Soldiers have sought ways to protect themselves in combat since the beginnings of warfare. Long before the use of metals, leather was employed to make helmets and body armor that could stop, or at least soften, blows from blunt and edged weapons. Leather was easy to work with, it was light and not overly restrictive of movement, it could be fitted to the wearer, and it was usually plentiful and inexpensive. Leather remained an important material for body armor throughout the Bronze Age due to the high cost of metal armor. It wasn't until far into the Iron Age that metal armor was available for common soldiers.