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Sam Barris




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PostPosted: Tue 28 Dec, 2004 8:34 pm    Post subject: Yet another question about maille         Reply with quote

Since there seems to be quite a few threads about maille these days, I thought I'd throw in one more. I've been making maille for about six years now. I started with armor, but eventually yielded to m'lady's request for fairly delicate jewelry, going so far as to adorn them with dangling chains and Austrian crystal. My range has certainly expanded over the years, but I've never actually sold more than a handful of pieces. Usually I just give them to friends. However, I recently gave a necklace to a friend in the SCA and she suggested that I could sell similar necklaces on ebay for around fifty dollars apiece. It was a good idea. Fifty dollars isn't bad for about an hour and a half of work, so I think I'll try using maille to establish a sword slush fund, leaving my regular paycheck as untouched as possible.

Now I kind of have a fire under me, and I'd like to get back into pure armor as well. Does anyone know what the official standards are to qualify maille for SCA combat? I've written them (the SCA, not the official standards), but even they didn't know. Their combat manuals also proved to be of limited value where maille is concerned. Also, does anyone know some approximate period specifications for basic, Middle Ages maille? Obviously, I know that there is a great deal of variation here, I'm just wondering what I can make that more or less fits the standards of historical armor. The pieces I've made for myself are made from 14 gauge steel with a 5/16" inside diameter. That weight suits me. Would I be pushing the limits of accuracy if I nudged the diameter to 3/8", or used 16 gauge steel with the 5/16" diameter instead? I've seen both done before. Perhaps 16 gauge with a 1/4" diameter? What can I get away with? The only intact antique maille I've seen in person has been on suits of Japanese armor. Clearly not something that will help me make a European hauberk.

Thanks! I promise to eventually post some pictures for the mailleophilles on the forum.

Pax,
Sam Barris

"Any nation that draws too great a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools." —Thucydides
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Tue 28 Dec, 2004 8:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Yet another question about maille         Reply with quote

Sam Barris wrote:
Since there seems to be quite a few threads about maille these days, I thought I'd throw in one more. I've been making maille for about six years now. I started with armor, but eventually yielded to m'lady's request for fairly delicate jewelry, going so far as to adorn them with dangling chains and Austrian crystal. My range has certainly expanded over the years, but I've never actually sold more than a handful of pieces. Usually I just give them to friends. However, I recently gave a necklace to a friend in the SCA and she suggested that I could sell similar necklaces on ebay for around fifty dollars apiece. It was a good idea. Fifty dollars isn't bad for about an hour and a half of work, so I think I'll try using maille to establish a sword slush fund, leaving my regular paycheck as untouched as possible.

Now I kind of have a fire under me, and I'd like to get back into pure armor as well. Does anyone know what the official standards are to qualify maille for SCA combat? I've written them (the SCA, not the official standards), but even they didn't know. Their combat manuals also proved to be of limited value where maille is concerned. Also, does anyone know some approximate period specifications for basic, Middle Ages maille? Obviously, I know that there is a great deal of variation here, I'm just wondering what I can make that more or less fits the standards of historical armor. The pieces I've made for myself are made from 14 gauge steel with a 5/16" inside diameter. That weight suits me. Would I be pushing the limits of accuracy if I nudged the diameter to 3/8", or used 16 gauge steel with the 5/16" diameter instead? I've seen both done before. Perhaps 16 gauge with a 1/4" diameter? What can I get away with? The only intact antique maille I've seen in person has been on suits of Japanese armor. Clearly not something that will help me make a European hauberk.

Thanks! I promise to eventually post some pictures for the mailleophilles on the forum.


Sam,

When I was aboard ship I began making a hauberk during one deployment. That got some strange looks. I usually told people I was making an anti-shark suite.

