WWI Dayfield Body Shield – Royal Armouries

I was asked to create this WWI Dayfield Body Sheild for use in a travelling exhibiton in 2017. The shield was going to be on display but also handled by the public.

Using pictures of an original similar shield in the archive and multiple original adverts for these items from advertising sources I was able to create a pattern and source materials appropriate for the project.

Made of heavy cotton twill, four curved metal plates were inserted into the front and back sections and sewn into place. Narrow cross bars, encased in cotton twill, are surface mounted onto the front and back to cover the gaps between the square plates. Cotton ties then wrap around the body to hold it in place.

The whole item was then broken down to give it an aged appearance, as if worn.