"Honor isn't about making the right choices. It's about dealing with the consequences."
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Author Topic: Custom Chainmail  (Read 12783 times)

Don Jorge

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Re: Custom Chainmail
« Reply #45 on: 2014-11-24, 19:57:04 »
Although paying so much would only make sense if the mail itself was close to historical, it's a testament to the tediousness and low payoff of mail tailoring that so few people are willing to do it.

Edit: I may have found someone who not only does mail tailoring correctly but does it for a fair price. I've ordered some mail tailored from him and will report back with a new review once I receive it.

Intriguing! Name of the vendor?

Chuck G.

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Re: Custom Chainmail
« Reply #46 on: 2014-12-12, 17:22:52 »
Thank you both.  Just a word of caution though.  Even though this store's offerings are a vast improvement over off-the-rack offerings, it's still not properly tailored maille.   For example there's no tailoring at the elbow to form cups or expansions in the armpits.  The sleeve tapers, but it's still a tapering tube, not a properly formed and tailored sleeve.  A real tailored maille sleeve shares a lot of the same tailoring features as the sleeve construction on that pourpoint you just made.  It uses a lot of cleverly placed rings to build in a small cup and pre-bend in the elbow like the CdB sleeve.

To get that level of proper tailoring requires either a lot of money and actually finding someone willing to do it, or a lot of work on your own.  My friend Tom Biliter just finished up a pair of properly tailored sleeves.  They offer more flexibility at the elbow than any tube, tapered or not, can possibly allow.  The tailoring on his were copied from an authentic sleeve in Wade Allen's collection that was marked up by Mac to show all the tailoring rings.  Even though Tom's is a reproduction of just the detached sleeves, similar tailoring would go in to the sleeves on a haubergeon.  A haubergeon would also include contraction and expansion in the body as well to correspond to the chest, waist, and hips.

So, for the prices we're used to paying for maille, Custom Chainmail is an awesome alternative to the off-the-rack stuff everyone uses, but it's still a couple tiers below the craftsmanship of properly tailored maille :)

In addition to tailoring, another aspect omitted in modern reproduction maille is the fact that in period work the size and thickness of the rings themselves could vary significantly, with more vulnerable areas getting thicker and smaller I.D. rings, as discussed in this thread on Armour Archive: http://forums.armourarchive.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=175310

I am working on a coif right now that is using a mix of rings. I have solid 9mm rings from IceFalcon that are very thin for the less vulnerable areas, and much thicker 3/8" rings that I hand punched myself from scrap 16 ga sheet and plain steel washers (I have the more industrial sized Whitney Roper punches at my disposal). It's a lot of work but the top, sides, and front flap of the coif are/will be of very heavy duty rings, with the rear and shoulder parts thinner to keep the overall weight down. Unfortunately, the riveted rings are all Ice Falcon, and so very thin, but for a first trial run of this work it will do.

My next (actually a bit concurrent) project is a haubergeon inspired by the Sinigaglia example, that will have 100% of the rings made by me. To keep the effort manageable, I am using 1/2" ID rings (so this is MACROMAILLE with a capital "M") but early results are promising.

Assuming these pathfinder efforts work out, my final project in this series will be a haubergeon with all of the rings made by me, incorporating lessons learnt from the previous two efforts. Do not expect this last to be finished anytime soon...