5/16 would seem to be a good general diameter for historical accuracy. Then again, if you're making butted maille, that isn't historically accurate in the first place. So I'd say use whatever size works best for you. In terms of SCA regulations I really don't think they have any in regards to ring size and etc. When I was in the group most of the regulations concerning maille seems to concentrate on the safety equipment that needed to be worn with/in addition to the maille to make it legal.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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B. Fulton





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PostPosted: Wed 29 Dec, 2004 7:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I recently joined the SCA, but have been around it for about 10 years on and off (in another more fantasy-based medieval group).

I'm interested in maille myself, and for combat, I was advised maille doesn't work well for SCA combat as it's not the greatest against blunt trauma impact (which rattan weapons apparently fall under), it's better at stopping a cutting blade.

Either 16 or 14ga would work. I wore a 14ga maille shirt Sunday a friend made and the weight wasn't bad, granted, I only wore it about an hour (then I put my leather back on). I've also ran around in Kevlar, LBE, helmet and all that so I'm used to the weight more or less.

However, maille, backed up by a leather cuirass, maybe steel couters or spaulders? Might work well. A gambeson underneath would definitely help for the original reason. Happy


As an SCA type person I'll probably be a non-contact archer as I can't afford to be injured just now (going into the Air Force soon), and maille with gambeson, for me, would be "period" for an English archer (my persona) and stop incoming missile fire (which I can still be "killed" by).
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Allan Senefelder
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PostPosted: Wed 29 Dec, 2004 9:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't have the foggiest what the standards are for SCA combat but you will want a substantail arming coat beneath. Maille is worthless when it comes to stopping blunt trauma and given that SCA combat cosists of using clubs of various sorts to simulate a variety of weapons blunt trauma will abound. That padding beneath is what will absorb that .



As an aside while butted maille wasn't used in Europe it was quite common in indo persia. While weapons from this region tend to be lighter in construct i'm not sure if this is the reason butted maille was used .
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Wed 29 Dec, 2004 11:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not to be negative here, but rather an attempt at being realistic: The window of opportunity for a maille-maker for the SCA/reenactment world has really come and gone. Inexpensive riveted maille is now being made in India for a truly inexpensive price. I can't imagine any person in the US/European markets able to put in the hours for such low wages to make something similiar for sale.

As a reenactor, I can't imagine choosing butted maille as an option any longer. There are too many sources of reasonably-priced and reasonably-decent riveted maille now days.

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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Wed 29 Dec, 2004 1:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Allan Senefelder wrote:
Is an aside while butted maille wasn't used in Europe it was quite common in indo persia.


Do you have a source for this?
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Wed 29 Dec, 2004 2:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Allan Senefelder wrote:
I don't have the foggiest what the standards are for SCA combat but you will want a substantail arming coat beneath. Maille is worthless when it comes to stopping blunt trauma and given that SCA combat cosists of using clubs of various sorts to simulate a variety of weapons blunt trauma will abound. That padding beneath is what will absorb that .



As an aside while butted maille wasn't used in Europe it was quite common in indo persia. While weapons from this region tend to be lighter in construct i'm not sure if this is the reason butted maille was used .


When I was involved the only regulations involving maille specified the use of a kidney belt, some kind of protection for the neck, and maybe elbow cops (not definite on that one). It really wasn't a lot of protection for getting smacked with a club all day long.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Steve Fabert





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PostPosted: Wed 29 Dec, 2004 3:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Allan Senefelder wrote:
Is an aside while butted maille wasn't used in Europe it was quite common in indo persia.


