So, exactly what is chainmaille?
Dating back to antiquity, it is believed that chainmaille (pronounced "chain mail") was invented by the Celts and later adopted by the Romans after they realized its potential after fighting the Celts. A variety of materials were used to make chainmaille including brass and iron and eventually steel.In the early feudal period of the Middle Ages a knight wore a cloth or leather tunic covered with interwoven iron rings (now referred to as a European 4 in 1 weave) or scales.
This video shows you the outfitting of a 14th century knight who was able to afford plate armor as an additional protective layer on top of his chainmaille armor. Very interesting to watch. While I don't make chainmaille armor because of the time (and cost) involved, I certainly can, but I instead use the same technique to make jewelry and other items. There is such history in what I do! Cool, huh?
About the beginning of the twelfth century the knight
adopted chainmaille garments with a hood, or coif, woven of the same
material. In the 14th century, plate
armor began to replace the chainmaille worn by knights. However, the
chainmaille was not completely discarded by the knights who continued to wear a
shirt of chainmaille beneath plate armor to protect the joints and the groin.
Plate armor was extremely expensive and the average soldier during the Middle
Ages still used chainmaille as their best protection.
Examples of elements of a suit of chainmaille armor: left to right: Chauss, Coif, Gauntlets