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Main => The Armoury => Reviews => Topic started by: Ian on 2014-06-19, 20:58:45

Title: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Ian on 2014-06-19, 20:58:45
A couple months ago I placed an order with Jeff (Jestyr on the AA) at Custom Chainmail (http://www.customchainmail.com/).  Anyone who has had to endure tailoring their own maille knows that it's tedious at best, and a nightmare at worst.  If someone out there is willing to do it for me, he deserves my business!  I needed a maille shirt that would be suitable for wear under a late 14th / early 15th century plate harness.  I needed long sleeves, and a mid-thigh length skirt and no split on the hem (which is not a combination usually sold off-the-rack).  Instead of having to by a long sleeved hauberk, trim the skirt, sew up the split in the hem, then taper the sleeves, tailor the body tube etc... I just put off the purchase out of fear of losing my sanity.  Then I saw that Custom Chainmail is offering all of those services straight out the door!

On the standard scale, 5's across the board... 6's if they were allowed!  Price was quoted up front along with a reasonable timeline for production.  The final product was done within the quoted time.  Communication was virtually instantaneous.  If I had a question about measurements or anything for that matter Jeff usually responded within hours if not 20 or 30 minutes of sending him an email.  The product itself is great!  It fit straight out of the box and alleviated my fears of having to cut it apart and sew it back up to fit.   Not a single ring or rivet fell off after unboxing, cleaning it, applying my favorite rust preventative, and wearing it.  The sleeve taper is excellent based on just my measurements and still allows full elbow flexion with no binding.  The taper also doesn't display that awkward stair-step look that some taper jobs end up looking like.

Buy with confidence!

Here you can see the fit, finish and sleeve taper.  No bingo wings here!

(https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3876/14274548399_251d6f0202_c.jpg)
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Thorsteinn on 2014-06-19, 22:29:27
Nice!
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Lord Dane on 2014-06-19, 23:21:50
Looks good Ian. Tapered is the way to go.
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Sir Patrick on 2014-06-20, 01:04:00
So jealous!
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Sir Douglas on 2014-06-20, 01:39:44
Very nice indeed!
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Don Jorge on 2014-06-20, 01:49:25
Why the longer sleeves? Is that normal for late 14th century? Also would your vambrace/arm harness go under the chain or above?
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Ian on 2014-06-20, 02:08:03
Why the longer sleeves? Is that normal for late 14th century? Also would your vambrace/arm harness go under the chain or above?

The longer sleeves are a necessity because all English effigies that give you a peak at the elbow gap show the maille completely filling in the interior elbow and extending in to the lower vambrace.  There's no section of arm that's not either covered by maille or both plate and maille.  I hadn't the heart to extend the sleeves on my other shirt that far ;)  I will probably trim the ones I just got to be a little bit higher on the wrist so they don't extend beyond the vambraces.

It will be worn just like this effigy.  English style is fully articulated arm harness worn over the maille.  This is why a relatively close fitted tapered arm is key.  Counter to this would be the Italian style where it's common to have a baggier maille sleeve that is draped over the upper cannon of the rerebrace, which is way easier to pull off with an off-the-rack bingo-wing style maille shirt.

But this purchase wasn't just about the sleeves.  The body is fitted to your measurements as well, and he offers different finishes and rivet styles etc.

(http://effigiesandbrasses.com/media/cache/effigiesandbrasses.com/original/thomas_beauchamp_11th_s62_r5971_large.jpg)
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Thorsteinn on 2014-06-20, 02:15:53
Now you can pull the Wat's Rebellion move of blocking sword blows with your arm and slaying the miscreant right after. :)
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Lord Dane on 2014-06-20, 06:59:28
Does any else have the feeling that Sir Ian has a pictoral depiction of a historical effigy on-hand for all occasions & projects. I am thinking so.  ;D
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Sir Patrick on 2014-06-20, 13:09:01
Put some pants on! ;)
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Sir Edward on 2014-06-20, 13:46:59
Fantastic!

It's definitely worth saving your sanity on this, for sure. I've been doing the work myself on my mail stuff. If it weren't for the fact that I've already made a hauberk, and thus have spent enough time with it that I don't have to think too hard on it, I probably wouldn't continue with it.

I have a love-hate thing going on with mail. I love that it's something I can do. I hate doing it, because of how mindlessly repetitive it is.

