[Samurai armour was generally made of strips (lamellae) of iron laced together with deerskin or silk. The iron strips were coated with lacquer to prevent rusting.] A wide range of colours was used for lacing. By far the most common colour in later periods was dark blue, because the indigo dye protected the silk from damage by light. There seems to be no evidence that the colours chosen for armour represented any family or clan allegiance.

Western lacquers are a blend of drying oils, resins and solvents. Real lacquer is simply the processed sap of a small tree. The sap was filtered and then heated gently. The finished product was hardened in humid conditions to give a water and solvent proof coating that did not scratch or chip easily and which could be polished to a high gloss.

Leave a Comment