Search
Browse Categories
Revival Clothing



The Ubiquitous Cloak

 

Unlike thecotehardie,houppelandeor doublet, the cloak requires little explanation even to those unfamiliar with medieval or Renaissance clothing. A loose skin, fur or fabric wrap was an all-purpose outer layer of clothing for nearly all cultures from the Neolithic Age to the 19th century. Although its waning popularity in the last hundred years has largely relegated it to &quote;historical&quote; and &quote;vintage&quote; clothing, the cloak persists in popular imagination as a staple of both quasi-historic fantastic literature and the far-future realms of science fiction.

In ancient times and pastoral cultures, the simple shape of the cloak has spoken to its twin nature as an outer garment by day and makeshift bedding by night, making it a staple garment for both genders of all classes and cultures. Whether it be the distinctive red cloak of the Roman centurion, the sweeping mantle of a Byzantine Emperor, the striped hayk of Arabian nomads, the woven poncho of a Peruvian, or the silken opera cape of the Victorian gentleman, the basic form and function of the garment remains the same. Although occasionally a simple rectangle of fabric, particularly in earlier periods and amongst more primitive cultures, for most of its history the cloak has either been semi-circular or circular in shape. What has changed from time to time, and place to place are the preferred fabrics, length and methods of closure used in its manufacture.

Most primitive and ancient cloaks were simply draped and pinned about the person. By the classical era, there were clear national styles, even within as relatively small a region as the eastern Mediterranean. In the warm climate of North Africa, where even the wealthiest classes often wore little more than a kilt, the cloak was simply a light covering against sun and wind, and the Egyptians favored a shorter cape made of very fine cotton, arranged in careful pleats descending from a broad, decorative neckband. Across the Mediterranean, Greeks and Romans favored larger, heavier garments that were designed to provide warmth in winter and protect against rain. Peasants, soldiers and traveling men wore knee-length cloaks that fasted at the shoulder, such as the Greek chlamys and the Roman sagum. The Roman, paenula followed a similar model, but added a short hood to cover the head. These short cloaks were generally woolen, not pleated cotton, but otherwise differed little from their Egyptian counterparts. However, amongst both sexes of the middle and upper classes an entirely different type of garment, the Greek himation and the Roman palla, was worn, comprised of rectangular lengths of fabric draped and wrapped about the body. The most distinctive Roman garment, the woolen toga, was nothing more than an outgrowth of these older, wrapped mantles, which became the symbol of Roman citizenship. It was considered scandalous for women to wear the toga, and they instead wore the simpler palla, which functioned as both cloak and veil.


A statue of Livia Drusila in the stola and palla of a Roman free woman.

North of the Alps, the Iron Age cloak followed a similar pattern throughout Europe for both sexes, and was not dissimilar to the Greek chamlys - a predominantly square or rectangular cloak, usually about knee length, fastened at the shoulder by a brooch or pin. The shoulder fastening was particularly common for men, as closing the cloak at the right shoulder kept the right arm - the sword arm - uninhibited. Northern cloaks were generally woolen, and sometimes fur-lined. They might have hoods, but commonly a separate hood or hat was worn.

Although Byzantine fashion went through many changes during the 1000 years in which the Eastern Empire outlived its Western counterpart, Byzantine society was highly conservative, and continued to reference its classical antecedents. Although the toga itself had been replaced by the tunic and dalmatic in the 6th century, the old Greek chlamys, fashioned at the shoulder, persisted throughout the Middle Ages, although it could be worn as short as hip-length or as long as to the ankles. Byzantine fashion, and artistic models, remained so rigid through the Empire's history that there is virtually no difference between the long chlamys depicted on a mosaic of the Emperor Justinian in the 6th century, from that shown in the icon of a military saint in the 14th.

  
The Byzantine cloak remained virtually unchanged throughout the Empire's history as
seen in this 6th c mosaic of Justinian I in Ravenna, Italy, and this 14th c icon in Istanbul.