The tailoring on yours looks really good. I'm assuming they tapered the body tube inward around the waist, and left expansion in the skirt and shoulders? Ideally the back should be wider than the front too (sleeves angled forward slightly). It will move a lot more nicely with these features. From the picture, I think they did all of these things and really got it right.

On the sleeve length, I don't think you need to trim it, from the picture. I've found sleeves to "pull back" a bit once plate components are strapped on. Of course, if you've tried it already, I could be completely wrong. :) I'm looking at your right arm, angled up. The mail needs to be able to accommodate that, and not be pulled forward too far.

Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Ian on 2014-06-20, 16:28:58
Put some pants on! ;)

That Nike logo sticking out from the hem of the skirt is not a tattoo!  I do have shorts on :)
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Sir Edward on 2014-06-20, 17:02:32
If "A Knight's Tale" has taught us anything, it's that Nike logos are completely period. :)
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Sir James A on 2014-06-20, 18:19:21
Excellent! Does the plate arms fit over it properly and still articulate? 9mm rings? Wedge or pin? Does the watch keep the mail from slipping out of the vambrace? :)
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Ian on 2014-06-20, 18:22:41
Excellent! Does the plate arms fit over it properly and still articulate? 9mm rings? Wedge or pin? Does the watch keep the mail from slipping out of the vambrace? :)

The watch is key to the whole thing.  These sleeves fit closer than the taper job I did myself on my last maille shirt, so I have no reason to believe my arms would function any worse over top this shirt.

Does any else have the feeling that Sir Ian has a pictoral depiction of a historical effigy on-hand for all occasions & projects. I am thinking so.  ;D

Well yes I do... in fact, it's required for most of the things I intend to put on my kit for the organization I do LH with ;)  Everything's got to be documented if it can be.
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Sir Ulrich on 2014-06-21, 04:03:10
That looks nice, as well tailored to the arms as I did mine with just enough room for flexibility. Probably even a better job than mine now that I come to see how closely fitted it is. Maybe one day I will commission my own maille from this, not in a rush for it now cause my current one fits but once I get bigger probably will. Looks better than allthebeststuff's tailoring job.
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Naythan on 2014-06-22, 01:50:57
The Mail Looks Perfect!
Makes me wonder if allbeststuff does mail tailoring, I know they can alter stuff before shipping it, But if they will take someones hauberk and then do it. Im sure they would but then again the shipping would probably be well over 100 dollars.
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Ian on 2014-06-22, 14:34:39
Custom Chainmail builds the shirt to your measurements, they don't alter an existing shirt afaik.
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Naythan on 2014-06-22, 21:46:48
Custom Chainmail builds the shirt to your measurements, they don't alter an existing shirt afaik.
That makes sense
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Sir William on 2014-06-24, 18:41:14
I can't imagine that ABS is altering existing shirts as well, but it isn't beyond the scope of believability.  I'll know soon enough.
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Sir Douglas on 2014-06-25, 02:18:44
So what's the weight on that? I imagine proper tailoring would shave off a little bit of weight as well. At least, compared to off-the-rack stuff.
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Ian on 2014-06-25, 02:25:05
So what's the weight on that? I imagine proper tailoring would shave off a little bit of weight as well. At least, compared to off-the-rack stuff.

18 lbs, but I need to trim the skirt back about 5 inches.
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Sir Douglas on 2014-06-25, 02:29:18
Wow, that's not bad at all. I was figuring at least 20.
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Sir Wolf on 2014-07-12, 11:55:01
nice
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Eva de Carduus Weald on 2014-08-18, 15:44:37
Okay I am officially drooling for my own one of those here. Being 5'2" and 117.6 pounds means that it won't take too terribly much to put together in comparison to some of the ones I have seen about but I have no idea on how well plate works with mail, so this is great. Thanks for the post!
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Ian on 2014-08-18, 15:48:53
Okay I am officially drooling for my own one of those here. Being 5'2" and 117.6 pounds means that it won't take too terribly much to put together in comparison to some of the ones I have seen about but I have no idea on how well plate works with mail, so this is great. Thanks for the post!

