Chainmail is also called chain mail or chain maille, (maille), French deriving from the Latin word macula, which means mesh or net). It is defined as the practice of linking rings to create patterns, or “sheets” of flexible metal for the purpose of armor or decoration.

There is some evidence ring mail was first worn by mounted Scythian warriors from southern Russia and later adopted by the Celts and Romans. In the Middle Ages, chain maille (mesh) was used for protection for knights and other warriors when fighting with swords. The finer the chain maille (mesh), the more expensive and time consuming to produce; thus, only worn by royalty.

Chain maille (mesh) making was mostly a hand operation all the way up until the middle of the 17th century when the first chain maille (mesh)machine was invented in France in 1750.

After the popularization of mechanical chain makers in the late 1800s, chain jewelry found a widespread audience. Jewelry makers creating chain maille (mesh) realized that the same methods and patterns could be used to create jewelry.

Today, chain maille (mesh) is used for protective clothing for butchers and shark divers, costume armor in movies, fashion and jewelry. You may have seen maille on runways and in stores in the form of shoes, dresses, tops and handbags.

American designer Anthony Ferrara working in metal mesh today, creates wearable art. Ferrara Designs have been worn by such superstars like Paulina, Cher and Elizabeth Taylor.

Ferrara Statement Chain Maille Mesh Halter Vest with Leather Trim

Ferrara Statement Chain Maille Mesh Halter Vest with Leather Trim

Ferrara's designs have been featured on the pages of the world´s most prestigious fashion magazines: Cosmopolitan, Vogue, Harper´s Bazaar, Vogue Italia and many more.

Ferrara Black Chain Maille & Vintage Bead Statement Necklace

Ferrara Black Chain Maille & Vintage Bead Statement Necklace

Anthony created product presentations for Whiting and Davis to present to such houses as Gianni Versace – Missoni – Emmanuel Kahn – Correges and Paco Rabanne.

Ferrara Mesh Gold Swarovski Crystal Necklace

Ferrara Mesh Gold Swarovski Crystal Necklace

To finalize, to all fashion forward ladies out there, chain mail can be very fashionable, very tasteful and very avant garde. If you are looking to "stand out" statement chain maille jewelry is definitely an option that won’t let you down!

Click here to see our large selection of chain maille jewelry!