Classical fashions influenced European cloaks in a more subtle fashion. In the early Middle Ages, short cloaks, and those of the working classes, more or less followed the old, Germanic model: square, rectangular or semi-circular, and usually pinned at the shoulder. Fabric was invariably woolen, and length was mid-knee to ankle. In the late 11th century the &quote;mantle&quote;, a long, voluminous semi-circle cloak, supplanted the old rectangular cloak amongst the nobility and wealthier classes. Unlike earlier circular cloaks, the mantle was far more-fully cut and generally closed in the front by cords or chains across the chest, often attached to a metal boss on each side of the garment.

By the turn of the 13th century, the first full circle cloaks had appeared. An example of conspicuous consumption, full-circle mantles could be worn like their half-circle counterparts, but were more commonly worn in one of two fashions. The first used the same front-closure and then took the vertical hem from one side and pulled the fabric up and over the opposite shoulder, and onto the back. The second fashion drew one side of the edge well over the left shoulder and across the chest, where the extra fabric was tucked through the belt. The overall effect hearkened back, consciously or unconsciously, to the late Roman toga, and is usually only depicted in the images of great magnates.


The elaborately embroidered coronation cloak of Roger II (1095 - 1154) of Italy is not only a perfect
example of the medieval &quote;mantle&quote;, but is one of the best preserved pieces of medieval clothing extant.


In the mid-13th century there was a short-lived fashion called thegardecorps. This unusual over garment had a pair of long, wide sleeves that were added to the body of the old knightly surcoat. The sleeves were cut with a vertical opening near the armpits so that the arms could pass through and be free of the garment when its bulk and warmth was not required. Overall length could vary, but was usually no more than knee length. The garment could be worn with a hood and shoulder cape, or might have an integral hood of its own. An outgrowth of the surcoat, the gardecorps was meant to replace both that garment and the cloak as a final layer when traveling outdoors. Although in many ways it pre-figured the short, split-sleeve houppelandes of the 15th century, the gardecorps was never a dominant fashion and it was the separate cloak and over tunic that persisted and evolved in the 14th century.

  
The Gardecorp was a short-lived fashion, combining both cloak and surcoat.


Most high and late medieval cloaks did not have an integral hood. Instead, it was worn with a separate hood that usually had a cowl which fell completely overly the shoulders. Although the lack of integral hood at first seems odd, the arrangement provided two layers of wool over the neck, throat and shoulders during inclement weather, which worked much better to keep rain, snow and cold air out. Conversely, in warmer weather, the cloak could be set-aside to reduce heat, while the hood was still present to cover the head against rain and sun. For additional warmth, mantles were often lined; sometimes with a contrasting fabric, or with fur amongst the wealthy.


Although the semi- and full circular cloak retained its basic form during the later Middle Ages it is shown as being worn less often by the wealthy, except usually in winter and when travelling. This is likely attributable to the appearance of the voluminous houppelande, usually worn over a doublet or gown, which like the gardecorp before it provided a great deal of warmth and protection from the elements, especially when worn with a separate hood or chaperone.


A beautifully preserved cloak of the late 16th century,
now in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

At the turn of the 16th century, cloaks again began to be seen as a more common component of daily fashion, both in their old form, and increasingly in the style of a shorter cape. The influence of Spanish fashion, where the cloak had always remained popular, during the second half of the sixteenth century led to the reintroduction of cloaks throughout Europe. Spanish styles varied greatly in length and fullness, by the addition of hanging or open sleeves, such as had been seen with the gardecorps and houppelandes, and by the use of a wide or turned back collar. Cloaks could be worn over both shoulders or covering only one, draped over an arm or slung around the body by its fastening cords. As in previous centuries, the wealth commissioned their cloaks in sumptuous fabrics, but now particular attention was paid to the lining, which was often as elaborate as the outer shell.

