How to get rid of some leather scraps and wind up with something useful...
Decided tonight that I wanted gauntlets, so here's my test piece...
Still need to do strapping and final thumb placement.
This is the first method I learned and the one I use to make maille coifs. The pattern I will be explaining is for a 3/8id 16g 4in1 coif. It starts with one link at the center, building rows outward with column expansions to form the shape of the head. I've attached pictures marking these column expansions with brass rings. As a note on terminology when I refer to a row I mean the rings that trace a circle around the center and by a column I mean a line of rings from the center to the edge.
This part of the tailoring was pretty easy for me. I inserted two gorges on the shoulder blades to allow for more movement. When the arms move across the chest the sleeves of a hauberk pull on the back. Having the extra maille in this area will greatly increase flexibility and comfort. Adding shoulder gorges is a great alteration to make to any hauberk without them.
The first thing to do was to make a split in the back over the shoulder blades where my gorge would be inserted. Make sure to space them evenly apart in reference to the collar otherwise they will end up being asymmetrical. Also don't make your split under the collar. After this was done I began to work on my gorge. They look like rectangles of maille and I made mine 20 rows long by 7 columns wide. It probably would have been better if I made them a bit wider but they turned out just fine. Next I selected a row to insert them on, once again making sure that both are evenly placed.
The sleeves on this hauberk were originally just a straight tube and too tight where they connected at the shoulder. They were only about 22" around or about 66 rows. Since they are long sleeves I wanted them narrow towards the wrist, otherwise they looked odd and had a clumsy, baggy end to them. Also one of them had a serious mistake in the weave. Normally the rows are suppose to move around and meet with themselves but on this sleeve the rows spiralled up the arm which left an ugly jag at the end.
To start I detached both of the sleeves and split them down the middle so that they layed in a flat sheet. On the "spiralled" sleeve I split it right where the ugly jag was so that when I put it back together I could just line them up properly to remove the spiral. I wanted the sleeve to be about 13" to 14" at the wrist which is 40 rows and 24" at the shoulder or roughly 72 rows. With the guage and diameter rings I'm using every three rows is close to an inch so to convert it I just multiply my measurement by three and that tells me how many rows I need.
The first work I did on the hauberk was to patch the holes, fix loose rings, and other oddities like contractions in the weave that had no purpose. Simple repairs in getting the piece back to a homogenous 4in1 pattern. I did my work on a mannequin, which makes it much easier to tailor a hauberk and do fine work. With it on one you can see exactly how it is hanging and adjust to changes in shape as you work.
Several weeks ago I was given a project to repair and fit a maille hauberk. It is standard Amtgard chain being 16g, 3/8id, 4in1 butted. Unfortunately, the armor was poorly made and not intended for the person now wearing it. The main request was for me to repair large blowouts in both armpits but after examining the piece I found several other issues with it as well. It had no sizing alterations(T-tunic), had several other holes and oddities in the weave, and had a sleeve with rows that "spiraled" rather than finishing end to end. All of these needed to be corrected. The hauberk was also made for someone with a smaller build, so for it to fit right I had to add width as well.
When I first got it I took some pictures of the armpit blowouts and have attached those. In the next couple blogs I'll post more pictures and describe the repairs and alterations I made.