Dating from the 15th Century, the Late Medieval Gambeson represents a stylistic evolution with a more comfortable fit and front lace tie strings replacing the neck enclosures found in older designs. Designed to give full comfort, freedom of movement and protection to the wearer, the jacket is fully open at the front and its unique stitching style imparts great flexibility for the arms. Enclosed within an outer shell and inner lining comprised of 100% cotton, thick layers of wool and cotton padding provide excellent protection from piercings, cuts or slashes and can absorb harsh impacts. Dry cleaning is recommended. Because it was always possible to drive the point of a weapon through the rings of a mail shirt or shear it with a good cut, under armor was often necessary to reduce the risk of injury. Aside from this practical use, gambesons also were used by civilians as a fashion statement, giving the appearance of chivalry and a military status.