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History of Bulletproof Vest

What were the origins of the bulletproof vest?

The history of bulletproof vests dates back to the 16th century, when firearms began to gain popularity.  The armour used could not stop musket bullets. So armour began to be made from multiple layers of leather, fabric and steel or iron plates.  Unfortunately, this did not provide effective bullet protection.

The situation did not change until the 19th century. In 1840, the first fabric bulletproof vests appeared in Ireland, which were able to stop bullets from black-powered weapons. They consisted of several layers of leather and fabric. Their effectiveness, however, fell short of what was intended and hoped for. In subsequent years, protective clothing made of reinforced steel that was able to stop bullets was developed. Their weight was high, but allowed them to be worn.

An example of such protective clothing is the armour designed and worn by Ned Kellie's gang in Austra. The armour weighed 44 kg and unfortunately did not protect the legs and arms.

George E. Goodfellow designed a protective suit consisting of 18-30 layers of silk In 1881, it provided protection against bullets. The invention did not gain popularity. It became an inspiration for Kazimierz Zeglan and Jan Szczepanik, who developed bullet-proof vests made of several layers of silk at the turn of the 20th century.The bullet-proof vest stopped 8 mm caliber revolver bullets.


The price of the Polish bulletproof vest was very high-about $800 (now $23,000). However, it found recipients. King of Spain, who escaped death as a result of an assassination attempt in 1902. among whom was King Alfonso XIII of Spain. Also the Archduke Franz Ferdinand. He, however, on the fateful day of June 28, 1914, was not wearing it. Sailing and Szczepanik's invention lost popularity over time and was forgotten. This is because it did not protect against newer types of munitions.


World Wars and bulletproof vests


During World War I, all the warring armies were looking for a way to reduce losses among soldiers. As a result, various types of body armor were developed, mainly protecting the torso. However, their disadvantage was their heavy weight, limiting movement, and lack of protection for the hands. One of the protective outfits designed at the time was the American Brewster Body Shield. An interesting example of protective outfits was the body armor worn by German stormtroopers at the end of the war.


New materials


During the Korean War, the U.S. military introduced M-1951 pattern uniforms made of fabric reinforced with plastic or aluminum fibers. They were intended to protect against shrapnel, but their effectiveness was not great.

In subsequent conflicts, soldiers again turned to vests with steel plates

A huge breakthrough in bullet protection came with the invention of bulletproof Kevlar. This initiated the development of bulletproof vests, which we know today.


Its creator of Kevlar was Stephanie Kwolek, who worked at DuPont.         Kevlar fiber was first obtained in 1965.

Kevlar is 5.5 times lighter than steel and has high strength.

but it wasn't until the 1970s that it gained popularity.  Thanks to its lighter weight, it became possible to design protective outfits capable of stopping bullets, but much lighter than steel plates.

Thanks to this, it became possible to design bullet-proof clothing that protects and is lightweight and flexible. it adapts well to the shape of the body and allows freedom of action.

Ralvek Secure uses the best quality Kevlar fiber which protects against 44 magnum bullets. it also provides protection against KR2 knife.