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Foster Day




Location: Ottawa
Joined: 30 May 2013

Posts: 23

PostPosted: Fri 31 May, 2013 8:39 am    Post subject: Kult of Athena Chainmail Hauberk         Reply with quote

http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...el+-+Large
Does anyone have any first hand experience with this product, or have any input to give as to what they think of it? I value your opinions Big Grin

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Ian S LaSpina




Location: Virginia, US
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PostPosted: Fri 31 May, 2013 10:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Folks in the group that I'm involved with use this (well, the haubergeon version, but it's the same product, just shorter). What do you intend to use it for? We use it for living history demos, and light combat, in conjunction with padding. The construction is solid, however, it is a simple tube for the torso and arms, so there's no real shaping to speak of. All of the gentlemen in my group who own one have tailored it themselves to get a more period appropriate fit, especially in the arms.

Proper hauberks and haubergeons should have tapering arms as you get to the wrist. The GDFB offerings are just straight, so when you hold your arms out to the side, there will be a lot of excess maille hanging off of your arm. As far as commercial offerings of maille coats, GDFB is reputable, and very common amongst the living history / reenactment crowd. Mild steel will rust if not kept oiled, and even then it will get some corrosion, but this can be cleaned off. Also, lots of wearing tends to keep maille cleaner as it rubs against itself.

Wedge rivets, if appropriate for your time period of interest are preferable in my opinion than pin rivets for the sole reason that they are infinitely more forgiving on the clothing beneath and don't get snagged on fabric or other rings as easily.

It's not junk, it's also not historically accurate (a good historical reproduction of maille would be several thousand dollars, if not more). But it's definitely one of the go-to suppliers for period-ish maille.

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P. Schontzler




Location: WA, USA
Joined: 15 Apr 2013

Posts: 99

PostPosted: Fri 31 May, 2013 10:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I want to point out that the link from the OP is not for GDFB mail. There is no brand provided other than "Kult of Athena." If you look it up on the website the GDFB mail has no visible split in the front of the skirt. That and it has a different price, image, etc.
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Foster Day




Location: Ottawa
Joined: 30 May 2013

Posts: 23

PostPosted: Fri 31 May, 2013 10:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ian S LaSpina wrote:
What do you intend to use it for?


Light contact with padding, re-enactment, etc.
There is no possible way I could ever afford the real historical mail, this is probably some of the better stuff I could rub two cents together to get right now Worried
Thanks for the input and the advice for how to take care of it Happy

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Foster Day




Location: Ottawa
Joined: 30 May 2013

Posts: 23

PostPosted: Fri 31 May, 2013 10:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

P. Schontzler wrote:
I want to point out that the link from the OP is not for GDFB mail. There is no brand provided other than "Kult of Athena." If you look it up on the website the GDFB mail has no visible split in the front of the skirt. That and it has a different price, image, etc.


Exactly right, I have heard the reviews of the GDFB Chainmail from the people on this site already (they were very helpful).

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Ian S LaSpina




Location: Virginia, US
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PostPosted: Fri 31 May, 2013 3:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Foster Day wrote:
P. Schontzler wrote:
I want to point out that the link from the OP is not for GDFB mail. There is no brand provided other than "Kult of Athena." If you look it up on the website the GDFB mail has no visible split in the front of the skirt. That and it has a different price, image, etc.


Exactly right, I have heard the reviews of the GDFB Chainmail from the people on this site already (they were very helpful).


Ah, sorry! I just assumed GDFB. I had no idea KoA had new maille options! Another option is icefalcon for maille, some would say a step up from the GDFB offerings (honestly it's just about the same), I use the blackened stainless with my kit and have had to perform 0 maintenance on it other than tailoring. He also has wedge riveted stainless, which is the bees knees for Indian maille in my humble opinion.

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A Casalucci





Joined: 14 Dec 2012

Posts: 14

PostPosted: Sat 01 Jun, 2013 11:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I just found this topic while looking for a replacemente for my old chain mail. Wich are the best manifacturers for historical riveted chainmail for XIII century? I found sone indian links, but seems that their rings are too much large in diameter.
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Ian S LaSpina




Location: Virginia, US
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PostPosted: Sat 01 Jun, 2013 12:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A Casalucci wrote:
I just found this topic while looking for a replacemente for my old chain mail. Wich are the best manifacturers for historical riveted chainmail for XIII century? I found sone indian links, but seems that their rings are too much large in diameter.


The short answer to your question is none, unless you're willing to spend a considerable sum on custom work. There is no commercially available 'historical' maille. I say none, because the best production maille still has glaring ahistorical features. All production flat ring maille is WAY too flat, there's multiple issues with the way things are riveted when compared to historical maille. If you search the site you will see countless threads covering this in minute detail, which I won't go in to here.

