Leather and Composite Armour

Composite Armour is used here as a generic  term to describe any type of armour which is made up non-metallic but rigid components - e.g. many small solid leather, wood, horn or metal plates secured to a fabric backing. This type of construction was used from antiquity right up until almost modern times by most cultures around the world. Its various forms include Lamilar armour, Scale armour, Coat-of-Plates armour and Brigandine armour.

This type of armour construction formed a very solid defence.  It could made made fairly easily with whatever materials were available and in the medieval period was a widely used alternative to the more expensive full metal plate armour. It was far cheaper and easier to make than both plate and maille armour with many of the advantages of both. Garments made in this manner were comfortable and unlike maille armour it provided good protection against blunt impacts and period illustrations show foot soldiers also wearing brigandine type armour over maille haubergeons or hauberks.