Eva, for my period of interest wearing plate and maille is a requirement.  If you have well fitted maille, it will not inhibit the proper function of the plate.  It also requires the plate be made to fit you properly while wearing the maille.  You can see my plate harness in my avatar picture.  Under all that plate is a full shirt of maille like you see at the top of my original post.  But for all of this to work well together you have to start from the outside in; that is good arming garments fitted to you, maille fitted to that, plate fitted to the combination of that etc.
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Don Jorge on 2014-08-18, 20:06:35
Okay I am officially drooling for my own one of those here. Being 5'2" and 117.6 pounds means that it won't take too terribly much to put together in comparison to some of the ones I have seen about but I have no idea on how well plate works with mail, so this is great. Thanks for the post!

Eva, for my period of interest wearing plate and maille is a requirement.  If you have well fitted maille, it will not inhibit the proper function of the plate.  It also requires the plate be made to fit you properly while wearing the maille.  You can see my plate harness in my avatar picture.  Under all that plate is a full shirt of maille like you see at the top of my original post.  But for all of this to work well together you have to start from the outside in; that is good arming garments fitted to you, maille fitted to that, plate fitted to the combination of that etc.

That is the best advice I ever got...Soft Kit, Arming Garments, Mail, then Plate...build it like an onion...that way you can adjust and measure properly!
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Naythan on 2014-08-19, 03:41:58
Agreed to the above.
Eva-
I purchased butted mail, then padding, some plates, and ended up with a nice looking kit. But plenty inaccurate to history and a waste of money.
Even my current avatar picture is the butted mail.
For a hauberk you can have a custom make, which would be the best option.  But you can look around sites like allbeststuff.com for mail you like(but make sure to find the type of mail that suits your century)
I will stress getting a soft kit first, then arming garments.
Also
There are two types of mail makes,
Riveted and butted.
Butted is cheaper, no historical, and the rings are butted together and can be pushed apart. It would fail miserably of tested in combat.
Riveted is where the mail rings have rivets put into each ring and then a pin(wether or not that is or is also called the rivet I am unsure) holds the ring together.
There are more variations of ring shapes and rivet types for mail. It is debated what different types are more accurate for different century's.
I don't know the type Of mail used for 14th century, but here are some mail types I know.
Domed ringed-rings are round
Flat ringed-rings are flat
Integrated- rings alternate from solid rings to rings with the rivets
Alternating - rings alternate from flat to round riveted rings
Other terms are full domed riveted
Round rivets(the rings pin is a rounded rivet)
Wedge rivets(the rings pin is a triangle)
Some call hauberk a that are non alternating "Full"
Like full domed ring hauberk.
Types of hauberk a will usually say something like this
Integrated, flat ring, wedge riveted hauberk.
There is also preference to what is better flat rings or domed, and round rivets and wedged riveted.
Btw. Hauberk is a mail shirt that can go down to ones knees and be full sleeved.
And haubergeon is short sleeved. (Men not as wealthy as others would buy haubergeons because they are less mail, therefore more affordable.

Please anyone correct me if I am mistaken on certain terminology.

Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Ian on 2014-08-19, 14:59:56
Please anyone correct me if I am mistaken on certain terminology.

Well, you asked for it :)

Butted maille did exist historically.  There are ancient examples but in order to be effective in combat butted rings must be made from very heavy gauge wire.

Terminology as used by the retailers -

Maille is broken up by ring type, rivet type, and sometimes patterning

Ring Type -
  Round - Round rings are standard rings made from bent wire. 
  Flat - Flat rings are more like a washer.  In period round rings were whacked with a hammer to flatten them out.  It increases their strength by making them much more resistant to bursting open.  Modern flat rings are manufactured differently for practical reasons and are similar but not quite like real flattened medieval rings. 

Rivet Type
   Dome or Pin - Round headed rivets with a pin shank that secures the ends of the rings together
   Wedge - tiny little triangles of steel or iron compressed in to the drifted hole where the edges of the ring overlap.  The advantage to modernly manufactured wedge rivets are that they are much nicer to underlying clothing layers and it doesn't get caught on itself as easily as pin riveted.

Patterns -
    All riveted - every ring is riveted (period for a lot of the 14th century)
    Alternating - every other row of rings is riveted, the in between rows are solid rings that require no rivet (like a solid washer or uncut ring)

Material
     Mild steel - soft steel, will rust, requires maintenance and oiling
     Stainless steel - obviously not period, but they do a good job of making look like normal steel - virtually maintenance free


Period and status will dictate the type of garment, be it a short sleeved, mid thigh length garment, or a long sleeved, knee-length garment etc.
   
