Tabards are Terrific

There’s still time to enter Handwoven’s 2012 Garment Challenge (deadline for entries is April 12), and in honor of this year’s sleeveless theme, we bring you the heroic history of another obscure sleeveless garment: the tabard.


Tabards originated during the Middle Ages, originally worn by the lower classes, humble monks, and foot soldiers. But in the late Middle Ages, the tabard became a strategic item of clothing on the battlefield.


It was far less expensive to repair damaged armor than to replace it, but the spots where the armor had been repaired weren’t as strong as the rest. By wearing a tabard over his armor, a soldier could hide the weak areas from the enemy on the battlefield. Soldiers would also have coat of arms emblazoned on their tabard, making it easier to identify comrades and enemies alike in the heat of battle.


So, there. Doesn't that make you want to gird your loins and weave?

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