The cloak continued to be an item of fashionable dress for men in the seventeenth century until, in the last quarter of the century the advent of the habit d la francaise finally replaced the cloak with the traditional three-piece suit. With the development of the men's suit, also came the appearance of the greatcoat, and the cloak's popularity began to wane for the final time. By the nineteenth century, men generally wore greatcoats rather than cloaks, but voluminous cloaks with shoulder capes still persisted when travelling, and black opera capes were fashionable with evening dress. The opera cloak was usually of velvet or cloth, fastened with silk cords and lined with coloured silk. Cloaks and capes had persisted in feminine fashion all this time because their fullness and looseness was well-suited to wearing over the immense skirts of the period. But as women's clothing assumed a more natural line in the 20th century, female versions of the overcoat also became more popular, and finally all but completely supplanted the cloak.


©2009 Revival Clothing

 
 
Log In
 
Shopping Cart
Your cart is empty.

Featured Article:
Inspiration for Customizing your Medieval Clothing
 
From Our Customers
 

LOVED the shoes.  Danced in them all night, no insoles, no problem.  Never been able to do that before with period shoes.

Aggie
Ottawa, Illinois USA
 
- More -

I deeply appreciate the Gaston Phebus line.  I wear it frequently (average 2x / wk these days) when pursuing game with longbow, crossbow, spear, javelin and hawk.  I have been wearing elements of the Gaston Phebus line when taking elk, boar, rabbit & squirrel in the last 12 months.  I have recommended the clothing line to a number of fellow medieval hunting enthusiasts.  The Gaston Phebus line has held up to some pretty heavy hunting abuse.  I've been through shoulder high brambles innumerable times that have pulled a few threads, but I remain exceedingly pleased with the performance of the clothing in the field for its intended purpose. Primarily, I wanted you to know how greatly I appreciate the research you put into your products, and the quality of the workmanship.  I regularly put the wool Gaston Phebus full wardrobe through intense field abuse and it has held together better than ANY comparable product I have purchased anywhere in the last 20 years.

All the best,
Richard Swinney

Dear Revival Clothing Last year, you kindly gave me permission to use your models and costumes as references for part of a pastel painting I was working on.  The painting is finally finished, and I thought you might like to see a scan of the end result, which I have titled 'Champion of Warwick'.  I added a few more figures to my original design and I think they have made a nice colourful crowd and added to the atmosphere. I'll be submitting the painting for the annual exhibition of the Society of Equestrian Artists at the Mall Galleries, London, in July, and will also be producing a limited edition of prints of the painting. Many thanks for your kind help.

Mary Herbert
Leicestershire, England

Hi Everybody knows about you guys! You folks are one of the west's authorities on 12th to 15th century garments! You folks are amazing! Customer service extraordinaire! I am telling everyone at knights about you guys! Anyway.....thanks again....we will be doing lots of business together in the future. Cheers!

Cheers Daniel MacMullinAlberta, CA

I received my apron dress yesterday and LOVE LOVE LOVE it!! I will certainly be ordering from you again, and referring my friends as well :)  Thank you for a smooth transaction and a wonderful product. Yay!

Laurie Magen

Just received my order (hat, hose, and belt). Everything arrived quickly and exactly as described. You have proven that it IS possible to combine top notch living history items with modern customer service. Thank you!

HZ

I received my low medieval boots on Saturday afternoon and wanted to tell you how thoroughly satisfied I am with them. Finally I have shoes that look terrific with my Fourteenth Century harness and that I am not afraid to fight in. I have already taken them to my local shoe repair shop, where they confirmed that once I wore out the soles, they could easily repair them. The quality of these shoes is everything that I would expect to see from your firm, and I am putting your new riding boots on my Christmas wish list. Thank you for offering this fine product.

Arthur A. Donadio Attorney at Law

I have ordered several items from your online store, and have to say that I have been impressed beyond expectation. The quality of your products and the speed of service make it an absolute joy to bring my business to your door. I heard about you through a friends reference. When I opened your web page, I knew almost instantly that I would be spending quite a bit of money here, and happily so. Thanks for all the great products, and once again, thank your for your strict professionalism. It has been a profound experience to patronize your shop and will recommend you to all my acquaintances.

