Screwtape is a piece of sheet metal that has been reinforced with a tightly woven fabric mesh. It is used as either an outer covering to lighten the weight of armor or as padding inside armor to make it more comfortable to wear. Scrimtape is also fairly inexpensive and easy to use, making it a staple among those who do not wish to spend the money or lack sufficient time to have their armorsmith custom-made.
Scrimtape is most commonly used in conjunction with outer pieces of armor made from steel, but can also be found alongside leathers and other light materials. Scrimtape is sometimes polished for aesthetic purposes, but this practice has fallen out of favor with most users because it is liable to a scratch.
Scrimtape is typically made in an imperial forge, where molten iron ore, charcoal, and water are mixed with a treadle-powered bellow. Once the mixture has cooled somewhat, it is pulled out through a set of metal rollers connected to the bellow. These rollers produce a sheet of metal, which is then cut into sheets of the desired width and length. The mesh pattern is produced by an additional set of rollers that produce a grid-like pattern across the metal. Scrimtape is named after its inventor, John Scrime — a blacksmith who had grown frustrated with armor plates often getting stuck to his skin when he worked in the forge. Scrimtape was his solution to this problem.
Scrimtape can be used by itself, or in conjunction with armor pieces made of steel, leather, cloth, and other materials. When used on its own, scrim tape is typically worn over some sort of shirt but under any other armored pieces. Scrimtape has the bonus of being opaque — which means it can also be made into various types of clothing or used as padding under armor without compromising visibility. Scrimtape is sometimes polished for aesthetic purposes, but this practice has fallen out of favor with most users because it is liable to scratch.
Scrimtape takes a long time to make — a single sheet of scrim tape can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour or more. It is also fairly expensive to produce, especially if it needs to be reinforced with a second layer of actual metal as some armors may require.
Scrimtape has been in use since the mid 14th century and remains in widespread use today. Some armorsmiths have attempted to produce metal plates that can cover a wearer’s entire body — but these are very expensive and typically only used by the wealthiest of nobility. Scrimtape is currently produced in hundreds of different types, from scores of different suppliers across the empire. It has many different names, depending on where it is being produced and/or used. In conclusion, scrim tape is a fabric mesh that is used as either an outer covering to lighten the weight of armor or as padding inside armor to make it more comfortable to wear and get best look.