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Andrew Kelly




Location: Portland, OR
Joined: 30 Jan 2016

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun 31 Jan, 2016 4:12 pm    Post subject: Commercial Suppliers of Functional Mail?         Reply with quote

Hello all:

First post. I've been all over the internet checking out commercial suppliers of mail armor. What I've learned is that there seems to be a tremendous variance in quality, type, function, etc.

Is anyone aware of any commercial supplier of mail armor that is: (1) functional (i.e., not for costume, or SCA combat), but that would actually be functional for full contact with real weapons? and (2) that is historically accurate?

I understand historical accuracy is never 100% here due to the limited surviving examples and explanations of making technique, but the closer the better.

Please forgive me if there's a better sub-forum for posing this question.
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

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Posts: 3,162

PostPosted: Sun 31 Jan, 2016 10:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some of the Indian riveted mail is suitable for rebated steel combat but doesn't look much like museum examples. The same can be said for some of the welded mail on the market. Mail made from alternating rows of butted and solid links can look a lot like some of the museum examples (until you get close enough to tell that there aren't any rivets) but isn't much good against steel weapons. If you want a decent replica of a museum example then there are very few options. This might help outline the problems involved.
http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=19189

Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Bram Verbeek





Joined: 27 Mar 2007

Posts: 217

PostPosted: Sun 31 Jan, 2016 11:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think every mail that is not for SCA/reeenactment is welded stainless steel, apart from a few museum replicas. The welded stainless is brilliant stuff, but it really does not look the part.

No one I know makes functional mail the rivetted way, combat is not done in mail.
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Mark Griffin




Location: The Welsh Marches, in the hills above Newtown, Powys.
Joined: 28 Dec 2006

Posts: 801

PostPosted: Mon 01 Feb, 2016 7:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not sure what you mean there Bram, there are hundreds if not thousands of people wearing metal mail all over the world who take part in combat reenactment. Just depends on what type the mail, and the combat.

As with all mail questions regarding use, suitability, accuracy etc it invariably comes down to the padding underneath as mail is never worn without it and its a vital part of the set-up. I'm not sure of the scene in the US where i know the SCA style of fighting is very popular but in the UK and Europe there is a lot of mail of varying quality being hit pretty hard with steel weapons.

Dan is of course right, if you are going to create mail that is a 100% copy of whatever period mail you want to replicate then that's a heck of a lot of time and money but a lot of what is available will serve the similar purpose as the original, just not looking quite the same.

Currently working on projects ranging from Elizabethan pageants to a WW1 Tank, Victorian fairgrounds 1066 events and more. Oh and we joust loads!.. We run over 250 events for English Heritage each year plus many others for Historic Royal Palaces, Historic Scotland, the National Trust and more. If you live in the UK and are interested in working for us just drop us a line with a cv.
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Joe A




Location: Philadelphia, USA
Joined: 17 Oct 2013

Posts: 57

PostPosted: Mon 01 Feb, 2016 8:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
If you want a decent replica of a museum example then there are very few options.


Dan is correct and the few options that are available will cost you. The lowest quote I received for a 99% accurate custom Roman Lorica hamata was still over $20,000 USD and would take two years to make in the authentic manner. I know someone who paid $14k for that level of quality a decade ago. For now my $600 Indian-made version suffices.
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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2012

Posts: 1,268

PostPosted: Mon 01 Feb, 2016 9:07 am    Post subject: Re: Commercial Suppliers of Functional Mail?         Reply with quote

Andrew Kelly wrote:
... that would actually be functional for full contact with real weapons?


Injury resulting from such an activity would likely be considered, at minimum, a felony assault. Reenactors take various safety measures in simulated combat sometimes including choreographed moves, slower speed, rebated edges, plastic, rubber, or leather tips, etc., and injuries still occur. In the Roman, Medieval, and Renaissance periods, men were killed while wearing fully funtional armor using real weapons with full contact.

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Mark Griffin




Location: The Welsh Marches, in the hills above Newtown, Powys.
Joined: 28 Dec 2006

Posts: 801

PostPosted: Tue 02 Feb, 2016 3:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

When you say 'real' Andrew, do you mean sharp or 'live'?

There are plenty of discussions on here and other forums about the pros and cons of that but most people with any sense don't. I can see what Mart says might be true in the US although in the UK I doubt a judge would look at it the same unless intent is proven.

Most decent Indian mail (or stuff being made elsewhere of course) that is of the right construction and the right materials will do the job. After all its still made for industrial reasons and thats not going to happen unless its fit for purpose.

I have a butchers/abattoir mitt I demo with a kitchen knife when talking about armour, that seems to work fine. I'm certainly typing this ok. But for combat its useless s there is no padding worn with it.

Currently working on projects ranging from Elizabethan pageants to a WW1 Tank, Victorian fairgrounds 1066 events and more. Oh and we joust loads!.. We run over 250 events for English Heritage each year plus many others for Historic Royal Palaces, Historic Scotland, the National Trust and more. If you live in the UK and are interested in working for us just drop us a line with a cv.
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Bram Verbeek





Joined: 27 Mar 2007

Posts: 217

PostPosted: Tue 02 Feb, 2016 8:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Griffin wrote:
Not sure what you mean there Bram, there are hundreds if not thousands of people wearing metal mail all over the world who take part in combat reenactment. Just depends on what type the mail, and the combat.

[snip]


I was a bit clunky in my wording. I said
Quote:
I think every mail that is not for SCA/reeenactment is welded stainless steel, apart from a few museum replicas. The welded stainless is brilliant stuff, but it really does not look the part.
I meant that there is mail that is not for SCA/Reenactment (where it does function as a costume of sorts, it it there to provide an image, more than protection), but it is stuff like this:

This, up close, does not look like historic mail (even without the shark), and is welded stainless. There are also slaughtering gloves and other protective things of the same material.

There are also museum replicas, these are not costumes as well, as they are not meant to be worn, just on display, these can look brilliant (though not all do), and are quite pricy.
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