Jeff Anderson
(SKA Baron Sir Tryggvar Halfdan)

Riverdale, UT

Everything is awesome The 14th century silk ensemble rocks (silk cotte, chauses, and hood; medieval shirt, braes, belt with bars, and belt pouch) -- I think you've hit a very accessible and pleasing balance between price point and workmanship. I've never had a complete outfit medieval outfit before, and this is by no means a bad way to start. Tell Greg he was right -- once you've gone 1300s, it's hard to go back (to the 16th or 21st centuries). I was a little worried about how bright the silk chauses were going to be, based on your photos. I was thrilled with the actual item -- the colors are intense, vivid, but not eye-pokingly bright. The braes + chauses combo is so insanely comfortable, I want to wear it around the house (plus shirt, of course) -- except there's no one for whom to look good and pose. :P The 15th century ensemble is equally awesome (brocade doublet, 15th cen shirt, cotton joined hose, chaperone). The fit of the shirt in particular is really pleasing. I think I look great in it. Had to get a little used to the hose, and still figuring out the crotch + inseam / codpiece and how to get comfortable. I love the chaperone. Ever since Brian (from Darkwood Armory) and Greg each showed me how to wear chaperones and Greg stuck one on my head, I've wanted one. Now I have one, and in an awesome color (burgundy). I could also prance around the house in it, but I'll refrain -- I'll prance around in front of my friends, instead! The fit of the pourpoint is exactly everything I thought it would be -- and it rocks. Can't wait to adapt and point my leg harness to it.

Cheers,
Dakao Do

Here is my Burgundian Nobleman outfit. My reason for choosing your fine products is that you do clothing for the upper classes.

A happy customer,
Michael Bannerman

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Hi, I am in Brisbane Australia and I recently received a pair of your black medieval ankle boots and they are awesome indeed…very comfortable and nicely handcrafted. hank you. And once again “Love the boots”

Regards,
Russell Sky

Brisbane, Australia

The Pourpoint is the answer for supporting Leg Harness.I have the Revival pourpoint.. and I can say without reservation that it is the best, most comfortable,most stable arrangement for holding up leg harness I have ever used, and I have used them all. In 22 years of armoured combat I have never had a harness more comfortable and high performing than I do now.. all due to the Revival Arming Pourpoint. The key is to have the pourpoint.. **very** tight, the sides of the garment opening should **just** meet when snugged very tight on the hips.. and if you are conventionally shaped this will mean that the garment *won't* meet over the chest. This is the proper fit IMO, ( this has the added benefit of girdling in your extra padding and providing a more svelte profile ) Also you must reinforce the points with leather or fabric patches to ensure the points don't tear out in vigorous combat. The point placement is perfect for me.. and if you are wearing the proper size they should be ok for most. There must be one point over the rotation point of the side of the hip.. right at the insertion of the hip joint. The other point should be at the center point of the leg harness. I strongly endorse this product. Revival clothing has the answer.

Brian McIlmoyle A.I. IMAF
Principal Instructor AEMMA

Toronto, Canada

Hi folks I just wanted to let you all know that the parcel came today....two days before the event! We are so excited and pleased....you made our day! The courtesy and professionalism shown by you csr's, shipping department and management team, far outshine many companies I have dealt with in the past....I am in awe of you guys! People wonder why I shop online......we'll, they wouldn't if they knew the type of people we meet and become friends with. Many thanks, and everyone in our city will be in fits of envy when they see us fight and feast this weekend. Thank you, thank you, thank you! We will be doing much business in the future, and everyone in our club will be, as well! Cheers

Sir Daniel Wallace MacMullinThd., Esq.
Alberta, Canada

Dear folks at Revival Clothing Awesome! I received my shipment today...on my birthday!  Took less than 3 days...thank you. I'm very happy, I love everything.  Now I'm ready for the Selohar gatherings.  Now I must buy more. Thanks

Todd Sullivan
Sandy Creek, NY

I received the new linen gambeson, and it fits wonderfully. There is no restriction of movement, and it's much lighter then my old cotton gambeson. I absolutely love it. It looks fantastic also! You guys are a true artists.

