Ailette

Ailette

[ey-let]
The ailette (French language for little wings) was a component of thirteenth century knightly armour. Usually made of cuir bouilli (sometimes of plate or parchment), ailettes attached to the shoulders by means of silk or leather cord. Ailettes were usually flat and nearly rectangular in shape, and usually decorated with heraldic designs.

The purpose of ailettes is a matter of disagreement amongst scholars. Some, such as Charles ffoulkes, claim that they enhanced protection to the neck, while others, like Ewart Oakeshott, argue that they were used primarily for decorative and heraldic reasons.

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