Questions on chainmail


I have a few questions on Mail,
1, what are the best places to get chainmail?
2. is it worth getting higher quality or cheaper mail
3. is it worth making it yourself over buying

  1. no idea sorry. You could probably check the various LARP traders, some re-enactors, eBay and the Empire FB pages…

  2. It rather depends what you want it for… If you want it as an essential and distincitive piece of character kit, you might want to buy better quality stuff. If it’s just to go under a tabard or similar as part of a suit or armour, then maybe not so good. If you want it (for Empire) to be Heavy armour, then it’ll need to be iron or steel. If you want Medium armour, you could investigate aluminium or neoprene mail. Heck, some systems are fine with “knit-maille” which is made from wool!

I don’t know if loose mail (with the rings linked 4/2/4) is differentiated from close knit chain (rings linked 6/6/6) in Empire armour rules… but there’s a lot of difference in wieght…

As a general rule, I’d advise NOT skimping on the chainmaille. Rivetted rings are expensive, butted rings less so, poorly made butted ringmail can fall to pieces and start shedding rings, on the other hand it’ll also be easier to repair. Given that chainmaille works well in many LARP systems, and has a pretty good resale value*, I’d splash out on some good stuff.

  1. You can make it yourself… In my experience, you’ll be lucky to make about a square foot in a week of it eating you spare time… And that’s after you’ve got the hang of it, and the tools, and bought all those rings… boxes and boxes of them… And you might make yourself some very nice chainmail. And it’ll take months.

But much of the cost of chain is the labour of making it… which do you have more of, time or money?

You could even try a little of both, buying a chain vest and the bits needed to add on extras… shoulderpads, a gorget, a warskirt… in my experience, do not make chain shinguards. They wiegh a lot…

*Usually. My brother found a chainmail hauberk that had been thrown away. It was bright brass with black spots (leopard print) and size petite female fit. Very character-specific… He sold it on, eventually…