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Eva de Carduus Weald on 2014-08-19, 15:28:31
Wow thank you all for the information. I didn't even realize there were that many types of mail out there. What style rings were most common to 14th c?

I think that is a great idea to start from the inside and work out. I am beginning to come up with a plan, it is one that will take a very long time to come to fruition but that gives me time to research :D. Everyone here has such awesome advice! Thank you guys so much for sharing, I might actually end up looking like a real fighter at some point even if I never draw sword!
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Ian on 2014-08-19, 15:43:03
Wow thank you all for the information. I didn't even realize there were that many types of mail out there. What style rings were most common to 14th c?

I think that is a great idea to start from the inside and work out. I am beginning to come up with a plan, it is one that will take a very long time to come to fruition but that gives me time to research :D. Everyone here has such awesome advice! Thank you guys so much for sharing, I might actually end up looking like a real fighter at some point even if I never draw sword!

As a general rule (which of course there are always exceptions), the 14th century knight favored fully riveted flat ring maille, mid-thigh length.  Sleeve fit and length depend greatly on geographic location and cultural stylistic differences.

If it makes you feel better to achieve a living history quality armor, it's taken me about 4 years and I'm still not done.
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Eva de Carduus Weald on 2014-08-19, 17:25:03
O.o, 4 years!?! Good gracious!

Ah I see, well it does make sense to have flat but it isn't what my modern, highly fantasy induced brain first imagines. Not surprising that. Righto this future kit is coming together already!

By the way, I appreciate the work that you do, I don't think people who do all of this research and share really hear that enough. Spending that long on any subject, regardless of how much you love it, and sharing it with others is a gift. So thank you.
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Ian on 2014-08-19, 17:51:05
By the way, I appreciate the work that you do, I don't think people who do all of this research and share really hear that enough. Spending that long on any subject, regardless of how much you love it, and sharing it with others is a gift. So thank you.

You're very welcome!  Sharing what I've learned is what I enjoy most about this hobby, and why I love doing living history demos so much.  I appreciate the support.  Sometimes it can definitely feel like all the hard work, time and effort falls flat and was for nothing when someone just glosses over what you've put your passion in to.  It's always nice and refreshing to find someone with genuine interest!
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Eva de Carduus Weald on 2014-08-19, 18:23:38
I can tell you that while someone might not see it for what it is initially, those who have a real interest will learn over time the work that goes into what you do, even if they themselves don't do it. That has something to do with maturity too I think.

We enthusiasts just beginning our road to understanding the armor of a certain period/area, we really enjoy having something solid to start from and having someone knowledgeable to ask questions of. :D But I completely understand how you feel about putting so much time into something and having it seem like it is blown off.
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Sir Douglas on 2014-08-19, 21:16:28
I can tell you one thing, Eva: Ian is pretty much the go-to guy around here for anything involving Living History: kits, events, whatever. I've already bugged the heck out of him regarding an upcoming LH event. :)
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Ian on 2014-08-19, 21:31:06
I can tell you one thing, Eva: Ian is pretty much the go-to guy around here for anything involving Living History: kits, events, whatever. I've already bugged the heck out of him regarding an upcoming LH event. :)

It may appear that way, but that's only because Sir Wolf is too quiet!  He is vastly more experienced than I when it comes to LH.  I believe Paulus von Zurich shares many of Sir Wolf's experience as well.  :)  But thank you Doug!
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Naythan on 2014-08-19, 22:38:44
I can tell you one thing, Eva: Ian is pretty much the go-to guy around here for anything involving Living History: kits, events, whatever. I've already bugged the heck out of him regarding an upcoming LH event. :)

It may appear that way, but that's only because Sir Wolf is too quiet!  He is vastly more experienced than I when it comes to LH.  I believe Paulus von Zurich shares many of Sir Wolf's experience as well.  :)  But thank you Doug!

I've gone to help from both you and wolf(though about roman armor for a school project) But I agree.
And thank you for correcting me.

I can tell you that while someone might not see it for what it is initially, those who have a real interest will learn over time the work that goes into what you do, even if they themselves don't do it. That has something to do with maturity too I think.

We enthusiasts just beginning our road to understanding the armor of a certain period/area, we really enjoy having something solid to start from and having someone knowledgeable to ask questions of. :D But I completely understand how you feel about putting so much time into something and having it seem like it is blown off.

