This hauberk is made from riveted flat rings – The rings are 18 gauge / 9mm stainless steel.
Please Note: Even though the rings are stainless, we cannot guarantee that the ring rivets are stainless.
The hauberk was a widely used defense among dark age and Medieval warriors. Hauberk comes from the Old Frankish word halsberg which originally is a reference to a mail item that protects the throat. Before the advent of partial plate armor in the high middle ages, it was common for the nobles and professional warriors of Europe to wear hauberks such as these as their primary armor – Such as the Norman Knights of the Bayeux Tapestry.
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.
Please Note: The tools used to rivet these stainless mail rings often flake bits of mild steel onto the rings – these flake-offs often rust, giving some of the mail a rusted appearance. These can be buffed off with minor effort.