Maintenance and Measurement Instructions

 ~  Maintenance  ~   ~  Measurements  ~ 

Generally speaking you are not going to need to do much for the care of the hardened pieces. Bazubands, greaves, gauntlets, demis, and so on. The hardening process is finished using a combination of carnauba and bees wax. So that will generally take care of the 3 dreaded ?M?s? of leather armor. Moisture, mold, and mildew. If you do notice any of these on your pieces just wipe them off with a damp cloth or paper towel. If you really want to, or would like to add a bit of a shine and luster to the piece, rub it down with a dab of Skidmore?s leather cream. This is available directly from them, or you can order some from me.

However, other non hardened pieces, especially kidney belts, and arming belts, will need routine conditioning. As mentioned above I recommend Skidmore?s Leather cream. Your belts will have already been given a good rub down with it before they re shipped, and I include a sample size of it along with your order. Depending on how often you use your belt, I recommend you condition it every 6 weeks. More if you fight multiple times a week. Less if you fight only a couple of times a month. Pay special attention to conditioning the INSIDE of the belt. Sweat contains salt. Salt will dry out, split, and crack leather. And the inside of the belt is going to get pretty saturated with sweat.

For care of the scale coats, again you will need to do very little. The scales themselves are protected. But it is the canvas of the coat you will need to be concerned with. If the canvas gets wet, you will need to dry it out. Do not let it sit in a pile or the 3 ?M?s? will attack it. If you have room, lay it out flat on the floor canvas side up to let it dry. You can also turn it inside out and hang it up to dry. When hanging try to use something round and at least 2 to 3 inches in diameter. A chunk of grape stake works great. Do not use a clothes hanger. You do not want the weight of the coat stressing the seam, or stretching the canvas.

As for the lamellar, there is not much you need to do. If you are using leather laces, they are going to break at some point. Just knot them off and re-lace that spot with another thong.

To Re-stiffen your hardened leather

After a while you may notice that your hardened leather will begin to soften somewhat. Especially pieces that get a lot of direct impact abuse. Bazuband forearms, and knees take a lot of wear. How quickly this happens is impossible to predict. It depends on the amount of use and wear, how much direct impact they get, how often you fight, and environmental issues that I can’t predict. And finally you have to remember that leather is skin. It is an imperfect medium. Eventually it is going to break down. But there are things you can do to help improve its durability and functional life span.

To recondition any of the hardened leather preheat your oven to 200 degrees. This is usually the lowest setting possible on a typical home oven. Remove any padding from your pieces, and remove any thongs, laces, or nylon cords. The leather thongs and laces will be brittle, and the nylon will likely melt. Put the pieces on a cookie sheet or baking pan and put in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. DO NOT GO OVER 20 MINUTES! If you go over 20 minutes you risk warping or causing the leather to shrivel. Best to go 15 minutes and play it safe. Then remove the pieces from the oven and let them cool completely. Then check them for stiffness. You can rebake them as many times as you want, but be sure to let them cool completely before each baking. One very cool thing about rebaking your natural brown gear is that you might notice that all the impact fractures on the surface of the leather disappear. I have a number of customers that rebake their gear after each time they use it just for the cosmetic effect! Normally it only takes one or two bakes to return them to stiff. But if after 6 or more consecutive bakes they do not regain any stiffness, it could be that the leather itself is starting to break down. At that point there is not much anyone can do. Sorry, nothing lasts forever. But if you take a little care and follow the above procedures you should be able to get a nice long functional life out of my armor.

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 ~  Scale  ~   ~  Leg  ~   ~  Bazuband  ~   ~  Neck/Shoulder  ~   ~  Hand  ~ 

One of the ways to tell a good armorer from a bad one on the net is by how detailed their measurement instructions are, and how many measurements they ask for. There is no such thing as a ?one size fits all? in armor. Nor does everyone fall into small, medium, and large, categories. Nearly all of my armor is made to order, using your personal measurements. So it will fit you, not everyone else.

Measurements for Scale Body Armor
Be sure to be wearing your gambezon, or fighting clothing, while taking these measurements

Around the waist

Around the chest

From the top of your shoulder near the neck down to the waist

From the top of your shoulder near the neck down to the knee, or the total length you want

From the top of your shoulder near the neck down to the point of your shoulder

From the point of your shoulder across your back to the other point of your shoulder. This is a straight across measurement. I need to know how wide your shoulders are.

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Measurements for Leg Armor

For Shovel Greaves

While wearing your fighting foot gear

Around your ankle

Around your calf

With your foot up on a chair, from the top of your foot where it meets your shin to the middle of your knee cap.

For standard non-shovel greaves

While wearing your fighting foot gear

Around your ankle

Around your calf

With your foot up on a chair, from the top of your foot where it meets your shin up to the length you need.You should be wearing your knee protection while making this measurement.

For Quisses (Thigh armor)

From your hip down the outside of your thigh to the side bone of your knee

From your groin down the inside of your thigh to the bone on the inside of your knee. Make sure you are kneeling, or have your foot up on a chair while taking this measurement. Remember the idea is to NOT stab yourself in the groin while fighting from your knees in the SCA. ?

Measure around the thigh at groin height

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Measurements for Bazubands
Room for padding is taken into account, so please take these measurements wearing nothing more than a shirt. If for some reason you do not want to have room for padding, let me know when you order. Padding is STRONGLY recommended

Around the wrist

With your arm bent at a 90 degree angle, from the back of the wrist to the point of the elbow

With your arm bent at a 90 degree angle, and your hand in a fist, around the thickest part of your forearm.

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Measurements for Neck & Shoulder Armor
Around the neck

From the notch of your collar bones in the front to the point wear your throat meets your jaw

From the top of the shoulder where it meets the neck in a straight line to the jaw. See example.

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Measurements for Full Gauntlets and Demi Gauntlets.
I will need to know what size men?s work glove you wear. Yes ladies, for the purpose of this measurement use a men?s work glove. If a small men?s work glove it still too large let me know that.

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