Join Date: Dec 2004
At a guess, I'd say that the "rawhide" armor was (or is) similar to cuir bouilli. I'm guessing because rawhide is something I've seen mentioned as a splinting material for broken bones (i.e. take a piece of rawhide, wet it, wrap it around the set broken bones, and wait for it to dry hard), so I'd guess that people would figure out that they could mold rawhide into armor.
As for the wax...I think it depends on what you're doing. It seems that there are a number of different formulations for cuir bouilli, and if you didn't make it right, it could get messy. Since people used it all over the place for utensils, scabbards, boots, and such, I'd guess that craftsmen who knew what they were doing could make cuir bouilli that wouldn't melt in the sun. Someone who's working from hearsay might have more problems.
As for armor heating up, I'm beginning to wonder if the key is conductance. Metal conducts heat quite well, and if it warms up in the sun, you're going to feel it underneath quickly. Leather has a much lower conductance, so if the surface heats up, it takes longer for the heat to get through. Plus, of course, leather is lighter. So, if you don't need metal armor to keep weapons out, leather is a good choice. I'll bet that it's not much different than the plastic armor people use today for various applications.
my 0.000002 cents,