The overwhelming bulk of production maille comes from India. Some lines are better than others. Some of the go-to manufacturers commonly used are the GDFB line available at Kult of Athena, and then you have others like Icefalcon, and Cap a Pie to name three. Some of them offer various diameters and styles of maille to suit your needs, some are more 'historically appropriate' than others, but understand that that is a loose use of the term when compared to real historical maille structure.

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Last edited by Ian S LaSpina on Sat 01 Jun, 2013 3:14 pm; edited 2 times in total
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T. Kew




Location: Cambridge, UK
Joined: 21 Apr 2012

Posts: 174

PostPosted: Sat 01 Jun, 2013 1:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

While it's true that Cap-a-Pie's off the shelf offerings are also not truly historical, I would quickly note that they aren't simply reselling GDFB products either (see http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?p...=#260077). The wedge riveted offerings are particularly nice, especially if you have long and tangle-prone hair.
Instructor and scholar, Cambridge HEMA
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A Casalucci





Joined: 14 Dec 2012

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PostPosted: Sun 02 Jun, 2013 12:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

hmm at laest the closest to historical mail?
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Ian S LaSpina




Location: Virginia, US
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Jun, 2013 3:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A Casalucci wrote:
hmm at laest the closest to historical mail?


The three retailers I linked you above are the best I know of.

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Matthew P. Adams




Location: Cape Cod, MA
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Jun, 2013 4:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

For Hema and SCA would these be as strong as the welded azon stuff? Stronger? If you wanted something for protection and threw historical out the window what would recommend?
"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training" Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC
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T. Kew




Location: Cambridge, UK
Joined: 21 Apr 2012

Posts: 174

PostPosted: Sun 02 Jun, 2013 4:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"Most protective" depends what you're protecting against. Welded mesh, such as the Azon mail, is excellent against slices and cuts, and is probably some of the best on the market if you want something to hide under a jacket to turn a cheap knife during a mugging. It doesn't absorb impact, though, and the rings are small and deform quite easily.

Consequently, I wouldn't use it for SCA (although I have a shirt which I use for LARP, at which it performs admirably). SCA seems like it would want heavy mail in relatively larger rings, to help distribute and absorb the blunt impacts easier. And, of course, serious padding under the mail. However, the Azon type mail is apparently excellent if you're doing SCA *light* combat, to resist blunt thrusts.

HEMA is a very broad term - but assuming you're thinking of steel waster combat with some degree of blow-pulling, then the protective qualities of the mail are likely less of the relevant fact you're looking for. To my mind at least, if your aim is to reconstruct historical combat techniques, then the ideal armour is one which replicates historical armours as closely as possible. So I'd look into the appropriate forms of mail for the period/harness you're recreating/wearing, and find a maker who can provide you with a reasonable facsimile of that (with an eye particularly towards weight, and also partially ring size. as that very marginally affects how it moves).

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Matthew P. Adams




Location: Cape Cod, MA
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Jun, 2013 5:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you, that answers my question quite well!

This would be for Fiore armored combat, and so it would go under "some plate". I have a gambeson and in the next couple years I see my class expanding into more armored combat. So mail, coat of plates or a breast plate, etc etc.

If the Azon stuff were far stronger I would be interested but it sounds like it isn't.

Sorry for the de-rail gentlemen!

"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training" Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC
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Kel Rekuta




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 10 Feb 2004
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PostPosted: Fri 07 Jun, 2013 3:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew P. Adams wrote:
Thank you, that answers my question quite well!

This would be for Fiore armored combat, and so it would go under "some plate". I have a gambeson and in the next couple years I see my class expanding into more armored combat. So mail, coat of plates or a breast plate, etc etc.

If the Azon stuff were far stronger I would be interested but it sounds like it isn't.

Sorry for the de-rail gentlemen!


The AZON welded butcher market mail is utter fail for thrust oriented HEMA full contact fighting. Rebated blades go through it like it isn't there.

I've bought every size and variety of mild steel riveted mail front Icefalcon, GDFB and KoA. The 6mm riveted looks great but has serious rivet closure issues. Pass on it for safety. The other variants of 8-9mm i.d. riveted have better weight to strength characteristics and survive full contact well. We don't bother with pulled blows at AEMMA as we expect good kit maintenance. We regularly fight to submission so the rig has to take what is thrown.

My suggestion is to buy the appropriate setter and extra rings to tailor and repair your mail, wherever you buy it. Keep all your kit in good maintenance at all times. The few serious injuries that have occurred in our community can be traced back to poorly fitted and maintained kit. Even badly trained players can survive misjudgment in play when their second line of defense, armour, is reliable.
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