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This thick quilted, padded jacket is to be worn under a mail shirt to maximise protection. The sleeves can be removed. The sides are laced together, which allows for adjustable width.
Wearing some form of padding under a mail shirt is necessary in combat. The combination provides good protection against edged weapons, effectively absorbing the force of the blow. Wearing a mail shirt without any padding at all, on the other hand, would cause severe blunt trauma.
Even though there are no archeological evidence that points at what form of padding Vikings used, it is still safe to assume that they used something. Old texts indicate that layers of clothing were worn, and perhaps even combinations of clothing and leather (that protected against water). The Old Norse word Treyja also indicates that something was used. It translates to "jerkin" or "war-jacket".