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Maille sleves, Comission pricing/durability

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I've got an actor friend asking for a modification to a felt and leather gambeson to replace the tattered leather sleves with 4-1 chain.


two arms 24 inch length, 16 diameter at the shoulder 12 diameter at the wrist. I figure we're looking at 5 square feet of maille.


He plans to use it for stage/film and light boffer LARP. the chest of the gambeson is felt so It's not at all essential to be actually protective, just needs to look good and stand up to a lot of movement.


To keep costs down I'm lookng at 16 g 7/16th stainless, howeverI just had some bad experiences with a commercially made 16g 3/8 galv suit (I'm guessing bad wire strength). It darn near disintegrated atand I'm now worried that 16g 7/16th stainless won't be as durable as I would like. The guy's a friend and I'm liable to be doing free repairs for as long as he owns the thing.


If this were your project what would you quote at and what material would you use?

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I would use 5/16" stainless not 7/16" stainless.

Many of the low cost import pieces are poorly tailored and poorly constructed so things often strain and pull apart as things catch and pull. usually the armpit area is the first to go.

I do a lot of pieces for SCA combat groups and 5/16" 16 gauge stainless or 3/8 14 gauge works well.

Repairs are easy if they keep things maintained.

I would be concerned as to how well the garment will support the weight, felt and thin leather can pull apart under strain.

1/4" bright aluminum may work but will have a little more upkeep. It really depends on the larp weapons and how rough they are on the gear.

In my work I charge shipping and 1/2 shop rate for repairs. At events and festivals its usually trade for snacks from the food vendors.

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Hi Maugan.


The 16 galv. that I use is pretty sturdy.  I don't know if you are familiar with an SCA game called norse stickball, but I make balls for the game out of 16 gauge 5/8" ID and they hold up to really rough game play.  I've also done a piece for a friend that he wears over his motorcycle leather.  Sine I made it for him, he has brougt it back for reapairs twice after accidents, over the course of 8 years.  Both times the repairs were fairly minor, and he says without it he would have had a lot more skin trauma.


All of that I mention just to give you and idea of how sturdy the 16 gauge galvanized i use is.


Now for cost considerations. :)  I don't charge by the hour, because of chronic pain issues, but I charge by the ring at a rate that equals about $6/hour.  I also apply a discount if a project goes over 10,000 rings.


Using these figures, making 5 sqft would cost between $80 - $100 and take about a week.  Shipping could be done by USPS priority mail in a flat rate box for $12.35.


Now, a couple of other questions.  Are the measurements given taken over the gambeson, or around his bare arms.  I know it sounds like a silly questions, but you'd be surprised how many people make that kind of mistake. 


Next question, how fitted do you want it to be?  Also, are you going to put any kind of cuff at the wrist end?  This can help to take up slack around the wrist, and can be done with a piece of leather, or cording.


Third, how are you going to be attaching it to the rest of the gambeson?  Are you stiching it down at the should and/or wrist?  Or are you going to be attaching it with rings to a leather or cloth piece at the shoulder?  Or is it going to be tied in some way at the shoulder?  All of these can be valid ways to go, I ask, because if you are goin to attach it with rings through leather or grommets, I will make sure to include matching rings for this purpose.


I know, it a lot to think about, but I like to make sure a customer is happy with the product they recieve. :)

Edited by Kittensoft_Chainmail

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A 12 inch cuff is likely too big, it would stretch out to 15+ inches every time your actor raises his arms. Unlike cloth or leather, maille stretches under the force of gravity or to accommodate putting it on.


Our standard measurements for XL sleeves are 24" long x 16" shoulder x 9" wrist, which easily stretches to a generous 12 inches.


These would cost $75 USD ea.($150 per pair) plus shipping if made in our largest ring size.


They would be welded stainless steel in 7mm x 0.7mm ring size(suitable for costume use) and weigh only 1lb each. Bright polished finish is standard but they're also available in black or titanium grey. Solid bronze is available as well.


For more information check the link below.

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