I am a new member and trying to get kit together, I am interested in getting a 16th century Wappenrock made and have a choice of colours for the alternative coloured arm and quarters.. I am thinking either yellow and black or red and black.. were any colours unused? I understand black dye was quite expensive and prone to fading?

Also.. How clean did they try to keep clothes? I am wary of turning up looking unrealistically bright and clean. All my Napoleonic kit has suffered stains from woodsmoke, blackpowder and mud/food/drink and im sure the average landsneckt was no different.  

Thanks for any advice you might have. 

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Landsknechts were generally exempt from sumptuary laws, as a recruiting aid, so theoretically any colors or brocades could be worn.  The exception were the Black Band in France who the French nobles reinforced a sumptuary compromise allowing them to wear black and one other color of their choice.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Band_%28landsknechts%29 


My lovely wife found that Landsknecht wives (and other women) still had some sumptuary laws such as how many brocade and velvet dresses they could have and how wide the bands of cloth could be.  Since she is also quite a fan of the lost country of Savoy she mentioned that Savoy was famous for its different types of black linens in the 16th century and, through Emperor Maximilian, was loosely part of the empire and therefore saw Landsknechts.  So while black may not have been cheap or normally wearable by commoners it was available to Landskenchts for two reasons. 

You might try one of these fabric protectors to extend your Waffenrock's life and looks.  Ultimately your rock's purpose was to help protect your fancier clothes beneath and keep you warm. 

Thanks Karl, I was aware of the sumptuary laws but wondered if some colours were hard to get or maybe unpopular amongst superstitous soldiers and unlikely to appear.

Also pondering over what colour to get I thought it might make my decision easier!   Thanks for Scotchgard tip.

We live in a RAINforest here so Scotchguard gets sprayed on everything.

My understanding is that the original Scotchguard was boiled linseed oil which is still sometimes used to weatherproof concrete, wood, and canvas.  http://www.ehow.com/how_8752102_waterproof-canvases-linseed-oil.html  Some 18th century reenactors I knew used linseed oil to weatherproof their canvas hunting frocks too but there was a danger of campfire sparks and linseed oil smells funny.  There was lots of linseed oil as a by product of the flax/linen process.  I do use linseed oil for ramrods and arrow shafts but I do not know if I would recommend it for most fabrics today. 



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