~How to Make a Coif~
The Expanding Ring Method

This Page Is still Under Construction...
But it does show how to get started on the cap.
Some text will soon accompany these pictures.

This was originaly written as an email response to someone who
had questions about what comes next with this coif pattern

okay, first... there is a mistake in my pattern which is why its not all online yet. I'm waiting until I have to do another coif to fix it. this mistake will cause the coif to bunch up and be sort of cone shaped at the very top...

oh, another note about the pattern.. something you may already know... the brass colored rings are just there to show the rings that were added in the previous step.

here's what needs to be done... there is a missing step between the fifth and sixth pictures. 6 more rings need to be added to the third row of rings out from the large center ring. these rings will only pass through one other ring and they should be spaced evenly apart.

when that is done then its okay to go to the step in the 6th picture. as shown in the picture (but slightly different on a peice done the right way cause of the 6 extra rings that were added), add twelve groups of rings, each group as shown consisting of an open ring with two closed rings on it, to the edge of the weave. try to get them evenly spaced apart and remember that each group should only attach to ONE of the rings on the edge. there are now some rings in the row completed in picture 6 that do not have rings on them. these spaces want to be filled in just like normal 4 in 1. when that is done you should have a round disc of maille. do the same thing again with twelve groups of two closed and one open to the outside edge. evenly space them and try to place them so they are not right below the expansions in the last rows or lines will start to show where the expansions are. keep doing that until you get the cap done.

now how big should the cap be? just large enough to cover only the dome shaped part of your head.. any bigger and the coif will be to loose and floppy. if you are going to wear padding under it then make sure the cap is large enough with the padding...

oh, back to some more stuff about making the cap.. the way mentioned above is one of many ways used to do expansion rings in a coif cap. A much easier way to do a coif cap is with six triangles of chainmail. this will have exactly the same amount of expansion. How I make coif caps is a variation of the six triangle method, its just built in a circle instead of in chunks, which allows the places that allow the expansion to be spread out instead of in lines radiating from the center of the coif. If all the groups of twelve groups of 1 open and 2 closed were split up into groups of two, and each group of these were placed evenly around the cap as its being built, it would come out looking exactly like one built with the 6 triangle method..

the neck and back of the head panel are pretty simple.. just make it so it comes around to the sides of your face and down to an inch or so above your shoulders. then add in a section in front of the neck and comes up to the chin or where ever feels right. this front neck panel only needs to be large enough to allow you to get your head in with whatever padding, if any, you wear under the coif. also need to make a panel to fill in the forhead section of the coif. pretty easy, just a flat panel.

now for the mantle.. first I make long chains, about thirty or more feet long, of four in one. then I add FIVE evenly spaced rings around the next to the last row of the bottom of the coif. this increases the last row by five rings.

now I start attaching my long chain around the bottom of the coif until I make it all the way around, open a link to take off the extra length of chain and use two rings to close up the small slit. thats 4 new rows added to the mantle. add another five rings evenly spaced rings around the next to the last row of the bottom edge of the mantle and do the whole chain thing again. repeat until the mantle is as large as you want it to be.

now, if you put the coif on and go look in a mirror (you prolly noticed this before and it could have been dealt with then but I just thought of it now), you might notice that the brow line of the coif is very curved. it does not need to be that curved and its easy to fix. just need to add in an extra horizontal row. this can be done by finding the place where the curve starts on the bottom row of the forehead panel and counting up a rows from there. remove a row of rings from one side of the brow to the other, add in two rows and close the slit. one bad thing is that if the ring size used for the coif makes a really tight weave then this type of expansion will leave two small lumps on either side of the brow. its not really needed, I just prefer coifs with straiter lines above the brow...

the only other coif part I can think of would be to add a ventail which is a flap of maile thats attached to one side of the face opening and can be drawn up by a string on one side to cover the lower part of the face. they varied in size depending on date and place.. some covered only the chin while others left only the eye area exposed. the one on the coif I currently use comes up a little past the tip of my nose when its drawn up (by a string running through two rings on the left side of the brow). when it is done it will have a piece of cloth sewn into it to make it a little better to wear when I have a helm on. the cloth will be covered with either button holes or grommets for ventilation.

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