Get Dressed For Battle (GDFB) has been gaining popularity in Europe over the years as the number one supplier of affordable, functional garments and Armor for reenactment and combat use. We’re offering a wide range of GDFB products and adding more all the time.
Download our 2012 Reenactor's New Product Guide here! (PDF)
Our selection of mail is very extensive, catering for all interests from lightweight costuming to full battle re-enactment, with appropriate levels of construction authenticity. Some details of each style of construction are given below. The following table provides construction details for each of the "codes" attributed to particular mail garments.
Butted Mail (Codes 10, 16B, 16Z, B)
This is the most economical construction style of mail, as the cost of labor-intensive riveting is avoided. Butted mail has limited historical precedent but is fine for general costuming and role-playing where strict construction authenticity is not a requirement. It is not recommended for weapons-contact re-enactment. Butted mail is available in mild steel and high-tensile steel. High-tensile steel has the most resistance to opening of the rings, while mild steel butted rings may be distorted by heavy weapons contact. All rings are formed from round section wire and are 8mm internal diameter. Construction is in the 4 in 1 pattern. Full specifications and available finishes are shown against each specific item.
Dome-Head Riveted Mail (Codes 4, 6, 8, 9)
This style of mail is reasonably authentic to the early medieval period, particularly in the European flat ring (EFR) version. This construction style has the advantage of strength, allowing it to be used for supervised weapons-contact re-enactment and yet more economical than wedge-riveted mail. Construction is in the 4 in 1 pattern. Full specifications and available finishes are shown against each specific item.
Wedge-Riveted Mail (Code 2)
Wedge riveting, in association with flattened rings, became popular in the 1300's and was used until the demise of mail. Alternating rows of solid punched rings and riveted rings predominated until late in the period, when all-riveted construction became more popular. Available in steel only, this style of mail is our most authentic and is well able to withstand supervised weapons-contact re-enactment. Construction is in the 4 in 1 pattern. Full specifications and available finishes are shown against each specific item. The mail is supplied burnished to give a dark grey to black finish.
Finishes - When specifications for a certain style of mail refer to a "Natural" finish, the rings do not have a separate coating applied to the steel but are typically lightly blackened with heat to a medium gray color. This helps with corrosion issues but it is recommended that mail with this finish be thoroughly coated with a silicon or rust-preventative spray (such as WD-40) when not in use and stored in a ventilated plastic tub in a warm, dry location.
No rust-proofing is necessary with zinc-coated finishes but dry, warm storage is still recommended. The zinc plating is inherently a corrosion inhibitor.
A word about sizes - The hauberk and haubergeon sizes are a little confusing, as they relate to the actual circumference of the mail garment, rather than a chest size. Size 48"/50" will fit up to a 44" chest dimension measured over a gambeson (and any other clothing worn with the gambeson), While the 60" size will fit up to a 54" chest dimension, again measured over the gambeson etc.
Rings and Riveting Tools - Extra rings (1000 pc. packs) and riveting tools are available for codes 2, 4, and 8. These can be used to create mail garments from scratch, reduce or enlarge standard-sized garments or fix battle damage.
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