Kit: Mail
Table of Contents

See the Armour Overview page for details of the different types of armour used historically.

Mail (sometimes called chainmail or maille) was the most widespread form of body armour that we have evidence for in our period, especially in the later part of the period. According to the Bayeaux Tapestry, it was worn by every front-line fighter at Hastings. However it was a very expensive commodity, so poorer soldiers would not have been able to afford it (especially earlier in our period).

In general warriors re-creating the earlier part of our period or poorer warriors should have shorter, waist-length shirts whilst warriors from the later part of our period should have longer, knee-length shirts. Late period warriors would also have front and side splits in the armour allowing them to ride horses.
Late period mail can include an integral mail hood or can be worn with a separate mail coif. A distinctively late period item is a mail face protector that when unhooked appears to be a square patch on the chest- this is shown lots on the Tapestry.

Making Mail


Many members of Wychwood have made their own mail over the past few years and can offer advice. There are several vendors who sell the rings (such as Armchair Armoury). Be warned that mail is a long-term project, a substantial investment of time and effort (it normally takes people at least a year)! However it can be very rewarding.

These are some useful links about mail-making:

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