chain mail, scale armour, coifs, mantles,
manuals, standards. manufacturers of custom armour.
South Tower Armouring Guild supplies coiled wire, cut rings and finished chain mail in many sizes and styles.
Bill has written a book on construction techniques which is available from the source...email firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes, we know some call it chainmaille, and some even call it simply chain, but we know what we mean. The lovely, wonderful woven metal fabric which perfectly defines the middle ages. Prices on this page will be honoured until the end of May 2011. After that, email me, and tell me to update my web site!
South Tower Armouring Guild has been making chain for many years, and has become a leader in the field in Ontario. We have established some basic standards which allow us to go back to old work and repair it easily, and determine prices for items coming up in the future.
South Tower supplies chain in many forms. From the plain wire
to finished items, we provide it all. We even have a book which goes
depth on how to make chain armour. This book is available in both
and French, and is the last word on the subject! (I know...I
wrote it...grin!) Knowledge is priceless. The book is however,
only ten bucks.
Prices, well, the cost of chainmaille depends on both the size,
material and the complexity. However, you can usually figure on armour
grade chain to set you back about a hundred dollars a square foot,
maybe a little less for uncomplicated items, maybe a little more for
tricky items like lingerie. Stainless is available for half
again. I don't even pretend to attempt to compete with offshore
dumpers of chain maille, but if you like, I will happily modify the
cheap thing you got at ebay so that it fits you.
The prices are all in Canadian Dollars. Currency converter here.
Brass wire is now running about $22.00/lb, and I'm sure you can do
math (grin!). Beryllium/copper alloy (used extensively in the brazing
is also very pretty, and holds its colour better than brass, however it
is running aroung $27.00/lb at my local welding shop.
standard coils, wound, ready to cut (14 gauge galvanized, 3/8 inch mandrel) $3.00/lb.
Same coils, cut into little rings.................................................................................$10.00/lb
stainless coils, ready to cut, wound into 5/16 rings.................................................$6.00/lb
same coils, cut into little rings...................................................................................$22.00/lb
stainless coils, wound, ready to cut (14 gauge stainless, 3/8 inch mandrel).........$7.00/lb
same coils, cut into rings (fewer rings per pound)....................................................18.00/lb
Sarah has asked me to tell folks about her competition....and always
willing to help. Go
here and enter the competion. Win stuff. Let me know how you
CHAIN MAIL ARMOUR
This gorgeous shirt is only $900.00 Canadian, $840.00 US.
Basic coif - $145.00 Canadian funds, $139.00 US funds
Coif and Mantle (great coif) - $220.00 Canadian, $210.00 US funds
Mantle alone - $150.00 Canadian, $130.00 US funds
(US prices are aproximate)
convert currency here
(click on Leslie's pictures for larger versions)
Leslie has built this gorgeous skirt and sleeved
has left it open on the sides for now, but she tells me she plans to
the sides sometime before she goes on crusade. Obviously I have
her joy at holding that sword! I wonder who she is thinking
Perhaps it is me trying to persuade her to consign it with me!
tells me she will make you one if the price is right. Any
This gallery is just a sampler of the kind of work we have
done in the
last few years. If you see anything which catches your interest,
let me know....perhaps I can make you the perfect chain mail
I have always prefered the look of chain mail as an assessory instead
an article of clothing in its own right. This means that the
pieces work well with leather, or fairly plain shirts, normally in
colours. I deplore the "bikini's" made from chain unless they are
VERY well made..and they are not usually very well made.
Click on the thumbnail to see the larger image.
This one can be worn back to front. This lovely lass is wearing it as a corselette. It was made by a lovely lady who swopped it for one of my swords at the festival last summer. I'll make such a deal anytime...
Below is a new piece....a bit of a departure from my usual line of armour. I figured it should be worn over a peasant shirt, perhaps with a long leather skirt, but Andrea saw it and and decided on the spur of the moment to make snowmen, and model chain mail, all after an evening soaking in the hot tub and without much wine or encouragement from the guys. Well, okay, maybe a lot of encouragement from the guys...... Myles took the pictures (his hand is steadier than mine...my hands always shake when I see Andrea in a bathing suit...grin!) and she photoshopped everything. Such a talent! And I think the piece sets off her figure quite nicely.
Jean made this little bit of armour, and no doubt spent a great deal of time fitting it to his lovely lady wife. There is more work here than you think though...this has to be at least a $250.00 (Canadian) bit of club wear. That would be, what, about $200.00 US dollars. email me and tell me if that price is about right, or to make an offer. (email@example.com) Its made from galvanized 3/8 inch steel, and is a lovely grey in colour. I thought about making one in stainless steel, it would only add about 25 percent to the price to get stainless.
Okay, so it ain't chain mail. Its scale, but we gotta put it in here since there isn't enough to make a separate room for it.
The model of course is the lovely Soraya, and her tunic is of scales. The scales are mostly steel, 20 gauge, with brass scales for trim.
The scales are all professionally stamped out and have no sharp edges. This particular suit is fully integral...there is no leather substrate at all...all the scales are attached to their adjacent scale with loose rivets. Where the armour has to be stiffer, we tighten the rivets a bit more, and we have also brought them closer together around her waist by drilling the holes a little bit closer together.
The bottom line... Generally speaking scale armour of this small size of scale runs about a hundred bucks a square foot...roughly equivilent to chain mail. The individual scales are also for sale...5 for a dollar. Drilling to suit will be an extra 10 cents a scale.
p.s. : This stuff looks fantastic as a helm drape!
This is a
square foot of my newest scale armour. It is totally
not need a leather jupon underneath. These scales are 16 gauge,
formed from hot rolled steel, so they look very dark and
The holes are drilled for 3/16 inch rivets, which are supplied with the
order. Each scale has been rounded over the horn of my anvil so
it will absorb impact with little or no deformation. (click on
pic to see a life size picture) These particular scales are designed to
point downwards, if you opted for the kind which point upwards, I would
grind off those pretty shield points. You can lace this together,
or you can use rivets. The holes are countersunk both sides in
to minimize wear on tear on the laces, and the edges are carefully
to obviate burrs.
This is the template which I use to set up the drill press. It
the side holes which can be drilled if desired, a popular
These side holes can be used to sew the scale down onto an underlying
garment, or allow it to be overlapped side to side. This would
make the armour impervious if you were to actually face real arrows,
if you were to use this scale to make Japanese lamellar suits, but the
weight penalty would not be worth it for most modern
You don't need it to overlap sideways in order to be period.
sideways as well as vertically would be better done with 20 gauge
and then only for a parade suit...the 20 gauge would get mangled