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1.) Introduction / Before You Start
In the centuries preceding the Industrial Age, the fabrication and construction of chainmail was a slow and tedious process. In order to make wire for the links in a suit, molten iron would have to be slowly and laboriously pulled, rolled, and hammered into relatively short strands of metal. It would have been rather difficult for all but the most talented blacksmith to keep the thickness of this wire constant over the course of a whole suit. These lengths of wire would then have to be bent into rings around some sort of mandrel and cut to be made ready for assembly. [This could have been done by an apprentice, hired hand, or even the master himself (traditions varied from culture to culture).] This element of chainmail construction has not changed much, even today!
Pictures of vintage chainmail pieces will reveal an additional feature that is no longer in common practice among armourers today: each individual link is riveted closed. This added innovation made the maille up to five times stronger than unriveted maille. Unfortunately, the riveting process slows down the production of mail so much that it is quite impractical for most modern armourers. Our armour will most likely never enter into battle and have its strength tested.