Have a great day,
Tom Pfister

Des Plaines, Illinois, USA

Hi, I just received your linen gambeson and it fits like a glove and the gloves fit as well. The quality and speed of my order was very impressive. I am extremely satisfied. Thank you all so much.

All the best,
Peter C.

British Columbia, Canada

I received my Linen Gambeson last Friday and I could not be more pleased ... It is a beautiful piece in it`s own right and will function perfectly - it seems to fit like a glove - plenty of room for movement , yet form fitting under the armor - And the sleeves are long enough! Once again I am impressed with your courtesy and professionalism ... Thanks again and all the best for the new year!

Tim Mathews
St. Paul, MN

Saw you guys at Pennsic and was impressed. I love the look of the 14th century and you guys capture it well.

Joe Farley
Alabama, USA

It just arrived today :) All I have to say is, wow, that is a gambeson! It fits perfectly...and it has that solid feel to it that definitely reminds me of the fact that often they were worn as the only armor. Thanks again!

Robert Zamoida
The Historical Martial Study Society
Waldorf, MD

Hi Nicole, I am touched by outpouring of support from so many folks in the WMA community. Thanks so much for your generous donation. It will be much used and appreciated by all of us in our training group here.I will be sure to send you some pictures of us training with your gambesons when they arrive!

Thanks again,
CW3 Jeffrey Larson

82nd Airborne”
Read more about medieval swordsmanship in Afghanistan...

I just wanted to let you know that I received my order and everything is beautiful!  Very nice workmanship and quality of fabrics!  I'll be all set for my trip to the summer faire at Camlann Medieval village.  I already had full wardrobes for renaissance faires and pirate events, but didn't have anything correct for the 1376 setting at Camlann and these pieces will work beautifully.  Thank you so much.

Ragan Zessin

Recently my wife ordered for me the green wool hood/chaperone.  WE both love it.  It fits and looks great!  I am a BIG guy at 6' 5" tall and it looks appropriate.  It was a pleasure to deal to do business with you and we will order again.  I am definitely interested in upcoming 15 century clothing and  I am hoping you will offer them in bigger sizes.(nudge nudge wink wink;) I have attached a pic of me at the Bristol Ren Faire so you can see your work in action. Thanks again,

Randy Cieszynski
Bourbonnais, Illinois, USA

Just a quick word to say a very big thank you for: your very prompt and efficient dispatch of orders, the quality and look of your products, and for being there. After 21 years of 17th/18th century re-enactment in the UK & Europe I wasn't sure how easy it would be to re-equip myself for the mid 14th century out here in New Zealand. You've made it immeasurably easier and it's been a real pleasure doing business with you. I look forward to making further purchases over the coming months & years.

Mark Godwin

I tested my new linen gambeson yesterday in combat. Your design is perfect for sword fighting. The garment provides a good fit, yet provides complete mobility of the shoulders. I also received many compliments on its aesthetic and period qualities. I especially like the breathability of the linen fabric. Thank you for offering such a fine product.

Steven
San Francisco, CA

What a brilliant site this is! The hat is actually for my wife - we do intend to go to the biennial medieval fair in Dinan, France and use the hat for its intended purpose. We went 4 years ago and resolved to return but wearing medieval costume.

Tony C.
Rutland, United Kingdom

I purchased a full wardrobe from Revival Clothing and have recieved nothing but praise for my garb. I am new to the SCA and my major concern is chivalric fighting. But my tunic ensemble is great for court and feast and the revelry that generally follows.