Do you have a source for this?


http://www.wallacecollection.org/i_s/publicat...uction.htm
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Jonathon Janusz





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PostPosted: Wed 29 Dec, 2004 4:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the link to the article from the Wallace, Steve! Very interesting reading Big Grin
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Allan Senefelder
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PostPosted: Wed 29 Dec, 2004 5:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan , aside from the khula khud I currently own and the stuff i've owned in the past(a second khula khud, a bazu band with the maille to cover the back of the hand of butted construct, an entire suit chaussets,khula khud and maille and plates shirt from North Africa made from butted maille. I've also owned quite a bit of maille from these regions that was riveted)
the example that comes immediatly to mind is on I think page 48 in Stones Guide. Theres also several Khula khuds in
"Les Armes Orientales" with butted maille curtains. The maille curtain on the khula khud in Eyewitness books "Arms And Armour is also obviously butted maille and theres a complete suit on page 114 of "Treasures From The Tower Of London" that is made entirely of butted maille. I'm sure if I think about it some more examples will come to mind. I've also seen bunches over my years collecting .
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Allan Senefelder
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PostPosted: Wed 29 Dec, 2004 5:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Actually just got out my Stones guide and on page 398 there are both khula khud and khula zirah made with butted maille and if you go to e-bay and type in indo persian helmet theres a khula khud with what i'm pretty sure is a butted maille curtain. That suit I was thinking of in Stones is in fact on page 48.
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Brian W. Rainey




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PostPosted: Wed 29 Dec, 2004 6:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

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Last edited by Brian W. Rainey on Fri 31 Dec, 2004 3:59 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Allan Senefelder
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PostPosted: Wed 29 Dec, 2004 6:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Good point Brian and Dan if thats the case then other the the unequivocal denial of every one i've ever brought the topic up around not a one. I've never read a single thing in print that says it wasn't used (nor that it was either) it just seems the pretty much universally held view . If theres stuff floating around on the subject i'd love to find out about it. I'm as curious as the next guy .
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Sam Barris




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PostPosted: Thu 30 Dec, 2004 8:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you all for your thoughts. (Even the negative ones, Nathan Big Grin ) I agree that India can make it cheaper than I can, and they can make it riveted, which I lack the time for right now. I've been to India, and have seen the conditions under which they live over there, so it isn't any surprise to me. However, between my career, my marriage and a few other interests, I doubt I could make more than about two shirts in a year. And that's assuming no new wars. That last war put me out of all of my hobbies for over a year. So anyway, challenging the Indian market isn't even close to being my goal. Sadly, selling necklaces to goth chicks might be most of what I can do. And as much as I'll cringe at their fate, if a few shirts and mantles go on ebay and are purchaced by LARP types, if it'll help net me another sword, I think I can live with it.

Thanks again for the insights. Happy

Pax,
Sam Barris

"Any nation that draws too great a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools." —Thucydides
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Brian W. Rainey




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PostPosted: Thu 30 Dec, 2004 10:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

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Last edited by Brian W. Rainey on Fri 31 Dec, 2004 3:59 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Allan Senefelder
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PostPosted: Thu 30 Dec, 2004 11:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very cool! Thanks Brian, I know that armour from photographs. Is that excerpt from a book or article?
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Brian W. Rainey




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PostPosted: Thu 30 Dec, 2004 12:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

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Last edited by Brian W. Rainey on Fri 31 Dec, 2004 3:59 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Thu 30 Dec, 2004 1:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great info guys. I've read the info on the Wallace Collection website a few times and realise that butted mail was used both in the east and west. What if we narrowed the subject to butted mail that was used on the battlefield? What about mail before the 17th century? I don't think you'd find very much apart from the khula khud. You might find some khazaghand since the mail in that instance was supported by being stitched to a padded garment. A lot of Japanese butted mail was supported in this fashion. There might also be some Indian and Turkish mail and plates combinations utilising butted mail like the bronze/brass examples used by the Moro.
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Allan Senefelder
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PostPosted: Thu 30 Dec, 2004 2:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd be intesly interested to find out more about battlefield use as well. Maille of riveted construct does not survive the ages well so I would think almost any evidence to be found regarding the use of butted maille(pre17th century) would be in written form but it would be great if theres a suriving example somewhere.
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Brian W. Rainey




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PostPosted: Thu 30 Dec, 2004 4:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

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Last edited by Brian W. Rainey on Fri 31 Dec, 2004 4:00 pm; edited 4 times in total
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