Above left: composite parts -each on itīs respective form- dry outside on a warm summerīs afternoon. On such a hot day I do three layers cloth: one in the morning, one midday and one in the evening.
On such a hot day with barely below 30 degrees Celsius (~ 86 degr F) I laid the harness on its back in the sun and waited what would happen:
After about 25 minutes it had collapsed “front onto back” and the material had assumed the consistency of very thick leather. For dressing it could without problems be bend apart again. Nothing dissolved or became “softer” or “sticky”; only more “flexible”.
This is what lino- owners mean when they say: “the warm armour fits itself when warm”. Mine doesnīt though because it has no large contact areas to my body.
When the armour was dressed and in motion it cooled very quickly and became firmer again. The armourīs protective qualities didnīt lessen: hits dented the upper tier a little more but the inner layer wasnīt even touched. This increased tendency to dent can be counteracted through material thickness or special constructional features.
And: would I have been happier with steel armour in this baking heat? Certainly not! Padded steel armour would of course have stopped impacts as always but its benefit would have been doubtful because at such high temperatures one can neither move nor fight well in it.
During the convention august 2014 with 20+ degrees Celsius (warm middle- european temperatures) no “softening” did occur at all, and the superhot summer 2015 had no effect whatsoever on the collar with the shoulder guards (which was especially built for these temperatures).
Insofar a linothorax in the complete temperature range from “cold” to “normal to warm” to “hot” or from “dry” to “wet” combines the best of all worlds.
So whereīs the catch? Thereīs always a fly in the ointment!
Nope, there is none. But if weīre looking for disadvantages, here are a few:
Long processing time. One builds two layers of cloth per day: one in the morning before work and one in the evening. Every 5 or 6 layers the work piece wants to dry for a few extra days.
That means a complete suit of armour with harness, shoulders, helmet, belt, side-plates, arms and legs (most of them two- layered) plus sword sheath(s) eats up quite a lot of building time.
Surfaces (if you like them even and nice...): smooth surfaces are difficult to achieve with complicated or arched parts because these cannot be covered with a single piece of cloth: it is necessary to use patches whose overlappings makes slubs.
The materialīs flexibility. For equipment it is not obstructive and even increases the wearing comfort but if you evolve the ambition to build armour that really protects, one has to come up with something. Original greek swords are ultra-light and donīt pose a threat for the material, but japanese or european middle-age-swords play in another league.
Are there specific problems when building linothorax- parts?
Oh yes! and I hate them all.