Difference between revisions of "Chainmaille"

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'''Chainmail''' is a material used to make [[armour]], and consists of small rings of [[metal]] put together to form a mesh. Chainmail has been used at least since the time of the [[Roman Empire]], and was an important armour material up until fully articulated [[Plate Armour|plate armour]] became available. Several ways of linking the rings together have been known since ancient times, the most common being the 1-to-4 pattern where each ring is linked with four others.
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#REDIRECT [[maille]]
 
 
The word '''chainmail''' is actually an [[anachronism]]. In the [[Middle Ages]] and [[Renaissance]], it was simply called "mail", "maile" or "maille"; derived, through the [[Italian]] "maglia", from [[Latin]] "macula" - meaning "net". The custom of calling it chainmail was due to a mistaken belief that there were other types of maille (eg "banded maille") which have since been proven to be false.
 
 
 
== Manufacture ==
 
 
 
In [[Europe]], the 1-to-4 pattern was almost completely dominant, with 1-to-6 being seen very rarely. In [[East Asia]] (primarily [[Japan]]), chainmail was also common, but here several more patterns were utilized and an entire nomenclature developed around them. In the [[Middle East]], yet other patterns were developed and often combined with metal plates linked in with the rings.
 
 
 
Historically, the rings composing a chainmail armour would be riveted or welded shut, to reduce the chance of the rings splitting open when subjected to a thrusting attack or a hit by an [[arrow]].
 
 
 
In modern [[re-enactment]] and Live-action roleplaying games, split sprung steel washers are sometimes used. Usually a two pairs of pliers are used to bend the washers open and closed whilst "knitting" the chainmail. The resulting mail is usually heavier than traditional wire-wound mail.
 
 
 
Members of the [[New Varangian Guard]] make their maille from spring steel rings. By using spring steel, you can use a finer gauge of wire and still retain strength. However, for truly tough and light maille, you cannot go past riveted maille.
 
 
 
In the [[SCA]], you will find people whose skill at making historically accurate mail varies right across the spectrum; from amateur to true artisan. 
 
 
 
== Trivia ==
 
 
 
In tests during the World War I, chainmail was tested as a material for bullet proof vests, but results were unsatisfactory, as the rings would fragment and further aggravate the damage. A mail fringe, designed by Captain Cruise of the British Infantry, was also added to helmets to protect the face - this proved unpopular with [[soldier]]s, in spite of being tested proof against a three-ounce shrapnel round fired at a distance of one hundred yards (92.3m).
 
 
 
In many [[film]]s, chainmail is sometimes substituted for by [[knitting|knitted]] cloth spray painted with a metallic [[paint]]. In the British TV series "[[Robin Hood|Robin of Sherwood]]" the actor playing Guy of Gisborne had to be cut out of his "sprayed string" maille after an extended fight scene in a river. The string shrunk when wet, and he was fast starting to look like a pressed ham!
 
 
 
There are also machines which knit wire to produce a material which looks somewhat like maille. This metal fabric is used for the manufacture of things like [[butcher]]s' [[glove]]s.
 
 
 
Most of the maille used in "Lord of the Rings" was made from rings cut from PVC pipe, preventing rust problems from the [[New Zealand]] weather. The suits were still made by hand (literally! no pliers were required), in the European 4-in-1 style.
 
 
 
== External Links ==
 
* Online Guild - http://www.mailleartisans.org/
 
* How to make chain - http://realbeer.com/jjpalmer/HowtoChain.html
 
* Another howto make chain - http://home.t-online.de/home/Tempora-Nostra/eketthm.htm
 
* Where to buy rings:
 
** http://www.theringlord.com ([[Canada]])
 
** http://www.dcwireworks.com/ ([[USA]] based but cost of shipping up to 4 via DHS is only $10US!)
 
** http://www.manningimperial.com/ Ballarat [[Victoria]] (good source of spring steel rings)
 
 
 
* Links from the [[College of St Monica]]'s chainmail meeting
 
** http://www.theringlord.com
 
** http://www.thebeckoning.com/medieval/armour/chainmaile.html
 
** http://www.arador.com/
 
** http://www.geocities.com/lyanna96/warmor.html (Specifically for women)
 
** http://home.t-online.de/home/Tempora-Nostra/eketthm.htm
 
** http://www.caradoc.org/~iain/gusari.html
 
** http://www.chainmailconnection.com/
 
** http://www.chainmail.com/chainmall/cteach2.htm
 
** http://members.aol.com/sblades/maile.html (scary)
 
** http://www.karlmadsen.com ([[Karel of the Three Isles]])
 

Latest revision as of 22:27, 10 October 2005

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