A question about historical maille inlay use
View previous topic | View next topic >
Post new topic Reply to topic
M.A.I.L. Forum Index -> Knitting Circle
   
Author Message

Joined: June 28, 2019
Posts: 7
Submissions: 0

A question about historical maille inlay use
Reply with quote
Posted on Fri Jun 28, 2019 6:34 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

Hi all!

I'm new, and I'm planning out making a nice maille hauberk. I really love the decorative potential in the use of inlays, but as I'm doing this in the context of historical re-enactment... is there any basis for the use of inlays? I'm interested in both colour and weave inlays for rings, and colour inlays for scale, and would be looking for pre-1600 evidence.

Thank you all in advance for your help!

Joined: March 3, 2002
Posts: 989
Submissions: 244

Reply with quote
Posted on Fri Jun 28, 2019 7:25 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

https://www.khm.at/en/objectdb/detail/373216


www.mailletec.com

Y'know, that might just be crazy enough to work!

Joined: June 28, 2019
Posts: 7
Submissions: 0

Reply with quote
Posted on Fri Jun 28, 2019 7:30 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

Outstanding! Thank you so very much!

Joined: June 28, 2019
Posts: 7
Submissions: 0

Reply with quote
Posted on Fri Jun 28, 2019 7:33 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

Adding, the mailletec link in your sig seems to have been hijacked, it goes to a spam site.

Joined: March 27, 2002
Posts: 3494
Submissions: 1

Reply with quote
Posted on Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:09 am
Link to Post: Link to Post

Though to sum it up, Europe didn't treat mail as a decorative medium to a great degree, definitely not figural or patterned "inlay" as we've come to call it (it's more like cross stitch, fundamentally). Contrasting metal, often brass, very rarely other fancier d├ęcor like gilding -- for princes and the great -- showed up as accents such as to dag points in the fourteenth century or as bands of contrasting material at hem or perhaps sleeve ends in the fifteenth or sixteenth.

Europe seemed to view the stuff as plainly military as parkerized steel -- all business, and its business was war, in big letters. Patterned, symbol, or image decoration within the weave wasn't done there.

Mail in its last decades in the Indian subcontinent was rather a different story, as they'd sometimes decorate a mail piece in some abstract overall pattern. Craftsy and artsy, but also often done in butted, iirc. It is questionable whether they were ever actually used in battle or just to make the maharajah's court look awesomer.

What century will your 'berk be of? The things did evolve, slowly.


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

Joined: June 28, 2019
Posts: 7
Submissions: 0

Reply with quote
Posted on Sat Jun 29, 2019 11:46 am
Link to Post: Link to Post

Hi!

I like the comparison to cross-stitch, it is much more similar to that. I'm not educated enough (yet) to know the fine grained distinctions between different era hauberks, but broadly speaking I'd be looking at 14thc. Although it's for SCA so I'm not terribly worried about being anachronistic, as long as i make something pre-1600.

And notwithstanding the beautiful Italian maille above, I'd only be looking at quite simple patterning/decoration, which seems to fit with what you're saying. I was thing like, brass rings to join seams in the garment, that sort of thing--something plausibly in-period for someone of moderate-to-wealthy means.

Joined: March 27, 2002
Posts: 3494
Submissions: 1

Reply with quote
Posted on Sat Jun 29, 2019 3:45 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

Excellent. I'm SCAdian myself, and it's where I learned mailling. As a medievaloidist, I picked up both armor history and SCA Engineered school of armour design.

Mail hauberks and fourteenth century -- you picked the century of transition, from the most comprehensive, allover 'berk (plus bucket-helm) in the century's first decade to nearly complete plate harness by its last -- there's scope for mail throughout. I'm partial to 14th-c. harness myself as being highly effective and simple to make compared to fifteenth century stuff.

A sketch of the evolution of the knee length, split-skirted hauberk: from the ninth or tenth centuries, it was knee length and short- or half-sleeved. By the Crusades of the eleventh century, it had long sleeves and was paired with mail chausses (which are of no use for SCA, but other leg-things are, like the gamboised cuisse). By the late thirteenth/early fourteenth, the 'berk had grown integral mail mittens (a/k/a mufflers, an old word for mitts) and attached a mail coif to the collar. I like to say "the warrior was now armored from kneecaps to bald spot in one single piece of armor." By somewhere in the thirteenth, they were also reinforcing the vitals with a hardening coat of plates, stuffed/quilted cloth, or stiff hardened leather, which would take care of SCA kidney hard protection right there; you're halfway there as it is with a kidney belt or plates.

