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Chainmaille Origins

Updated on April 10, 2013

Japanese 12 in 2 Necklace

This Japanese 12 in 2 Necklace is made with Light Blue and Silver anodized aluminum rings and has a stainless steel lobster clasp. This hand woven pendant with basic silver chain is approximately 18 inches long.
This Japanese 12 in 2 Necklace is made with Light Blue and Silver anodized aluminum rings and has a stainless steel lobster clasp. This hand woven pendant with basic silver chain is approximately 18 inches long.

Maille as Metal Armour

Gorgeous Chainmaille Jewelry also known as mesh, originated as a form of metal armor using ancient techniques of linking of rings to form woven sheets of metal. Maille comes from the Latin word,"macula", meaning "mesh of net".

Although maille has been identified with Viking, Japanese and Englishman, the original proprietors of maille were the Celts, Romans, and Norse society. The oldest maille armor discovered proved to be over 2000 years old when carbon dated. Chain mail has also been found between Europe and Asia dated from the 5th Century.

The weaving of maille into jewelry began with the Japanese. They originally used maille to connect plates of Armour the Samurai warriors wore. Maille protected them against spears, swords, and arrows. Japanese weavers at that time developed many geometric weaves to join the plates forming the Suit of Armour.

Chainmaille as Jewelry

Chainmaille became fashionable as jewelry thanks to William Shakespeare's plays. His actors featured Chainmaille sometimes called, Chain Mail, was the jewelry worn as part of their costumes.

Chainmaille continued to grow in popularity. The usefulness of maille for industrial as well as jewelry drove the development of the first maille weaving machine in the late 1800s. Maille machines are still used today for industrial usage.

Fortunately for us, highly regarded Chainmaille items with geometric shapes were passed on throughout history from generation to generation; prized due to the quality and/or beauty of the pieces. Today, Experienced Maille Artisans have devised more than 1,000 weaves.Weaving techniques come from Renaissance Byzantine, European, Japanese and Romanov Periods.

Chainmaille Today

Chainmaille jewelry continues in popularity today mainly due to the continued love of the Renaissance Period attire as well as the many construction uses of the strong maille mesh material. It is also enjoyed because Chainmaille is easy to care for. If your Maille Metal gets dirty, just wash it off in soapy water and the shine will return.

If you are looking to purchase Chainmaille designed your own way, come to see us at

Chainmaille Today


Submit a Comment

  • Galadriel Arwen profile imageAUTHOR

    Galadriel Arwen 

    5 years ago from USA

    Thanks for the nice comments about this hub. I love learning history and have always enjoyed learning about how inventions and new ideas came about. Often, I wonder how someone ever thought of some great things like electricity and the internet. Wouldn't it be wonderful if everyone could invent something really fantastic others could enjoy.

  • Au fait profile image

    C E Clark 

    5 years ago from North Texas

    Very informative article. Very pretty necklace in the photo too. Voted up, useful, and interesting. I learned a lot about chainmaille. I didn't realize how attractive it could be.

  • profile image

    Alise- Evon 

    5 years ago

    That's really interesting. I always wonder where things started. The video of the different styles of chainmaille was nice to see, too, as most of the few pieces I have seen in the past were very bulky and not to my liking, not being able to wear such on my small frame.


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