Friday, November 15, 2013

Chainmail (Post #2)

Back in ye olden dayes, soldiers following the banner of their lorde into battle would wear a cap of maile upon their wooly pates to protect their domes from the hacking and slashing the enemy would inflict by flailing about sharp and pointy objects.

Said caps were called Coifes, and they would form a sort of hood for the wearer. Such apparel was vital in a world where a man's life was only a sword-blade's length from being snuffed out. Ring-mail, or chainmaille, was cheaper to produce than plated armor, and thus was more readily available to the common soldier as it was more affordable on his meager paycheck.

This day in age, one would be far more likely to see a fellow bustling about in a hoodie than a gentleman dressed in mail armor. But because of my incredible fascination with the age of the knight and castle-fortress, I decided to weave my own suit of mail. I started with the Coife, because I had a feeling its shape would cause it to be one of the most difficult aspects of the suit. Also, it being a smaller item, I hoped it would be a fairly straight-forward and quick item to weave. I was proven incorrect in my assumptions time and time again in the process of weaving this particular garment. But although it was a trial of sorts, at long last I have completed my Coife and there shall be much rejoicing!

Right... eh... moving right along...

It weighs some 11.2 pounds complete, and while heavy, is surprisingly comfortable when worn upon one's head. I wish I had kept better track of how many rolls of wire went into this piece, but I think it was six or seven 100-foot rolls of galvanized wire which I then twisted into rings.

I will say, it's pretty impressive holding it in your hands. And to think such a supple, while protective, piece of apparel is made up entirely of small, metal rings of steel. Amazing...

I model the armor, wearing the impressive and shiny Coife atop my noble brow. 'Tis a masterfully woven bit of mail, that. Now comes the daunting task of weaving the next piece. I've decided the Hauberk is a good choice. And I know that will take an immense number of rings to weave... but I feel it will be a fairly more straightforward piece, as it will have fewer odd curves to fit in.

Of course... I've been wrong before.