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An aventail (/ˈævənteɪl/) or camail (/kəˈmeɪl, ˈkæmeɪl/) is a flexible curtain of mail attached to the skull of a helmet that extends to cover the throat, neck and shoulders. Part or all of the face, with spaces to allow vision, could also be covered.
The earliest camails were riveted directly to the edge of the helmet, however, beginning in the 1320s in Western Europe a detachable version replaced this type. The detachable aventail was attached to a leather band, which was in turn attached to the lower border of the helmet by a series of pierced rivets, called vervelles. Holes in the leather band were passed over the vervelles, and a waxed cord was passed through the holes in the vervelles to secure it. Aventails were most commonly seen on bascinets in the 14th century and served as a replacement for a complete mail hood (coif). Some aventails were decorated with edging in brass or bronze links (sometimes gilded), or with a zig-zag lower edge (vandyked). By the mid 14th century, the aventail had replaced the mail coif completely. By the dawn of the 15th century, the plate armored neck guard of the Great Bascinet replaced the aventail.
An aventail, also called a camail, is a piece of chain mail, which was fastened to the helmet for additional neck and shoulder protection. These are the most vulnerable areas which the enemy was most likely to target, so the extra protection given by the aventail was needed. The aventail replaced the need to wear a full mail coif underneath the helmet, because the neck and shoulder area got the needed protection from the aventail.
The first aventails were permanently riveted to the helmets, but in the early 14th C removable aventails, such as this, became common. In a removable aventail the top has a leather collar which is used for attaching it to the helmet. The leather has holes punched in and vervelles are attached to the helmet. The vervelles are then pushed through the holes in the leather collar. Finally the collar in secured by threading a string through the holes in the vervelles.
This chainmail aventail features an authentic jagged edge. Sometimes the edge was even, or decorated with bronze or brass rings. This aventail is very generous in size, so it will fit all users and each helmet. If you feel the aventail comes too far down, it is possible to just remove some rows from the bottom to make it fit your ensemble.
Often, but not always, the aventail would have a padded layer underneath to make it more pleasant to wear as well as give extra protection. The padding could be stitched in place, which gave the whole piece extra rigidity. Such padding can be found here-Padded Gorget-.
The 14th century was a time in which tactics and weapons varied greatly on the battlefield. However, one aspect of defense that all could agree was the immense value derived from utilizing an Aventail. An aventail is a sheet of strong, interwoven metals rings. The Unique Design awarded whoever wore the aventail strength and flexibility.
Aventails are curtains of chainmail attached to a helmet. The mail is not covering the top of the head. The connection of the mail and the helmet can be made directly with rings linking into holes in the plate. Yet it is more elegant with the help of a leather band and some. In this example for a 14th-century bascinet, the aventail can be removed by pulling out the bright leather strap.
An aventail is constructed much like a coif with a round brim. There is a consistent amount of expansions located below the chin and all around the neck. The expansions are best arranged at a regular distance from each other. An average amount of 8 expansions per row is good to widen the aventail adequately. That is still the case when some rows hold no expansions and others hold more.
To assemble an aventail like this, one way is to create tapering segments and connect them. Then the expansions will be created along the seams. A second way is to grow the mail row by row and build in expansions as you go. It helps to mark the expansions to keep an overview.
The finished piece of mail can be sewn onto a textile padding to tame its movement. Often rings for the aventail are chosen heavier and sturdier than one would expect on other body parts. This helps protect the vulnerable neck area.
I have been making padded aventails for a few years for my husband to wear when fighting heavy combat. This is some of what I have learned in further researching them and experimenting with the design.
The first two aventails, the grey and yellow, were made for my husband and the green was finished by a friend, I did the patterning work and sewed the channels and then she stuffed the channels, hemmed the bottom, and attached the aventail to the helmet.
The first padded aventail that I made was a full circle that did not work as well as hoped. Because it was a circle it laid flat on his shoulder and would catch on other parts of his armour and did not move well with his head rotation. It was attached with the mail aventail directly to the bottom of the helmet and basically acted like ruffled collar. Additionally, it did not provide as much protection as hoped for.
The dark green aventail is made on a slightly different pattern, the bottom edge is a little bit smaller than the yellow one making the shape even closer to that seen in the images. I also changed the direction of the channels so that instead of all of them running from the top to the bottom they are parallel creating a triangle shape front and back, more similar to the lines seen in the Philip the Bold effigy. So far this one recreated the lines in the imagery the best of the three patterns I have made.
