Sunday, 30 December 2012

On armour - chainmail coif - adding the mantle of the coif

Previously we added made the body of the coif and attached it to the cap. The final part left is the mantle piece. For this I've selected a simple round bishop mantle. Here it is still piecemeal, as I'm about to join the bits together. The mantle is made of 3 rows of 4in1 strips, each strip is 3 links wide.

First row is about 60 links long - same as the circumference of the coif itself at the moment, and there  is nothing special about adding it. I also find it simpler to work over my knee for this.

After that though the diameter grows since the mantle is now falling on my shoulders, not just going down my neck. Therefore we need to expand it. This is done by adding extra rings. Again I'm using differently coloured links for example. Expansion of chainmaille sheets is done by adding extra links to a connecting line. Here I've added 1 extra copper link, per 3 normal ones. Thus the next row will be roughly 1/3 bigger, which will cover the increase in diameter. The same way you can contract the maille sheet  and the ratio is by no means set in stone. It can be different.

 Here it is again - attaching extra links to the coif before adding the second row of the mantle. They are colour coded again. The second line will be 1/3rd bigger than the first and the last one will be 1/3rd bigger than the 2nd.
After repeating the operation twice. The chainmaille coif is finished. and ready for use. Don't forget to wear an arming cap or equivalent under it.

One last detail you might add is this. While you can tailor your own coif to be perfect for your size, most of the time you want a "one size fits all" model. Thus it can often end up on a smaller head where it will be a loose fit. To fix that, I've used some thin rope to make a strap that you can use to tighten the coif to your head.

Mind you you don't have to make a round bishop mantle like this, or any mantle at all. A coif can be integrated in a hauberk, or have a square mantle or one with triangles.Like this example which I found on the net. The mantle can also be worn separately from a coif and this will be my next armour project -a mantle piece.

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