My Armour Project
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This page is currently under construction.
Please be patient while I get it working.

This is my first large maille making project—a full hauberk, or suit of maille.

The main body of the hauberk is made of 16 gauge (Standard Wire Gauge) / 14 gauge (American Wire Gauge) Aluminum wire rings with a 5/16" inner diameter. I chose aluminum, because it is light weight, and easy to work with.  Aluminum is not very strong, but the armour I am making is for costuming purposes only, so this will not be a problem.  The coif and mufflers, which will be incorporated into the hauberk, will be made of steel, however.  This is because the aluminum leaves a black residue on items it rubs up against, and the last thing I want is to look like Al Jolson whenever I take off the armour. ;-)

[EDIT: This is no longer true, since I have found a technique for preventing the black rub off.  I no longer need to have a steel coif and mufflers, and will be making them from aluminum after all.]

I estimate that if I had been working on my maille full time (40 hours a week), it would have taken me roughly 8–10 weeks to reach the point I am at now. Of course, as a hobby, I have only been spending a few hours a week on my maille on average so the time has been stretched out to a couple of years.

Enough of my babbling. Let’s take a look at shots of my maille as it was being made:

Late March 2001:

I started out by just making four strips of maille, Once these strips were attached together, the two longer vertical strips became shoulder straps, and the two horizontal strips combined to form a band that fit around my chest, to form a sort of halter.

Early April 2001:

This is the “halter” I was talking about, around which the rest of the outfit would be knit. Please note that I have already started filling in the front of the maille up towards my neckline in this photo.

June 2001:

By mid summer, I had attached a dozen long strip of maille to the bottom of the “halter”. This was so I could see how the outfit would expand and contract around my body. You can see in this picture that I had already started filling in between the strips of maille to create a more solid piece.

July 2001:

By now I had finished filling in between the strips at both the front and the back, with only the sides to complete.  As I had hoped, using the strips made it much easier for me to expand and contract the maille for a better custom fit.

Early September 2001:

Here is my maille on its new armour stand (No more hanging it from the ironing board!). As you can see, the space between the strips has now been completely filled in. At this point, the maille contains roughly 20,000 rings. It is really starting to look like a knight’s armour now! 

For a couple more photos of my armour stand, click here.

Throughout the autumn of 2001, I did not have time to work on my maille, because of my school work, and because of the DooM marine costume I was working on at the time.

Mid-May 2002:

Work began on the maille again after Christmas. I added sleeves, and extended the maille to just above the knee. Technically, I now have a finished hauberk, containing roughly 30,000 rings, but that does not mean I am going to stop quite yet.

Mid-July 2002:

The coif (maille hood) is now knit and attached to the hauberk.  I am getting really close to finished now. :-) The coif is made with steel rings because steel does not leave black residue on my skin, like the aluminum does.


Once again, I did not work on the maille during the autumn of 2002. In fact, I did not pick up work again until the following May.  I was working on a number of project at this time, and the maille kind of slipped on to the back burner for a while.  There is one notable thing I did during this period, however.

It should be noted that I did wear my armour out for Hallowe’en this year, and made some adjustments to my armour stand.

November 2002:

It was kind of a “one step forward—two steps back” kind of affair.  While at the Feast of the Hare in Ottawa on November 9, I met up with another maille maker, who told me his secret for preventing black rub off from aluminum maille.  This was of great interest to me of course.

When I returned from Hare, I applied the technique to my armour.  It turned the armour white, which I expected, but only where it was aluminum.  The coif, which was made of galvanized steel, did not change colour, which meant I would have to remove it, and knit another one.  The steel mufflers I was working on would have to go too. 

I have photos of the maille at this stage, but can not post them at this time, because of difficulties I am having getting my scanner to work with Windows XP on my new computer.  I will post a pic or two as soon as I get this bloody beggar to work.

It is now May, and I have remove the steel coif from the maille, and I am preparing to knit the aluminum one to replace it.  It may take a while, as I am now working on several projects at once, rotating between them from day to day.  I still hope to have something new to show you in the not too distant future. ;-)

Main | Tools and Materials | Winding the Coils | Cutting the Rings
Knitting the Maille | List of Weaves | My Other Projects | Accessories
List of Armour Terms