A quilted vest made of cotton linen or wool, reinforced with leather and stuffed
with cloth or horsehair. The gambeson was put on over the head and worn either
under the armor, or as armor itself. Originating in the late 10th century the
gambeson remained in use till the 17th century.
The purpose of the gambeson was to support and spread the weight of the hauberk, keep the outer armour away from the body and to absorb and cushion impacts.
Styles changed over time and in the late thirteenth-century a tight fitting
padded garment known as the 'jupon' was popular. A 'wambase' was a decorative
version of the jupon and was generally worn under the mail. In the time of the
Crusades a quilted garment worn under the armour known as an 'aketon' was in
use. In the fourteenth-century a quilted garment called 'coat armour' was being
worn and in the fifteenth-century a quilted garment known as the 'arming doublet'