They were doing the layered look long before it was preppie fashion. It weighed a LOT. Good thing there were horses. As plate armored limbs got more and more protective, mailing these was less and less important and in the last quarter of the fourteenth, the hauberk shrank to the "little hauberk," the haburgeon (variously spelt in those pre-dictionary times), from the Medieval French hauberjon. What you saw then was the generic mail shirt: short sleeves, mid-thigh.

In decoration, this was the heyday of the small dag hem decoration, and was a natural for contrasting accent-links, generally applied to jazz up the hems, maybe the neckhole (that was usually hidden under mail camails, which in their turn could also be decorated. Anything up to making the entire dag from brass seems to have been done, from a (somewhat) generous interpretation of period art depicting the preux chevalier in his full glory. Like the Frenchman in The Patriot, "If I die, I die well dressed."

See my one article onsite in the Library for a good formula for how to make dags up so they come out even. Ignore anything in there on mailshirt body tailoring; I was younger when I wrote it and have learned better since. For dagging, the first hint is not to pre-build dags and stick them on, for you can make mistakes that way, but to build dags directly onto the linkrow at the hem, weaving them tapering down to their points of whatever metal you want to use, or nice jazzy contrasting edges and fun like that. Works the same way with the camail for a bascinet, which is pretty much the cowl of a mail coif attached to a hard hat, saving weight up there. Researching them has brought some details to light, but later, later. You probably want your neato-bosso shirt first!


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

Joined: June 28, 2019
Posts: 7
Submissions: 0

Reply with quote
Posted on Sat Jun 29, 2019 4:32 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

Holy cow that was way more information than I expected! Thank you so very much! I've got your article open to read now.

I don't think I'll be going knee-length. Partly cost, partly I'm a short wide dude and knee length heavy things can often make me look like a fire hydrant.

I'm not really interested in heavy, just rapier and cut/thrust, so hopefully maille plus a gambeson (and kidney/groin/etc) will get me there for the latter. This is probably a project I won't be starting for at least a month or so--but I like to know all my options and make plans, you know?

Really you have been marvelously helpful. Look me up if you're ever in Tir Mara!

Joined: June 28, 2019
Posts: 7
Submissions: 0

Reply with quote
Posted on Sat Jun 29, 2019 7:40 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

Another question, sorry!

Is aluminium maille SCA-legal for fighting, or must it be steel? (asking mainly because of weight while wearing, and cost of shipping to Canada).

Joined: March 27, 2002
Posts: 3494
Submissions: 1

Reply with quote
Posted on Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:46 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

Short answer is yeah, it's legal -- the SCA doesn't mandate *any* standard for mail. There *are* SCA habits of mail; the ones I've seen are related to SCA Heavy.

Fat wire and tight AR are the habit in Heavy using aluminum, because aluminum is so soft. The shirts tend to look like hauberks of metal macaroni.

Joined: June 28, 2019
Posts: 7
Submissions: 0

Reply with quote
Posted on Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:58 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

I think I'd prefer to avoid looking like a kindergarten art project!

Joined: March 27, 2002
Posts: 3494
Submissions: 1

Reply with quote
Posted on Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:45 am
Link to Post: Link to Post

Consider 16gaSWG/.063" galvy wire, and 1/4" link ID.

A bit slow to build with the small links, but looks pretty historical when done, and even will have enough strength in butted for C&T.


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

Joined: March 3, 2002
Posts: 989
Submissions: 244

Reply with quote
Posted on Thu Jul 04, 2019 5:08 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

Thanks, I'm going to have to check into why the http version or our web address redirects to a scam site.

Also, here's a more typical decoration.

http://www.mailleartisans.org/gallery/gallerydisplay.php?key=5754

http://www.mailleartisans.org/gallery/gallerydisplay.php?key=5755

http://www.mailleartisans.org/gallery/gallerydisplay.php?key=5756

More commonly done in brass than gold obviously.


www.mailletec.com

Y'know, that might just be crazy enough to work!

Post new topic Reply to topic
Jump to:  
Page 1 of 1
All times are GMT. The time now is Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:51 pm
M.A.I.L. Forum Index -> Knitting Circle
Display posts from previous: