I have yet to find a decent HEMA jacket that fits my needs, there are many fine HEMA and fencing jackets on the market but none of them are quite right for me. Obviously the most sensible solution is to just design one from scratch, right? Whilst I’ve made various clothes in the past and am quite good at making things out of leather this will be my first jacket. As with all good projects it’s important to set your requirements at the beginning so you know what you are working towards.
Must fit me: So this is an obvious one, but as a large fat man most clothes aren’t made in the right shape. People have a habit of just scaling clothes up so they end up being the wrong shape so are tight and lose in the wrong places.
Integrate a gorget: I hate wearing my gorget, it’s thick and restrictive and really limits my movement. That’s until I get a thrust to the throat at which point it becomes my favourite bit of kit. As I mainly train in sidesword and rapier I face a lot of thrusts so my gorget is an essential bit of kit.
Integrated protectors for collar bones, shoulder points, elbows, forearms and chest: These will cover the points most likely to take damage. If they are integrated and fitted they will reduce the time to get ready to spar.
No unnecessary padding: given the integrated armour the rest of the jacket will only have padding if it is essential. Personally bruises are irrelevant, I’m only looking to reduce the chance of receiving an injury that will stop me from fencing.
800nm thrust protection: I hated having to wear an plastron at fightcamp. So I’m going to make the jacket to the higher standard of protection
All seams to have a second sold layer behind it.
Light weight: this will be tough considering all the requirements above.
Breathable: As many vents and gaps as possible (I’m guessing air conditioning is out of the question)
Cover points of the hips and coccyx: I don’t want a jacket to end at my waist
Belt strap: But one that fits under my belly #FatManProblems
Currently I don’t have time to start a new project and don’t really know where to start, but that’s never stopped me before. I imagine this will take ages to develop. I’ll let you know if I get anywhere.