Chainmail: Tidbits about Iron-linked Clothing

In many of the historical romances I have read and in some of the movies I have seen, the soldiers wore chainmail. But, in truth, I knew little about this type of battle clothing. I have pulled together some tidbits about the iron-linked clothing which was worn many years ago in warfare. It is still seen in versions worn today in Renaissance festivals.

My heroes and their soldiers in Their Lady Gloriana, from Black Velvet Seductions, wore such clothing.  An example taken from the story is:

The small contingent of soldiers in chainmail and bearing the king’s banner rode between the rows of silent men straight to her. She fought against rubbing her nervous stomach and sucked in a breath to calm her racing heart as she ran her clammy hands over the sides of her gown.

Title: Their Lady Gloriana

Genre: Historical romance, medieval, menage

Publisher: Black Velvet Seductions

Buy Link: Amazon


Facts About Chainmail

  1. A type of armour made of small metal rings linked together to form a mesh.
  2. It provided some defense against slashing blows by an edged weapon. A good sword blow in a perpendicular angle could cut through the links. In battling someone wearing chainmail, the goal was to get around the armour rather than through it.
  3. Flexible to wear and allowed ease of movement.
  4. Easy to make, easy and fast to repair.


History of Chainmail

  1. This type of armour first appeared after 300 BC and the invention was credited to the Celts.
  2. It was commonly worn on battlefields during the Iron Age (1200-200 BC) and the Middle Ages (500-1300 AD)
  3. It was the primary armour for the average solider until the 14th century.
  4. Shirts of mail (hauberks or byrnies) were worn from the 1320s. They had flared sleeves to the middle of the forearms and reached past the wearer’s knees. Some had sleeves that extended to form mittens for the hands.


Garments Made From Chainmail

Hauberk: A knee-length shirt
Haubergeon: A waist-length shirt
Chaussses and Sabatons: Socks
Coif: A hood to protect the head
Camail: Collar which hung from the helmet
Mitrons: Mittens worn to protect the hands




An Introduction to Chainmaille:


All Things Medieval:

Chain Mail Clothing:

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