Kit mod: ventilators for Axel Pettersson Jacket

I'd like to claim total credit for this idea but I saw this idea first on Facebook and it's genius. Basically put brass eyelets into your gambeson to create little heat vents thus letting the heat out without compromising the defensive aspect.

I live in the North Island of New Zealand which, for those who don't know, has the same kind of weather as the warmer parts of Spain so most of the year it's just to dam hot to wrap myself up in a thickly layered woolen jacket. So anything I can do to improve things is a win.

Thinking about this eyelet vent idea that despite the speed of using brass or steel eyelets I discounted them from my reenactment experience: I know that rivets/eyelets in armour can actually be a pain, literally, as if you get struck on one they can be driven into your skin underneath. Also, they tarnish or rust pretty quickly with all that salty sweat coming out. So instead I resolved to sew eyelets in. This has a few benefits the first being that there's nothing to rust, second there's nothing to be driven into the skin and finally, aesthetically, they are practically invisible once done.

Sewing an eyelet is pretty easy. Firstly you poke (not cut) a hole in the garment with a awl or a nail and then you just sew round the hole using a blanket stitch. Couldn't be easier and I can do about 5 in an hour without stress.

Now, having a look over the Axel Pettersen jacket, it has very thin fabric just under the arm pits presumably to allow you to raise your hands over your head. This would be the ideal location for vents, I think, easy to punch through and where you get a lot of heat.

So I've sewn in a group of these little eyelet holes and the result looks quite good. The photo is what it looks like from the inside.

Anyway I've got to sew some more on the other arm and I might sew some along the back of the jacket. Then it'll be interesting to see if this makes much of a difference.


I've also sewn some diamonds of holes along the shoulders and then had a good workout in the jacket. It definitely makes a difference, not so immediately stifling and it allows you to cool down much more quickly without taking the jacket off.

You can also see from this photo how invisible the stitches are against the black.


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