Making mail clothing ?
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Making mail clothing ?
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Posted on Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:38 pm
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When making mail clothing, how do others do it, do they use themselves for trial fitting, others or do they use a tailors mannequin ?

You see, I am confused as to where to put the adjustment pieces into a shirt, I know roughly where they go and how, but not exactly and am so wondering how do others do it, as I really don't want to be unpicking the weave later on because I put the adjustment in the wrong place, for I am working with 5mm diameter rings with a fairly tight AR.

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Posted on Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:57 pm
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It depends on the purpose of the shirt. Is it armor? Or is it a fashion piece?

For armor, I don't tend to do much in the way of adjustments. The weave pulls itself closed and fits to the person, as long as the chest/hip measurements are not too big for the shirt/hauberk.

For fashion stuff, especially in a tight AR, it helps to have access to the person it is for (or at the very least measurements), that way you can do periodic fittings and make sure the expansion/contractions are in the right places. If this is an "off the shelf item", then the best you can do is estimate and make adjustments later, or make it to fit whomever is going to model it for you or your mannequin. That way it looks good on display. Then you prepare panels of the parts that don't have contractions/expansions of the approximate size you need to construct the piece so that you can quickly build the item while making the necessary adjustments.

I have some mannequin torsos (male and female) I use for rough fitting when my frame or my wife's frame won't do. I would love a tailor's mannequin, but haven't been able to find it in the budget...yet.

Good luck!


Andre "Ironband" Miron
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Posted on Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:46 am
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You could do far worse than to follow your countryman Trevor Barker's page, Butted Mail: A Mailmakers' Guide. I take a small liberty with his punctuation, as in my view he does not have the apostrophe quite in the right place; he's guiding more than one mailmaker after all.

See, the nice thing about doing expansions in zones the way Trevor Barker does is that all the funny stuff goes on in the interior of the expansion zone, and its edges all weave into the rest of the mail as plain, regular E4-1 weave. You build your expansion zones in all their array, such as the "fangs" or "pickets" Barker builds in the rear of his mail shirt running vertically over each shoulder blade, to give the sleeves freedom forward and across where it is needed: sleeves must have a forward bias to work without binding the arms. Mail only pretends to be elastic; it is a two-dimensional chain after all and when it comes to its limits it stops hard.

Outside of the zones, an armor shirt appears built in modules, historically. It appears mail shirt makers used premade squares and rectangles and doubtless expansion zones of mail material already laid up in inventory, then sized the shirts properly in final assembly, zipping the pieces together and getting the job done quickly after an order was placed (though I know of no record of shirts getting ordered one week and being finished by the next). The reason for thinking this is that expansion and contraction units only show up at particular locations in a shirt, interrupting sizable areas of plain weave, by even just one single expansion. IOW, they weren't arrayed regularly through an area, though such making is artful -- and generally confined to mail pieces like camails or coifs or bishop's-mantles, a one-size-fits-all piece of sixteenth-century infantry armor. Wasn't even properly a shirt; more a half cape covering shoulders, upper arms, and chest. Instead, all the tweaks took place at the edges of the prefab rectangles, not within them. Mail's self-tailoring collapsing upon the form beneath it took care of the rest.

Are you encountering concerns tailoring the boobie-cups of a mail bra, or is that yet some time in the future for you?


'The Minstrel Boy to the War is gone...'

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Posted on Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:34 pm
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I would put the apostrophe back where he had it; to rephrase his title, it is "A Guide for the Mailmaker." He is guiding one mailmaker at a time. And he does it well!

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Posted on Tue Jan 03, 2012 7:58 pm
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Yes, but if he is going to use the title as it is, it should in fact be "A Mailmaker's Guide" because "A" suggests a single mailmaker, not several...and the apostrophe after the s means that it's plural.

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Posted on Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:00 pm
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Well, it could also be read as: A (aka 'one of many') guide for maillemakers. But anyway: The content is, what counts. And besides being a bit outdated (but valid nevertheless), here or there, it's one of our reference works.

-ZiLi-


Maille Code V2.0 T7.1 R5.6 Ep Fper Mfe.s Ws$ Cpbsw$ G0.3-6.4 I1.0-30.0 N28.25 Pj Dacdejst Xagtw S08 Hi

Human societies are like chain mail.
A single link will be worth nothing.
A chain is of use, but will break at the weakest link.
A weak weave will have the need to replace weak links.
A strong weave will survive even with weak links included.
-'me

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Posted on Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:08 am || Last edited by Konstantin the Red on Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Zili, my view of where the tadpole belongs is that the Guide is for mail-makers, many mail-makers, and hence pertains to them; it is used by, possessed by, and for the aid of more than one mailmaker, however singular its origin may or may not have been. Even in its origin, "Butted Mail" is in toto the work of two men, one of them long dead: Herr Couwein made the original shirt about 1438 in Hamburg, and Mister Barker analyzed its construction and composed directions for reproducing it.

And bless him for his illuminating labors -- I sent him a fan email once.

{Zili, a subtle look at die Mechaniken von Englische Technicalitšt, ja?}


'The Minstrel Boy to the War is gone...'

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Posted on Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:08 am || Last edited by djgm on Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:17 am; edited 1 time in total
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So are there other armor guides online? I have never seen a tutorial for the 90 degree seam (or is it 45 degree?) method other then with my armor kit I got from TRL.

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Posted on Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:17 am
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ZiLi wrote:
Well, it could also be read as: A (aka 'one of many') guide for maillemakers. -ZiLi-


Ah, yes, that's true. I just enjoy splitting grammatical hairs. I'm still not sure that the apostrophe should come after the s, even in such an instance. Aaaanyway, as you say, the content is what counts. Smile

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Posted on Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:19 am
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One may continue to split hairs--- if not infinitives---indefinitely.

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Posted on Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:49 pm
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Split my infinitives! Coif LoL

Okay, I'll stop hijacking threads now.

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Posted on Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:36 pm
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You can only split a given infinitive ONCE. Razz

Well, it could be worse, linguistically: instead of a Germanic-family language with a vocabulary that is half French, we might be writing in something Gaelic-family, with no single word for "yes" or "no." About as tight as these tongues can say it amounts to "yes-it-is/no-it-isn't." Gaelic verbs come with positive and negative forms, generated by the use of an infix. Kind of like putting a transmission into reverse -- all the work is done on the inside.

Perhaps happily, perhaps not, a phrase we English speakers did not pick up from the French was that when the French language splits hairs, it splits them in fourths. Vivid, but what a peine au cul!

Djgm, yes, the 90-degree join is in Butted Mail, for it is needed under the arms. Happens I learned it out of a Society for Creative Anachronism reference, the Fighters' Handbook, about half of which was about building armor pieces to do rattan fighting in. (Mostly of historical interest now -- the metal- and design-work in there is hippie-crude, oh br-rother!) The 45-degree join when you really look at it is a slantwise string of expansions, one after another.


'The Minstrel Boy to the War is gone...'

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