I know a few people that want to get involved with this stuff but give up when they see how much time they would have to put into it.
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Sir William on 2014-08-20, 17:31:12
I think it is like anything else you have a passion about- you've got to be willing to put in the time, make the sacrifices and consider the longterm goal.
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Sir Edward on 2014-08-21, 13:41:44
By the way, I appreciate the work that you do, I don't think people who do all of this research and share really hear that enough. Spending that long on any subject, regardless of how much you love it, and sharing it with others is a gift. So thank you.

You're very welcome!  Sharing what I've learned is what I enjoy most about this hobby, and why I love doing living history demos so much.  I appreciate the support.  Sometimes it can definitely feel like all the hard work, time and effort falls flat and was for nothing when someone just glosses over what you've put your passion in to.  It's always nice and refreshing to find someone with genuine interest!

I think everyone here appreciates it. ;) I know I do!
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Don Jorge on 2014-08-21, 14:27:23
By the way, I appreciate the work that you do, I don't think people who do all of this research and share really hear that enough. Spending that long on any subject, regardless of how much you love it, and sharing it with others is a gift. So thank you.

You're very welcome!  Sharing what I've learned is what I enjoy most about this hobby, and why I love doing living history demos so much.  I appreciate the support.  Sometimes it can definitely feel like all the hard work, time and effort falls flat and was for nothing when someone just glosses over what you've put your passion in to.  It's always nice and refreshing to find someone with genuine interest!

I think everyone here appreciates it. ;) I know I do!

+1
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: scott2978 on 2014-11-15, 06:19:36
Ian is what got me interested in Living History some years back. His dedication to getting the details right is still as inspiring to me today as it was back then. And from running into him occasionally on the interwebs to eventually getting to know him a little better through Modern Chivalry, it turns out Ian is a cool guy and a gentleman to boot.

But I digress lest this turn into yet another Ian fan club thread...  :)

I wish I had noticed this thread earlier. Mail is one of the most fascinating parts of medieval armor to me and I love demonstrating it to people. A case in point below about riveted vs solid (or butted) links:

An individual mail link rivet is so tiny you can barely feel it's weight in your hand. You could fit half a dozen of them in the volume of a standard #2 pencil eraser. But the way I always illustrate to people how much difference in weight those rivets make is by asking them to hold their hand out all the way extended, and gently setting a bag of 9mm rings on their palm. I keep talking the whole time, telling them the structural and economic differences between riveted vs solid rings, and after about 60 seconds their arm starts to get tired. That's when I add a bag of rivets to their palm, before asking - "See how much all those rivets weigh now?"

So, I'm going to have to check out this store now that two people I respect have recommended it. Finding properly tailored mail is really rare, even in this day and age of increasing enlightenment.

Scott
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Lord Dane on 2014-11-15, 07:58:25
Don't feel so bad about that trend, Scott. I have mutual feelings & respect for Ian in his pursuits of historical accuracy & how it reflects upon the Order. :) He lives the medieval life!!
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Ian on 2014-11-15, 13:39:23
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 :)

I'm not trying to be ungrateful for the compliments, I just don't want people to think that the sleeve construction I'm wearing is perfectly accurate ;)  That's how re-enactorisms are born, haha.


To get an idea of what goes in to the proper tailoring of a sleeve here you can see the deep v cut on the left side of the image.  That's the upper arm's elbow seam, just like on the CdB.  That's how you get that "tailored in" bend.  All the mess at the right of the image is how the armpit should be to allow freedom of movement:

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-wTwRlHc9nsc/VABe9HWb1vI/AAAAAAAANmc/rs54xNNleMs/s800/photo%25201.JPG)


And in this image you can see the final sleeve.  The sleeve on top is Wade's authentic sleeve.  The white twisty-ties are where Mac marked out the rings used to tailor it.  The bottom sleeve is Tom's reproduction.  The blacker rings are the rings he used to tailor it and correspond to the twisty-tied rings on Wade's original.  Note the tailored-in bend in the elbow and gussets in the armpit to allow real freedom of movement.

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-2QeYhh2kZBI/VEHEqUut0wI/AAAAAAAANzw/nlZfZOuKemg/s800/CIMG8180.JPG)
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: scott2978 on 2014-11-21, 03:27:51
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.
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Naythan on 2014-11-21, 23:24:55
My Hauberk does not do that.
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Don Jorge 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?
Title: Re: Custom Chainmail
Post by: Chuck G. 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 (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...