handcrafted-bowie-knifeI love watching Forged In Fire, it’s so cool to see the art of making knives and swords. I’d love to be able to make my own sword or knives but I don’t have the tools nor the time. It will remain on my list but until we are able to make our own, here is what you need to know!

The ultimate steel for sword has always been Damascus steel and even the history holds records of it. Damascus has been used considerably in the history because of its brilliant features which no other form of steel bore. Even after the new era, damascus has been able to retain its importance in the market with various variations. It is now used for knives and also for engagement rings. They have unique patterns which distinguish them from all other steel swords and knives. To facilitate better learning, here we present to you some valuable information which will help you know better about damascus steel.


History of Damascus swords


Ordinary steel never deemed fit for swords because it would turn brittle. However, damascus was made of a different material which made it better than any of its counterparts. Damascus was strong and flexible and it had unique patterns which could cut an armoured soldier in two halves without too much effort. Such swords were used by Muslim warriors in the 11th and 12th century when they fought a war against crusaders. These swords were crafted by the brilliant bladesmiths of damascus which gave it its name. They were making such swords from 300 AD but till 1700, the world was unknown to this crafted metal.


Basic information about Damascus


  • Damascus steel swords have unique patterns which are neither lasered nor rippled, but inherited from the ingots which formed the blade for the steel. Till date, there are only two methods to obtain such designs on the sword.


  • Damascus steel is made from Wootz steel which has different properties from the general steel. This steel was originally found in Southern India from where it was sent to Damascus to be mastered by the brilliant bladesmiths for muslim warriors.


  • Around the 1700s, Damascus steel blade production stopped for numerous reasons unknown to us. However, a theory explains that wootz was made from impurities which made it so strong and uniquely patterned and as it was imported from India, it was starting to deplete. To prevent complete depletion, the manufacturing of such steel blade stopped.


  • Pattern welding is used to manufacture damascus steel rings and knives. To give the rippled effect, different sheets of steel is put together with different levels of carbon content. It also assisted in producing different shades on the steel. Pattern welded does not bear the same strength as Wootz steel swords, but it bears remarkable resemblance with the ancient wootz damascus steel swords and patterns.


  • Vikings and Japanese blacksmiths also made their own versions of patterned and rippled damascus swords as they variated pattern welded method. Apart from swords, steel gun barrels were also made from damascus steel. However, smokeless powder and laminated damascus did not go hand in hand which led to gun barrel explodes.


  • Many attempts were made in order to replicate the damascus steel, or at least it’s might but nothing worked until a discovery was made. For many centuries it was believed, that only Wootz steel made damascus but another component by the name carbon nanotubes had the same importance in its existence.


Damascus has increased its usability as it is no longer used for only sword making. Highly useful knives for hunting and for display are made from damascus as well. It offers strength and durability which is why it is used for making engagement rings too. If you find this above mentioned information useful, share this article with those who might be benefitted with it.

Connect with The Sicilian!