A Brief History of Body Armor

A Brief History of Body Armor

Personal Protection has always been – and remains – crucial to survival. Body armor has been an essential survival tool since as early as 1400 BC, and has become only more prevalent and necessary in the day-to-day life of the American military, First Responders, and more.

While we have made great strides in the obtrusiveness and and comfort of body armor, todays basic design and function come from the archetypal knights armor. Paired with hard metal plates, chain mail was woven in order to ensnare any potential threats, functioning like the bullet and stab proof vests of today. While this armor offered protection against swords and other weapons of the time, developments in weaponry led to traditional plate mails inadequacy. This heavy armor already impeded on the mobility in the battlefield, and with stronger guns and weapons, armor only became thicker and heavier. This in turn led to experimentation with laminate plates and options that offered higher mobility. While this armor proved effective against weaponry of the time, there were early forays into using textiles as body armor, such as Chinese utilizing dense layers of silk (read: functions similarly to Kevlar, the prominent body armor material of today).

Then, in 1964, the accidental creation of Kevlar changed the industry forever. Initially created for lighter-weight and stronger tires, the introduction of Kevlar to the body armor industry offered lightweight options that were just as protective as heavy plate armor. The Kevlar vest was quickly adopted by military and first responders alike due to its ability to be worn comfortably and discreetly for long periods at a time while offering protection from a material that is five times stronger than steel.

Our experience manufacturing ballistic vests for the military and First Responders industries have helped us learn best practice for protective garment design, as well as how to maximize storage and put our Berry Compliant practices to good use.

In todays day and age, it is almost necessary for first responders of all kinds to wear ballistic vests. The introduction of Kevlar into the body armor has forever changed the industry for the better, and opened endless opportunities for future applications.

Interested in developing a military grade vest with us? Contact us here.