suspenders. Take a heck of a knife to get through those.

Unknown said...

I agree with Warhawk, a leather jacket in Texas right now is more than I could do, and I'm only a few miles down the road.

Remember the purpose of armor, back in the day, was not to have the wearer sit still and receive the full force of a direct attack and magically repel it. The purpose was to allow the wearer to move in such a way as to force a weapon to either get caught in it or glance off without doing serious damage to the wearer. That is why chain-mail was worn loose, as opposed to the very tight way as is shown on TV.

However, somebody with a quality knife stabbing you...you're in trouble even if you're wearing a steel suit. Thick leather is better than nothing, but (as anonymous 11:02 alluded) don't fall into the trap of thinking it is some kind of impervious armor.

Blackeagle said...

John Farnam reported on some tests involving stabbing through leather into ballistic gelatin a couple of years ago. The results are pretty interesting. Leather doesn't provide a huge amount of protection to a stab really sharp, high quality knife, but for something dull or poorly designed for stabbing, it does quite well.


Matt said...

You might be able to manufacture polymer inserts to slide into the lining or your leather jacket to improve the slice resistance, but not overly weight you down. I'd consider using some of the material they make the flexible cutting boards out of, or maybe some type of concealex/jydex.

My Father was a meat cutter and he wore an apron, everyday, that had steel woven into it. It was to protect his groin and upper legs from a dropped knife. It was light and flexible, and truly did work.

Anonymous said...

There are a few websites that offer ballistic clothing that looks unassuming (denim jackets, leather jackets, etc.) Might be good to buy now for when things get tougher later. One such website is www.bulletproofclothing.co.uk/disguised.

Anonymous said...

Back in the days of knights in shining armor not everybody could afford the shiny kind. Cow or even horse hide was boiled. This is very pliant until it dries. once dry, it's pretty darned tough. this wet, boiled hide was cut to shape and patted smoothly onto body-shaped wooden forms to dry.
The process smells pretty bad so don't try this out in your wife's kitchen, boys.