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Materials.

Have spent a bit of time recently acquiring bits and bobs for this project so I thought I'd share my sources here.

Metal
This caused me a bit of debate. suzerain recommended Spring Steel Strip as a source for 0.7-0.9mm spring steel. I contacted the company and got a quote of roughly £40 for a 30x200cm piece which should suffice for a brig. Unfortunately the shipping costs would have been in the region of £30.
If this project is a success and I go on to make more (and probably better) brigandines, I will go with the spring steel but for the moment I decided to go with mild steel from Metals4U which works out at about £24 for a 100x100cm sheet of 1.2mm steel and the shipping was about £15. The steel was delivered promptly and is currently at Grays being cut into strips (the brother of a colleague works there.)


Fabrics
A brigandine typically uses two different fabrics: A tough inner layer and a decorative outer. For the inner, again on the recommendation of Suzerain I have gone for 18oz cotton canvas from Whaleys. The outer layer took a bit of thought. I believe the most common outer layers from records and surviving examples are velvet, fustian and wool. Finding a velvet that looks good and is affordable enough for a first time project is a rather difficult prospect so it was ruled out (I will look again for a future brig). Fustian is an awkward term that has an unfortunate habit of changing its definition over time. I have heard some discussion that the closest modern fabric to a fustian is moleskin. However, after a facebook discussion with Debs from the Padded Armour Company I decided that, without a lot more research, fustian was out as well. This leaves wool which, as fate would have, I have an abundance of in a box. I selected some white wool that I bought for a long ago forgotten project and have dyed it a nice shade of blue.
There has been a bit of discussion recently as to whether brigandines should have a fabric liner to protect any garments worn underneath from the plates. I am undecided on this matter so, for this project I am going to leave it out.

Nails/Rivets
Sourcing nails turned out to be a useful lesson in shopping around. I have decided to use copper roofing nails as they are readily available and pretty easy to hammer. The first site I found was asking about £12 a kilo but on further investigation this was without VAT and shipping was £20. A bit more googling turned up Roofing Superstore which has them for £10.50 a kilo with VAT. Shipping was £8.50. I have purchased 4kg of nails which is approx 1300. This may or may not be enough.

Strapping and Buckles
I have actually yet to buy these. For buckles I have been looking at White Rose Castings but need to put in a little more research into appropriate styles of buckle. Straps will most likely come from Le Prevo

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