Nursery Rhymes

Chain Mail Clothing

Medieval life and Times

Chain Mail Clothing
Chain Mail was a flexible armor which was made from interlinked metal rings  and worn by the average soldier during the Medieval times and era.  The word 'Chainmail' was an English combination of two words. 'Chain' meaning a series of metal rings or links fitted into one another to make a flexible ligament and 'mail' from the French word "maille" which is derived from the Latin "macula" meaning "mesh of a net". Various garments were adapted to be made from chain mail.

Chain Mail

The Advantages of Chain Mail Clothing
The advantages of using Chain Mail Clothing as a protective covering were as follows:

  • The clothing was was flexible
  • Chain mail clothing was easy to make
  • It was easy and fast to repair
  • Chain mail clothing was cheap and easy to fit many men, of all sizes
  • Chain mail clothing allowed ease of movement
  • It was effective against sharp points and blades
  • It helped to prevent the skin being pierced which stopped the fatal infections which often followed such injuries

Garments worn with Chain Mail Clothing
A padded, or quilted, garment known by various names such as Aketon, Arming coat, Doublet, Gambeson, Hacketon was worn in conjunction with Chain Mail Clothing as a form of additional defence. These garments consisted of a quilted coat which was either sewn or stuffed with linen or even grass. This stuffing served as padding for additional armour worn over the top.

Medieval Chain Mail Clothing Hauberk and other garments
The word chainmail refers to the material of the armor. Various clothes and garments were made from the the materials used to make chainmail. Each piece of Chain Mail Clothing was fashioned specifically for whichever part of the body it was intended to protect. Shirts made of Chain Mail Clothing weighed up to 25 kilograms, depending on the size and the number of Chain Mail Clothing garments worn.  Chain Mail Clothing was named as follows:

  • Hauberk - A hauberk was a knee-length shirt made of Chain Mail
  • Haubergeon - A haubergion was a waist-length shirt
  • Chausses and Sabatons - Chausses and Sabatons were socks made of chain mail
  • Chain Mail coif - A coif was a hood, protecting the head
  • Camail - A camail was the Chain Mail collar which hung from the helmet
  • Mitons - Mitons were the mittens worn to protect the hands

Making Medieval Chain Mail Clothing
Making Medieval Chain Mail Clothing during the Medieval times of the Middle Ages was undertaken by the Blacksmith. Making Medieval Chain Mail Clothing involved the linking of iron or steel rings, the ends of which were either pressed together, welded or riveted. The rings were formed when they were stamped out of a sheet of iron and then used in alternate rows with riveted links.

Chain Mail Clothing Patterns
The demand for Medieval Chain Mail Clothing was substantial. Each piece of mail was fashioned specifically for whichever part of the body it was intended to protect. Chain Mail Clothing patterns were used for creating this type of armor, resembling a modern knitting pattern. There was a basic Chain Mail Clothing pattern used for each part of the body it was intended to protect. Sizing was easily accommodated by the addition of extra rings. The most common form of Chain Mail Clothing patterns was the "four-in-one" pattern in which each link had four others linked through it.

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