Author Topic: Silks used in armors - documentation  (Read 764 times)


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Silks used in armors - documentation
« on: October 29, 2003, 05:37:51 PM »
At the turn of the 19th century, the American military had explored and experimented with a type of soft body armor made (like the earlier Japanese armor) from tightly woven layers of silk. The thick, hot garments, which were very expensive to produce, proved able to withstand low-velocity bullets (flying at 400 feet per second)
One of the first recorded instances of the use of soft body armor was by the medieval Japanese, who used armor manufactured from silk.
The [US] military explored the possibility of using soft body armor manufactured from silk. The project even attracted congressional attention after the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901. But while the garments were shown to be effective against low-velocity bullets (traveling at 400 feet per second (ft/s) or less), they did not offer protection against the new generation of handgun ammunition being introduced at that time that traveled at velocities of more than 600 feet per second.
The Mongol warrior used to wear Chinese silk underwear, if it could be obtained. One would not normally consider underwear to be military equipment, but the fact is that silk is a very tough substance. If arrows are shot from a larger distance, they will not easily penetrate the silk. Even if an arrow penetrates the human skin, the silk may hold, so that the arrow can be drawn out from the wound by pulling the silk around. This would also prevent poison from entering the bloodstream.
For protection the Mongols wore armor, of leather or iron, with a raw silk coat under their armor for additional protection. An arrow, when it hit its target, would carry the unpierced silk into the flesh and the arrow could be removed by pulling gently at the coat