Basic body armour
Weight: 1-1.5 kg
Clothing made of padded cloth were the most essential and most common form of armour in the Middle Ages. Some were made to be worn under other pieces of armour, such as mail. Others were worn over them. Often textile armour was worn by itself, by people who could afford nothing else.
The aketon was usually a thin but dense padded coat worn under a hauberk or haubergeon. It was usually made up of two layers of linen, in between which was a layer, or several layers, of a padding material such as flax, horsehair or even dried grass.
In December 1318, a Scottish parliament passed a law making an aketon (aketonam) one of the key components of a Scottish soldier's equipment, along with a bascinet, mailed gloves, a spear, and a sword.
The aketon, combined with the mail worn over it, created a strong, multi-layered form of armour. The padded textile absorbed the shock of blows, while the mail prevented the textile from being slashed or pierced by sharp blades and points. One English sources specifically notes how difficult it was to cut through the padded linen armour of the Scots, probably describing aketons. Strong attacks could still break the links of the mail and stab through the aketon, but they made it far more difficult to hurt the person inside.