Helmet based on the Gjermundbu Viking helmet - the only one known example of a complete Viking helmet in existence. It comes with a riveted mail aventail and a leather protector that keeps your hair from getting caught in the mail. Archaeological finds reveal that Viking helmets were crafted from iron in the shape of a rounded cap made from four plates, with metal strip reinforcements on the brim and crown. The use of protective mail attached to the skull of the helmet was also widespread. This helmet is made with reenactment fighting in mind. The characteristic "spike" on top of the helmet removed since it can catch weapons during fighting. The spectacle guard offers good vision, as well as excellent protection of the cheeks, nose and mouth. With authentic design, this is perfect for both reenactors wanting a good, protective piece, and for those wanting a historical Viking helmet on display.
This aventail is intended to be riveted or laced onto a helmet and it is crafted from a band of thick leather for a base. The chainmail rings are dome riveted flat rings alternating with solid flat rings of mild steel and these are sewn onto the leather band. The rings measure 9 mm in diameter and 18 gauge in thickness.
Riveted aventail is a crucial element if you want to embellish your helm and it also protects user's shoulders.Riveted aventail is made of thousands linked flattened steel rings with an inner diameter of 9 mm riveted with round- shaped rivets. The rings are made of a wire which diameter was 1,1 mm. In each row press stamped rings are placed in turns with riveted rings (with round rivets).The aventail is oxidized.The history of using chain mails is very long. For a great part of Middle Ages, up to XIII century the chain mail armour served as a basic protection for a knight. Thanks to the possibility of purchasing additional tools for riveting, you can adjust the elements of chain mail armoury to your needs.Available sizes*:UNISIZE- maximum upper girth- 80 cm, maximum lower girth- 190cm, maximum front length- 24cm, weight 1,75 kg*All measurements are maximal, taken from an aventail lying flat. Please remember, that with the aventail stretched out, its length can decrease. The weight of the product can differ from the given one for +/- 5%.
At the time at which the poem was written c. 1350 - the only type ofhelmet which would have had joints, and which would have formed a regularcomponent of knightly equipment, would have been the great helm or heaume.(2)This was made in two clamshell halves, riveted or bolted together with acrown, and with breaths piercing the lower left of the face in most cases.But this would have been worn with a lighter helmet beneath - a cervellier ora basinet. The poet does not mention two helmets. Moreover, he goes on todescribe the hourson, which kept the aventail attached to the helmet, ingreat detail, beginning this description only two lines after telling us thatthe helmet was 'stapled'.
There is only one possible candidate as a design for Gawain'shelmet: the war basinet. This was not made in pieces, and therefore jointed,but raised from a single sheet of steel.(3) That Gawain's helmet was'stapled stifly' means that the basinet was equipped with securestaples for the attachment of the aventail. Such staples were known asvervelies, and consisted of rolls or rings of steel attached at the lowerneck and either side of the basinet's face-opening. The hourson waspassed through these and through the top-most rings of the aventail, securingthe latter in position. The famous Luttrell Psalter has a miniature whichshows Sir Geoffrey Luttrell wearing a helmet of this type; the vervelies areclearly visible. They are also shown on surviving tomb effigies of the periodwhere a basinet is worn.(4) And, of course, they remain in many cases onsurviving basinets. The basinet was stuffed or lined with wool, tow, orsometimes straw; its pointed crown ('hyze on his hede') providedspace for this, as well as a more effective surface for deflecting blows.Surviving basinets sometimes have a rondel or some other attachment at thenape of the neck ('hasped behynde') - these were to become morecommon and more prominent on the great basinets and armlets of the nextcentury. Their purpose is not always clear, but they seem to have been forthe positioning and fastening of jupons and other cloth over-garments of theperiod. No visor, or any attachment for such an item, is mentioned in thetext of the poem; the klapvisier (hinged at the top) and the side-hingedpointed visor would not arrive in England until a bit later, producing thewell-known 'hundskull' or 'pig-face' basinet. Both visorswere, in any case, optional items, as was the hourson and vervelle attachmentto the aventail itself - a fact which becomes abundantly clear fromGawain's subsequent treatment of his helmet. 781b155fdc