A scabbard is a sheath for holding a sword
A sword is a bladed weapon used primarily for cutting or thrusting. The precise definition of the term varies with the historical epoch or the geographical region under consideration...

, knife, or other large blade. Scabbards have been made of many materials over the millennia, including leather
Leather is a durable and flexible material created via the tanning of putrescible animal rawhide and skin, primarily cattlehide. It can be produced through different manufacturing processes, ranging from cottage industry to heavy industry.-Forms:...

, wood
Wood is a hard, fibrous tissue found in many trees. It has been used for hundreds of thousands of years for both fuel and as a construction material. It is an organic material, a natural composite of cellulose fibers embedded in a matrix of lignin which resists compression...

, and metal
A metal , is an element, compound, or alloy that is a good conductor of both electricity and heat. Metals are usually malleable and shiny, that is they reflect most of incident light...

s such as brass
Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc; the proportions of zinc and copper can be varied to create a range of brasses with varying properties.In comparison, bronze is principally an alloy of copper and tin...

 or steel
Steel is an alloy that consists mostly of iron and has a carbon content between 0.2% and 2.1% by weight, depending on the grade. Carbon is the most common alloying material for iron, but various other alloying elements are used, such as manganese, chromium, vanadium, and tungsten...


Most commonly, scabbards were worn suspended from a sword belt or shoulder belt (baldric
A baldric is a belt worn over one shoulder that is typically used to carry a weapon or other implement such as a bugle or drum...

). Some shoulder belts held the scabbard diagonally across the back (see also Koshirae
refers to the mountings of a Japanese sword when the sword blade is being worn by its owner, whereas the shirasaya is a wooden saya and tsuka that the sword blade is stored in when not being used.-Description:...

Wooden scabbards were usually covered in fabric or leather, and leather versions also usually bore metal fittings for added protection and carrying ease.