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The foil was invented in France as a training in order to practise fast and elegant thrust fencing. Fencers blunted the point by wrapping a foil around the blade or fastening a knob on the point ("blossom", French fleuret). In addition to practising, some fencers took away the protection and used the sharp foil for duels.
In the case of hand-forged blades, our blacksmith takes the already rolled spring steel and forges it by hand on the anvil or under the drop hammer. The steel gets more solid (denser) by forging. In the case of industrially rolled spring steel blades, the sheets of steel plate is cut to strips under drop snips, then ground or milled and immediately forged into the annealing furnace and oil-quenched. The properties of both kinds of steels are not very different, since industrial rolling is already very good! On forged blades are usually blacksmith marks, which give them an authentic and unique look.