Attaching chainmail to gambeson

When it comes to chainmail, there are two ways to approach it. You can get a chainmail shirt (hauberk), wear that over a gambeson and then wear plate armour on top of that. Or you can get chainmail “parts”, like sleeves (voiders) and skirts, attach those to a gambeson and then wear plate armour over that. 

A full hauberk covers more of your body and thus provides more protection. However, chainmail parts attached to a gambeson are lighter and easier to move in. Just make sure your plate armour covers the areas of your body not covered by any mail.

Attaching, for example, voiders to your gambeson isn’t particularly difficult. It just requires some time and patience. The sturdiest way to do this is by sewing the mail onto the gambeson.

First, place the mail on the gambeson in the place you want them to go. Make sure they are lying on a surface you can work on and try to move them around a little as possible. 

You can then take a needle and thread (using double thread is recommended) and stitch the most outside rings onto the gambeson. Use three stitches per ring to secure the mail properly. 

Some people prefer a faster method. You could also attach mail to a gambeson by placing grommets (or by making button holes) into the gambeson and using a leather cord to lace the mail to the gambeson. 

For this method, you should first place the mail onto the gambeson in the place you want it to go. Mark off the placement of the grommet or buttonholes, spacing them out with 5 to 10 cm between each hole. You can now punch the holes on the marked spot and either set a grommet in or finish the edges of the hole with thread, like a buttonhole. 

Thread a leather cord through the grommets and tie the ends securely. You can now use another leather cord to lace through the mail and underneath the first cord. Again, make sure you tie the ends securely. 


You can find our chainmail pieces here and our gambesons here