This haubergeon is made from links of high tensile wire that have been butted together end to end. It is left uncoated.
Please Note: Belt is not included.
The haubergeon was a widely used defense, both geographically and in time. It was used by warriors as varied as Classical-Era Celts to Medieval warriors, making chainmail one of the longest-lived defenses in history. Haubergeon and its parent word Hauberk come from the Old Frankish word halsberg which originally is a reference to a mail item that protects the throat.
Though the inventors of mail are in dispute, the top contenders are the 3rd Century BCE Celtic tribes who resided in modern day Romania, or the Etruscans of the Italian Peninsula. The Roman historian Varro attributes its creation to the Celts. No armor may be as cross-cultural and ubiquitous as mail, for it spread beyond Europe to the Middle East, India and onwards to Japan – a testament to its usefulness
Essentially a metal mesh, the links dissipate the force of impacts and provide excellent defense against cuts and slashes, though a strong penetrating impact from armor piercing weapons, arrows and bolts could reliably split links apart. Chainmail was often paired with fabric or leather based armors beneath for additional protection, particularly for the absorption of blunt impact. When the mail defense was penetrated however, broken links could be forced into the wound, seeding it for infection. This drawback however was apparently not enough to discourage its ever-increasing use until the relatively late age of better plate armor
The process of creating mail is labor intensive – hundreds of man hours to create a mail tunic. Metal wire must be wrapped around a wooden form, cut and then knitted into shape, usually being riveted through flattened ends previously pounded flat. In contrast to most cultures, the Japanese Kusari armor was not riveted, they simply pressed the two ends together. This is called butting the mail. Numerous different pattern methods of linking the mail together exist, changing to suit local tastes and times throughout history.
Though timely to create, mail could last for decades – the natural movement of the rings clears them of most rust, and it can be repaired with additional links, often scavenged from foes after conflict. It was expensive until the high middle ages, though we can see that wealthy and well-equipped soldiers in antiquity, such as the Celts and the Roman Legionaries wore mail tunics. The elite Cataphract cavalry of the Sassanid Persians were often covered head to toe in mail, likewise their well-armored horses – making them into tanks of the Classical Era. In later centuries we see the Norman knights and their counterparts of the early Middle Ages being covered head to toe in mail links. By the high middle ages the cost of mail began to drop several times over as armoring workshops and guilds began to utilize a production line method of crafting – no longer would a single armorer create his piece from start to finish, but a team would specialize their labors into limited, repetitive tasks. In England this change caused a 4 to 8 fold decrease in the cost of mail, making it no longer a defense affordable only to the wealthy or professional soldiery.
IMPORTANT SIZING TIP: To accurately measure whether you will comfortably fit into this coat of mail it is necessary to first wear the clothing or padded gambeson that you intend to wear beneath the chainmail. Then measure your chest size over these additional layers. This way the additional width of your chest with these accumulated layers is accounted for when determining if the mail will fit properly
Daði Jóhannesson –
rather happy with this haubergeon got it yesterday, haven’t fought it in but i’ve worn it for some while, feels good, nice fit, some rings aren’t fully closed but that doesn’t really matter since you’d wear some clothing between the mail and your skin, also a good idea to either have a hoodie or a hat on to protect your hair, the rings will grab your hair when putting it on and taking it off.
Also don’t wear clothing that are precious to you or hard to wash since it comes with a light coat of oil on it to protect it from rust
one flaw, so far i have found two rings that weren’t connected properly, not a big deal and an easy fix since im familiar with chainmaille making but a flaw none the less
regardless im one happy viking wearing this, looking forward to testing it in combat
Caleb Bürch –
Quite Happy Ordered this and the hand-forged medium spear head and 7′ shaft together. Both shipped in separate packages, but arrived together in only a matter of a couple of days.
The fit and feel is very good. I’m 6’2″ and 150lbs and this fits me perfectly. The chainmail is quite fitting to your figure, so if you’re thinner like I am it will fit longer than it would on someone with a larger chest and shoulders. The bottom ends on me about 8″ above my knee, which is considerably longer than it shows in the photo, however, this is exactly where I like it, so it works!
Used it the same weekend it was received for heavy-duty combat practice and it seems to hold up very well. Even after some opponents scored a few heavy hits (with blunt, but steel blades, no rubber or foam) the mail didn’t appear to have any damage or splitting.
Overall very pleased!
Paul G. –
Only Three Stars This Time Only three stars this time. This is due to sizing and not quality. I found no real issue in the quality or construction. I have a 39” chest, 41” with my thinner gambeson and 42½” with the thicker, so I ordered the medium that was stated to fit a 44” chest. With effort it went over the thinner gambeson, but was tight, and no way did it fit over the other. That $100 hauberk cost me $261 including shipping and customs fees. It was cost prohibitive to exchange. I had 3-4 lb of rings from a previous project making a mantle and coif, so it was time to break them out. It took two full weekends starting midday Fridays to make two sections of mail 2½” x hauberk length and to insert one section in the back and to fill in the neck hole somewhat. Afterwards I got a good fit on the thinner gambeson, and an “almost” on the other. Possibly after inserting the second strip in the front it will be a go. A project for another weekend.
Possibly I received someone’s return (reject) as it came loose, unbagged and with much less preservative than I expected, but in good shape.
For my complete review including a short video see https://sbg-sword-forum.forums.net/thread/48630/lord-battles-haubergeon.
Andrew S. –
Good. I’m pleased I ordered this for a set of light contact mail, and it actually surprises me with how well made it is. Though it is only butted, the rings are quite hard, and nearly all set perfectly. I only found one ring that was noticeably improperly set, and it was a pleasant surprise how difficult it was to reset it.
I’m 6’4″ and ~160lbs and the medium fits me quite well. It is rather long, and the sleeves just reach my elbows, so I may rework it at some point, but I may not.
One note about the oil that was on it when it arrived though: Though the mail was spotless from rust, the oil was VERY black and quickly got all over. A fast wash in some ordinary soapy water soon fixed that, as did a quick spray with silicone oil.