Mail Capes - how to make one

Jamie Walker

Why a mail cape ??
A mail "cape" is an alternative way of adding doubling to your period mailshirt. This is shown in a number of carvings but is rarely reconstructed as it's been a bit tougher to create. Well, Jamie and I spent a day doing just this and we think we've arrived at an elegant solution that fits the 
available evidence readily enough.

The criteria for the cape are that it should look the carvings which all seem to have these 'points' at the front and sometimes at the side/shoulders. 

The other was that the clasp should not only hold the cape effectively but again meet the evidence.

When designing the mail cape we ensured that we used no fancy mail tailering techniques and used only straight lines and the simple diagonal. As you can see we cut out a 'neck hole' to make it wrap better.

For the clasp, we used some of copper alloy mail fasteners supplied by Len Morgan and devised a simple sliding clasp to hold it all together (based on the image above). Jamie will be decorating this in due course by stamping a design upon it.

At present the mail is unedged but Jamie will be adding a leather edge and maybe some backing and we'll update the picture then.