Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Chain Maille (no not that kind, the jewelry kind)!

Chain maille is an ancient Art form. Originally used for making armour it is a system of linking small rings of metal in specific patterns to make protective garments. These armoured suits have been found in grave sites that date back to the 4Th century BC.

Maille armour provided effective protection against the swords and arrows of the day but were less effective against blunt force injury and head trauma. It was heavy for the combatants to wear and even more so for the horses that carried them. Imagine them getting caught in a rain storm.

Maille garments have practical applications in today's world. Meat cutters wear a maille glove on the hand not wielding the cleaver to protect themselves. Divers in shark infected waters also wear maille suits for protection.

Chain maille is also worn as costuming at Renaissance Fairs and other venues that feature historical reenactments.

The ancient patterns used to make armour are used today to make not only garments but jewelry and other decorative items.

The FamiLee Jewels enjoy incorporating chain maille into our designs. The weaving of small rings into chin is an interesting and rhythmic process. Those of you that knit or crochet can easily understand the repetition required to create a whole piece. I have included some recent examples of chain maille used in our jewelry.

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