About Forth Armoury
How it all began...
Why riveted maille?
A word about authenticity
This actually turns into somewhat of a paradox, because as it turns out riveted maille is one of those things that just about any deviation from the hand-crafted techniques of making authentic riveted maille will show up in the finished product. Thus I have had to add a caveat to my "the ends justify the means" ideology. And that caveat is this: The ends justify the means so long as you can demonstrate that you can actually do it the right way if you had to. You can take short-cuts as long as you know the long way.
Left: Authentic riveted maille. Right: Forth Armoury reproduction
For example, in the above pictures, the image on the left is an authentic riveted ring, whereas the image on the right is one of my reproductions. Notice how the authentic ring end tapers as it ends. It is almost like a fish or snake head in appearance. My ring, on the other hand, is very blunt where the wire ends. This is a result of the manufacturing process used to cut my rings. Now I certainly can (and have) cut my own rings to reproduce the original look However, in the interests of speeding the manufacturing process of a product that is still very time consuming, I have taken a modern shortcut to produce the rings. I am satisfied that the impact on the finished product is minimal.
Another difference between my riveted rings and authentic riveted rings is the shape of the ring. Notice how perfectly round the ID and OD of my ring is, compared to the authentic rings which are all slightly "D" or oval shaped. Again, my rings are cut directly off of a mandrel with the overlap built-in, which keeps them perfectly round. It is possible that the authentic rings were overlapped by hand, which results in their uniform out-of-round condition. The end result is that my rings look slightly different from authentic ones.
My solid rings, when I produce works with alternating rows of solid and riveted rings, are punched from sheet metal. Most published documentation supports my impression that generally when solid rings are encountered in maille garments they are usually made by forge welding small coils of wire, similar to a keychain ring, into a solid ring. However, there is also a growing body of published research to support rings punched from sheet metal. Often it requires very close, even microscopic, examination to determine a welded ring from a punched one. Because of this, and the time savings, we use modern punched washers when solid rings are required.