Sword leather scabbards

#1
Hello,
Can anyone in the forum tell me something about leather scabbards in the British Army? Were they originally intended to prevent, in battle, sun rays to be reflected by polished surface metal scabbards, and so making their wearers less conspicuous to the enemy? When are they ordered today? Thanks and cheers
 
#2
No,they were originaly intended,as somewhere to park your BFO sword when not in use.

Traditionally,leather is easier to manufacture things out of,than metal,also lighter,and cheaper to replace.
 
#3
No,they were originaly intended,as somewhere to park your BFO sword when not in use.

Traditionally,leather is easier to manufacture things out of,than metal,also lighter,and cheaper to replace.
Thank you,RoofRat. Unfortunately, I don't know what a BFO sword is. Could you expand? Thanks and cheers
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#4
Further to RoofRat's statement of the bleeding obvious, metal scabbards dull the edge of a blade far more easily and rapidly than those made of wood or leather, that and the type of scabbard worn is dependent on what Dress your are in too. Miniskirts - Leather, Flouncy Laura Ashley type thing - metal
 
#5
My grandad's sword has two scabbards, one bright and shiny metal one, with wood inserts, and a leather one. Ceremonial and field use I would guess.
 

Alsacien

MIA
Moderator
#7
On a similiar theme, I have several from mid-late 1800's, I am considering whether the application of polish or dubbin etc is a good idea, as some are badly dried and will crack.
Any thoughts on old leather restoration while staying authentic and original?
 
#8
On a similiar theme, I have several from mid-late 1800's, I am considering whether the application of polish or dubbin etc is a good idea, as some are badly dried and will crack.
Any thoughts on old leather restoration while staying authentic and original?
PLEASE DON'T USE DUBBIN. (It rots the stitching).

There are a number of GOOD leather restoration materials available in most good Saddlery shops or visit a Tandy Leather Store. (Neates Foot Oil or similar).

You require something to feed the leather and polish up the outer finish. Please do not use a lacquer or anything similar as it will crack.

Halfords do a good leather restorer/cleaner as used by the classic car clubs which I used to sort out a dried leather chair not as messy as neates foot oil.
 
#10
Hello,
Can anyone in the forum tell me something about leather scabbards in the British Army? Were they originally intended to prevent, in battle, sun rays to be reflected by polished surface metal scabbards, and so making their wearers less conspicuous to the enemy? When are they ordered today? Thanks and cheers
As opposed to what, a bright red tunic and a **** off white helmet.
 
#11
PLEASE DON'T USE DUBBIN. (It rots the stitching).

There are a number of GOOD leather restoration materials available in most good Saddlery shops or visit a Tandy Leather Store. (Neates Foot Oil or similar).

Err.... Tandy are expensive. Personally I use Le Prevo for as much of my leather items as possible. Very reasonable and very helpful.

Their website: Le Prevo Leathers home page

And contact details: Le Prevo Leathers contact us

Give them a ring and tell them what you want to do and they will recommend the right kit without trying to sell you the most expensive items. Can't hurt to give them a try?



Q.
 
#12
As opposed to what, a bright red tunic and a **** off white helmet.
Thanks. It was only to work out a supposition. In my country, during the last two wars, Cavalry units and all those who were to carry a sword, were issued a special, blackened, type of scabbard, just to that effect. Cheers.
 
#13
Having tried recently to put holes in a cross-belt, I can see why leather used to be used as armour...it's f***ing hard stuff! Good luck getting a sword edge through that...
 
#14
#15
It has been known to happen in the British Army, although how official it was I do not know.

View attachment 75904

The guy on the site believes it is called "japanning"?

Rare WW2 British Blackened / Japanned Infantry Officer's Sword (India Service)
Thank you very much, Alan Partridge. So my idea wasn't all that incomprehensible!!! Maybe it's not THE answer. Maybe leather scabbards were introduced just to preserve metal ones, when it came to be less formal. Delving into Army Dress Regs would help, I believe. But I'm not in a position to do it. Maybe someone in the Forum is. Cheers
 
#16
I though that the plated steel scabbard was used only for ceremonial/No1 dress events and for all other events where a sword is authorised then the leather scabbard is used.

I am sure that each Regiment or Corps will have their own regulations regarding the wearing of swords so it would be down to the Regiment/Corps with which you are serving, notwithstanding Army Dress Regulations.

Of course the dress regs should give the definative answer?



Q.
 
#17
I though that the plated steel scabbard was used only for ceremonial/No1 dress events and for all other events where a sword is authorised then the leather scabbard is used.

I am sure that each Regiment or Corps will have their own regulations regarding the wearing of swords so it would be down to the Regiment/Corps with which you are serving, notwithstanding Army Dress Regulations.

Of course the dress regs should give the definative answer?



Q.
Correct answer...

Most sword scabbards are metal on the inside...

The Leather covered scabbard is worn with No2 Dress (Ginger marching suit) with a Sam Brown and with a leather sword knot. The chrome scabbard is worn with No 1 Dress (Blues) with a sword belt and hangers and with a gold sword knot..

Regimental variations exist, but mostly as to the type of sword. The Cav carry a sabre, the Inf carry the Inf pattern, the Gunners (having alwys to be different) carry the RA pattern, the 'Hielan Jocks carry a basket hilt broadsword, and the rest carry whatever they like (mostly not!)

It used to be a favorite commissioning present from doting parents until the price of the damn things got silly - most regiments and corps pool them these days..
 
#18
OK. Message received. Awfully sorry for havig intruded in your quips with a serious question. Regards
I apologise for the 'humourous' few.

I don't know when exactly it was when leather covered scabbards were introduced, but I imagine it will co-incide with the standardisation of the use of the Sam Browne belt at the change of the last centuary and in order to match the rest of the set up, tin gave way to leather in the field. If you google 'Sam Browne' you will discover the fascinating story of how they came into being.

As has been mentioned above, nowadays metal scabbards are worn in ceremonial orders of dress and are suspended by sword slings from a cloth belt normally worn under the jacket.
 
#19
As has been mentioned above, nowadays metal scabbards are worn in ceremonial orders of dress and are suspended by sword slings from a cloth belt normally worn under the jacket.
Except for the occasional hilarious appearance of the blue cloth belt over the top of the SD tunic, typically by TA or cadets who shouldn't be allowed near swords. BTW, neatsfoot is an excellent restorative.
 
#20
Thank you very much, Quaker, HE117, Queensman, and Victorian Major. Your answers are very exhaustive and up to the point. I'm must say that they reconciled me with this Forum. Regards and cheers
 

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