Chainmail is both a contemporary material and one that dates far back in History. The oldest remains are attributed to the Celts and date back to the third century BC. Since then, manufacturing methods have remained the same: small iron rings are interlaced to make a “cotte”, a piece of clothing which protects against sharp-edged weapons. The expression “copte de mailles” first appeared in 1526.

Falling out of military use with evolutions in warfare, chain mail resurfaced in the early 20th century, with the increased focus on safety at work and the use of protective items such as gloves or aprons for opening oysters or to be used in slaughterhouses. Chainmail also serves to manufacture bulletproof vests, as well as clothing for divers at risk of shark bites.
Over time, the metal wires get finer, the rings start to be welded, as the webs are becoming more fluid and lighter. The range of materials expands to meet specific needs: the most commonly used becomes stainless steel. Next come brass, bronze, aluminium and titanium.

Chainmail is a genuine metallic textile, and nowadays it is produced by complex, high-precision machines. However, their assembly and shaping remain entirely manual, requiring great dexterity.
The production of protective equipment that meets the most exacting standards remains the raison d'être of a chain mail industry based in France, a crucible of exceptional know-how that we are proud to call on.

The collection is currently — or has been — displayed in some of the major history and archaeology museums: Bibracte, Le Laténium, the Army museum in Paris.

Details on materials and finishes are here