CCLP/PAMELA GRANT  Kevin Marsh shows what a finished pourpoint should look like.
CCLP/PAMELA GRANT  Kevin Marsh helps pin Jenn Bean’s material as he helps her create a pourpoint, a medieval garment worn under armor.

Medieval group hosts monthly class

Library hosts monthly workshop
“Using [an armor pourpoint] really is one of the most comfortable ways to wear armor and have it stay in place,” said Marsh. “It also takes a little sting off of some of the body shots.”

Cove Leader-Press

As knights wore increasingly heavier armor, they needed something to comfortable to wear beneath the armor to not only provide padding for the warrior, but still allow for easy maneuverability for the arms and legs. The pourpoint, a specially designed shirt usually made from linen, was their answer.

Kevin Marsh, the Copperas Cove library director, representing the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), hosted a hands-on class Wednesday night teaching participants how to craft the pattern necessary to create their very own pourpoint specially fitted to their body. Kevin Marsh has been a member of the SCA since the fall of 1982 and actively engages in armored combat with the group.

Using [an armor pourpoint] really is one of the most comfortable ways to wear armor and have it stay in place,” said Marsh. “It also takes a little sting off of some of the body shots.”

Marsh provided linen to those who wanted to craft their own pattern while others brought their own materials to the event. Participants measured, pinned, and cut the linen to form the pattern for their garments. When making the actual pourpoint, they will create an inner and outer layer which would be sewn together with a cotton batting inside and the whole thing would be quilted together. With good care and maintenance, Marsh said that the pourpoint should last approximately ten years.

The garment is made to allow full range of motion for the arms which is key for use in battle. Linen is moisture wicking which helps make the material more comfortable than other materials might be. The pourpoint is a close-fitting garment meant to be snug but not constricting.

Jenn Bean (known in the SCA as Cecily Grace MacBean) attended the class because she said that she really needs to make a pourpoint. She showed off a picture of an impressive bruise that she received in battle because her shoulder armor had failed to stay in place. Bean added that she believes the pourpoint will keep the armor in place and help prevent further injuries.

Bean related the story about how she joined the SCA approximately a year ago after seeing them at Geek Fest. She said that she almost missed it, but “I moved to the SCA panel, sat through it, and immediately fell in love.”

For me, the SCA is a social group and a hobby. It feeds my need to learn new things. It feeds my need to socialize,” said Bean. “It’s really fun. I get to do things I would never get to do otherwise. I’m not a violent person, but I can put on armor and hit people with sticks and nobody thinks anything of it…It’s a group of like-minded people…It started out like ‘Ooh, I want to wear that,’ and then it’s like ‘Ooh, I want to hit someone with that,’ and now it’s like ‘Ooh, I wonder how they do that.’ It’s kind of just progressed.”

The SCA is a medieval renaissance group that works to recreate the more enjoyable aspects of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The group actively engages in armored and rapier combat. They also offer a huge range of other activities for those who are interested. Activities include, weaving, metal work, brewing, and many others.

The SCA hosts a free to the public medieval themed class every third Wednesday from 8 p.m. until 10 p.m. at the Copperas Cove Public Library. Past lessons have included blacksmithing, brewing, and shoemaking. The group also meets in Harker Heights every Thursday for socializing and fighting practice at the Carl Levin Park at 7 p.m.

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