New set of roving arrows

WillS

New member
Thought I'd stick up a few pics of my latest set of roving arrows. They're essentially the same as the ones I posted in the DIY - arrows section a while ago, in my post about fletching with full length feathers. These ones however have slightly taller fletchings at 3/4" as they're not flight arrows.

Some basic specs:

6.5" long Goose feather fletchings (hand stripped, ground etc etc)
Red silk whipping
32" Ash shafts at 3/8" diameter
Hand forged Type 10 bodkins on most, and Type 16s on two of them.

These will be used at shoots with my 95# ash warbow, or perhaps for a Welsh Class Warbow shoot, as they fit the specifications for those.

I've got another 4 to make to complete the set, but I'll fletch those with 1/2" high swan feathers, and cut them slightly shorter, for flight arrows.







 


Lucasade

New member
These are too nice not to have any replies...

where do you get the silk from? I assume you bought a massive roll the amount you must use?
 


WillS

New member
Oh I don't mind not getting replies on these - I know most people aren't into the medieval stuff, just thought it would make a change I suppose! Appreciate it though :)

The silk I buy from bog standard sewing supplies. One of those normal small spools will do about 12 arrows if you're careful.
 


bueskytter

New member
Currently I'm using "Strong thread", that is what it really says, and it is pretty tough. Though before that I used linin to whip with, never tried silk. Out of interest do you wet it before whipping so it shrinks to a tighter fit when dried?
I was reading this topic and as a former fly fisherman, I thought of this type of wire.

Except fly tying, I have no experience with it, I'm only a target shooter with olympic recurve and carbon arrows in a Belgian club.

But I really appreciate this medieval work.

Greetings from Flanders. :cheerful:
 


WillS

New member
No need to wet it first, you just wind super tight.

I used linen once, but it's so thick it looked a bit bulky. I use silk primarily because it's more historically correct - the MR arrows had silk, as did the Westminster arrow. This newly found arrow that is all over Facebook has linen, interestingly. If it's proven to be medieval it'll be the first one to use linen.

Silk is strong, really thin and aerodynamic.

Thanks for the comments folks!
 


Raven's_Eye

Active member
Ironman
No need to wet it first, you just wind super tight.

I used linen once, but it's so thick it looked a bit bulky. I use silk primarily because it's more historically correct - the MR arrows had silk, as did the Westminster arrow. This newly found arrow that is all over Facebook has linen, interestingly. If it's proven to be medieval it'll be the first one to use linen.

Silk is strong, really thin and aerodynamic.

Thanks for the comments folks!
I would have thought linin would also be historically accurate being a more common and cheaper material, but I'm just speculating. Also depends on the type of linin, though compared to silk it probably is bulky.
 


WillS

New member
Well there are quite a few records of red silk being ordered specifically for the whipping of arrows, and as I mentioned all the existing arrows found so far have been tested to have been whipped with red silk. If you get the right stuff it's pretty strong. I found that even with good quality Irish linen (the stuff I use to make bowstrings with for instance) you still need to remove one of the plys to get a reasonable thickness. Silk is the perfect weight off the spool, and doesn't end up taking whopping great chunks out of the bow, your hand or (on a technical point) the air! Once you've whipped with silk, the silk is coated in a few layers of thin waterproof varnish (I've yet to work out a decent recipe for verdigris) and you almost can't feel the silk at all.

I don't know how accurate this is, but I've always been of the opinion that arrows were expensive and guild-produced. I mean, the bowyers were banned from working once the sun had gone down in case they made a mistake due to poor light, so I can't imagine the ammunition being treated as unimportant. Using high quality, strong silk instead of cheaply produced linen wouldn't be too far fetched. That's conjecture on my part though, I'm not sure if there's any info to back that up!
 


Raven's_Eye

Active member
Ironman
Well there are quite a few records of red silk being ordered specifically for the whipping of arrows, and as I mentioned all the existing arrows found so far have been tested to have been whipped with red silk. If you get the right stuff it's pretty strong. I found that even with good quality Irish linen (the stuff I use to make bowstrings with for instance) you still need to remove one of the plys to get a reasonable thickness. Silk is the perfect weight off the spool, and doesn't end up taking whopping great chunks out of the bow, your hand or (on a technical point) the air! Once you've whipped with silk, the silk is coated in a few layers of thin waterproof varnish (I've yet to work out a decent recipe for verdigris) and you almost can't feel the silk at all.

I don't know how accurate this is, but I've always been of the opinion that arrows were expensive and guild-produced. I mean, the bowyers were banned from working once the sun had gone down in case they made a mistake due to poor light, so I can't imagine the ammunition being treated as unimportant. Using high quality, strong silk instead of cheaply produced linen wouldn't be too far fetched. That's conjecture on my part though, I'm not sure if there's any info to back that up!
According to a video at Manchester museum, though bowyers were only allowed to work by day light and for every 1 bow of yew produced they had to produce a number (two I think) of bows of other woods. The fletchers worked in shifts throughout the day and night.

There is also the theory that during some of the campaigns in France the arrow heads in particular were varying in quality from good steel to poor iron depending on what smith they came from.

I can't see the ammunition being hugely expensive though, the arrow heads yes they'd be more of an expense. Though not factual in the Bernard Cornwall books have the archers taking the heads off broken arrows because they were the most difficult bit to get hold of and the more expensive.

I don't think the arrows wouldn't be treated as unimportant, but perhaps would be treated as expendable, you aren't going to get many back after shooting them on a battlefield, with people falling on them, stepping on them etc, and being mass produced they aren't going to be matching bows, but I presume being a standard weight.
 


WillS

New member
Yep, standard weight, standard dimensions etc. I'm not sure using Cornwell as any type of theoretical basis is a good move - those books were a long way off! He had archers making their own bows in a space of a few days. Green unseasoned warbows.... Fun!
 


WillS

New member
The MR ones were red. No idea about the WA. It's silk, as detailed in one of those DVDs on making them, but I'm not sure colour is mentioned.

I'm intrigued about this recent find. If it's genuinely medieval then perhaps it was made by an amateur, as compared to a guild. The leather insert certainly isn't seen very often (although Mark Stretton uses leather as a "shock absorber" in conjunction with horn inserts.) and perhaps the linen binding is a sign of a slightly cheaper approach?
 


outcaste

Member
The MR ones were red. No idea about the WA. It's silk, as detailed in one of those DVDs on making them, but I'm not sure colour is mentioned.

QUOTE]

Yeah, I've seen the WA and looking at my images again I can see witness lines, but no thread?
 


WillS

New member
Ah, ok maybe I'm imagining it being stated as silk. It's been a long time since I read about it. I've always had it in my mind that linen wasn't used, and it was a "'re-enactorism" as its cheaper and easier to bind with linen. More than happy to be wrong of course!

What do the lines show? Does it look like multi-ply such as linen or something finer like silk?
 


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