(About): Is Your Outfit Lacking Legs? We Have What You Need
Our Floating Knee Protection is designed to be a one-stop solution for leg protection in your medieval warrior outfit – it consists of five cunningly-shaped steel plates that overlap and interlock with one another to create knee armor with unrivalled flexibility and comfort.
The poleyn is extended both above and below the knee by plates articulated with sliding rivets. This means that it is wholly flexible in the same manner as the knee joint itself, the poleyn holding fast to the knee-cap, whilst the upper and lower plates hold fast to the thigh and shin respectively. This piece of armor is all constructed by hand, with rivets across the top and bottom, with a handsome pointed crease to increase the upper and lower plates’ rigidity (a trick we’ve learned from medieval armor-makers themselves). It is made from 18-gauge mild steel, which is medium weight in terms of historical medieval armor. This means it’s easily light enough to wear all day, whilst also being robust enough to withstand the knocks and scrapes of live-action roleplay and light re-enactment. Our Floating Knee Protection is held securely in place with leather straps and rugged buckles.
This product is ideal if you’re looking for the way to add an extra dimension to your High Middle Ages re-enactment or fantasy outfit. If you’re on a budget, it’s the perfect way to suggest leg armor without having to splash out on a whole garniture of greaves, poleyns and cuisse. It’s also a great way to cut down on weight for a lightly armored character like a late-medieval archer or crossbowman. Or it can be used to portray its historical genesis: worn over chainmail chausses in the early period as chainmail transitioned to plate armor. Flexibility is the name of the game for our Floating Knee Protection – both in terms of physical mobility and aesthetic style.
(Curiosity): Weak At The Knees: Transitional Armor and the Poleyn
Medieval armor was rapidly changing in the 13th and 14th centuries under the onslaught of powerful new weaponry like the war hammer and the yew longbow – armored knee protection was amongst the first elements of ‘plate’ armor to emerge. Known simply as ‘knee cops’ to the modern LARP community, in the medieval period they would have been called genouilleres (from the Old French genou, ‘knee’) or, in Middle English, poleyns. Etymologists are hazy on this word’s precise derivation, but it seems to have also been used to refer to domesticated fowl, and so the armor might have been so named because of its resemblence to the scaly knees of a chicken! In the middle of the 1200s CE, these were initially little more than simple bent segments of plate sewn into cloth chausses or hosen – but soon, armorers were making knee cops as their own discrete armor to be strapped on over chainmail. Soon, some bright spark added a flared side-plate to give better protection to the back of the knee as it flexed. Eventually, as armor-making became more and more finessed, poleyns merged into the rest of the leg armor to form an integrated system in which the closed cuisse, the poleyn and the greave were all articulated with sliding rivets, creating a protective lobster-shell of steel.
- Material: 18-gauge mild steel
- Secondary material: Leather
- Weight: 9 lbs (pair)
Overall Length: 17.5 Inches
Length (Knee to Top): 8.5 Inches
Length (Knee to Bottom): 9 Inches
Overall Width: 11.5 Inches