Chris B.
Bishop, Texas, USA

The tippets and barbette arrive in record time! I was able to use the barbettes to show a lady who despaired of ever keeping a veil on how to use 2 barbettes (one around the face, and one around at high forehead level) to fasten a veil so it needed no fussing all day long. I got two just for this purpose, as gifts to her. (And, when asked where I got the gown I was wearing, the back laced dark green raw silk, I of course gave y'all the credit. several people piped up that your goods are really first quality. So -- fame to you!) Again, my thanks.

Pat M.
San Diego, CA

Dribbel just received his black ankle boots today and he adores them to the point of being a little creepy! Thanks so much for the speedy service. I was expecting them to arrive later in the week.

Lynn D.
Grand Rapids, MI

The order has arrived and I am impressed by the quality of your goods. The shoes and silk chauses were also of a perfect fit. I have taken the liberty of advising your clothing line to a colleague of mine: Jan Braem, also council member of the Hallebardiers.

Yours Sincerely,
Dr. Stefan Sette
Council Member Hallebardiers

Saint-Michael Guild Bruges since 1444

To all involved at Revival Clothing, I recently purchased a pair of your ankle boots and I'm quite pleased with them. They are comfortable and very well made. I even use them for every day use. In this instance I dislike to use the term "replica" or "reproduction" because they are in fact NOT such things. In the middle ages and the renaissance period, the material used was known to them. The difference being the tools used to make your product and the era of time we are now in. Back then clothing was usually made for the person purchasing the garment and it would not have mattered to the average person of those time periods in how their clothing were made, weather by hand or machine. Hence the Renaissance, then the industrial revolution, to modern day, and beyond. It is good to know that people are still interested in the "old" fashions and not letting them be forgotten.

Leon Majors
Victorville, CA USA

I tested my new linen gambeson yesterday in combat. Your design is perfect for sword fighting. The garment provides a good fit, yet provides complete mobility of the shoulders. I also received many compliments on its aesthetic and period qualities. I especially like the breathability of the linen fabric. Thank you for offering such a fine product.

Steven
San Francisco, CA

I just received the linen gambeson and have had a chance to try it on.  Wow.   It’s basically perfect in every way!   It fits really well, and the long sleeves don’t bother me at all, nor do they get in the way of my 15th century gauntlets.  This gambeson has exceptional mobility and it breathes so well I can wear it for quite a while without discomfort.  I’m in love with it.

Mike Edelson
Brooklyn, New York USA

The gambeson is working beautifully. I've practiced and fought in it many times now and I am very impressed with the mobility and comfort of the garment. It's going to be an ideal foundation for my future armour purchases: I plan to build a 13th-14th century harness around it.

Sean Hayes
Maestro d'armi

Northwest Fencing Academy
Eugene, OR

Greetings!  The gambeson just arrived today and it fits really nicely, especially considering that it's "off the rack." Sir Brian's recommendation told me I had found a good choice, and the special sale price helped with my decision too. Thanks!

Steve Gaddis (Master Sir Khaalid, SCA)
Sparks, Nevada, USA

Hello! My package just arrived safely. Am LOVING the dark green bliaut. The color is jaw dropping. First bought one 2 years ago.In case anyone asks, the silk does dye nicely (with professional silk dye - Jacquard brand was used) - turned the teal into a jewel tone blue, with no problems. Thought best to let you know.

Best Regards,
Christina B.

Seattle, WA

Thank you very much for sending my Linen Gambeson. It is an extremely good fit - I'm very impressed and would recommend it to anyone. Also impressed with the rapid service!

Richard Taylor
Walkerburn, Peeblesshire, Great Britain

I've just received my surcoat in the mail today--it is so much better that I expected, and I really expected high-quality stuff, so this is AWESOME. I'm very happy with it; it is really beautifully made and fits me very nicely. Thanks again!

Rivkah M.
US Military Personnel stationed in Naples, Italy

I am just starting in the SCA. Your products are by far the most reasonably priced and authentic looking. The web site is great!

Chris Brook
Henderson, TX

LOVED the shoes.  Danced in them all night, no insoles, no problem.  Never been able to do that before with period shoes.

Aggie
Ottawa, Illinois USA

Dear Revival Clothing, Thank you for the pleasant conversation earlier. I most certainly will recommend your clothing to our friends. We received many compliments about how well we were attired. In addition the clothing was very comfortable, and the linen makes very comfy pajamas, as they wick away moisture at night. I would have to say that I favor this clothing the most out off the extensive collection of outfits I own. I cannot thank you enough for making us look so good.

Eric and Tabatha Blacksmith
AKA Wolfgang von Bremen and Juliana MacPhearson
Baron and Baroness of Glymm Mere, An Tir

Foundation garments like the gambeson are critical to the comfort and functionality of the complete harness. Particularly in the joust where even minor problems with how the harness fits and functions will affect the rider's ability to function safely and at the best of his or her ability. The Revival Gambeson performed flawlessly.

Callum Forbes
Order of the Boar

Greetings - we always appreciate knowing all is well.  So I want to say my lovely dress arrived Saturday .....  07/07/07

Very happy,
Barbara Fleig

I just received the 12th century prick spurs yesterday.  The prick spurs themselves are so historically accurate it is unbeliveable!  I just wanted to drop you a line of thanks for offering such a great product that no other internet site can match!  Now I know that I will be ready for next years Ren-Faire! The great thing about your website and the products that you offer is that there are few people in the world that deal strictly with Medieval period clothing.  As a knight in training-you have my blessings! Keep up the good work!

Thanks, Erik Fiske
Poughkeepsie, NY USA

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I found my clothes waiting for me when I came home on leave from Afghanistan, and I have to say I was stunned! I can't tell you how fantastic I feel! Everything fits, everything looks superb, and for the first time I'll be going to events in something historically accurate. If anyone reads this, just stop reading and go buy something here! You cannot go wrong! Nothing short of the energy death of the universe will prevent anyone from enjoying these clothes AND getting a good deal in the process!

SGT John Steinke
Company A
3rd Battalion
141st Infantry

I am writing to comment upon my first Pennsic with my new Revival Clothing Gambeson. When I first received the garment, I was concerned that in the heat of Pennsic Battle that I would overheat in such a heavy and thick garment. Being from Canada my friends and me all commented that the gambeson had the weight of a winter coat. Normally not the sorts of things that we wear on a hot August day. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the gambeson was very comfortable at all times that I wore it. It was so comfortable even on a hot day that I wore it after fighting to walk about the merchant area before I showered and dressed for the evening. The best test was on the last Friday of Pennsic. It was the day of field battles and I had to fight in six battles that day. I later learned that the temperature was around 100 F (38 C). I found the garment comfortable and I never noticed its weight in the heat or during my fighting. The garment allowed me a full degree of motion. Truly, it is a wonderful garment. The only problem I did have was removing it from the cuff of the sleeve was sometimes hard due to swelling of my arms from the heat. Fortunately, this was a minor problem.

Andrew Lowry
SCA THL Richard Larmer

Finally a pair of reasonably priced, period appropriate shoes!! Footwear is the hardest thing to find when costuming oneself; it can be very frustrating to have to resort to hiking boots or whatever to finish a costume. I was so happy to open the box from revival and find these very cool shoes that will provide a supreme finishing touch to my costume. By the way, during my presentations to grade four kids, they have asked to see my footwear! Thanks loads!

Katy Gillett

I want to thank you for such prompt service, and tell you how glad I was to find you. I am new to the WMA world, and initially only wanted to find protective garments for use in longsword bouting. I did a thread search on Sword Forum International, and your company was recommended frequently there. As I browsed your site, I was amazed to find that I could not only obtain the protection, but period correct protection! Unfortunately for my woefully thin wallet, my search has now transformed into a quest to eventually outfit both my son and I with period kit. I look forward to a long and fun relationship.

Marty
York, PA