How to Make Fake Chainmail

eHow may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Chainmail, a type of armor worn by wealthy warriors from the middle ages onward, is formed out of thousands of intertwined metal links. It is possible to purchase authentically knitted chainmail from replica and armor supply companies; however, due to the materials and workmanship required, the weight and cost of this item are both quite high. Making a passable fake chainmail item depends on mimicking the texture of the metalwork, since that is what gives the distinctive "knitted" look.

Image Credit: The knight in a chain armour image by Mikhail Ulyannikov from <a href=''></a>

Things You'll Need

  • Large, Chunky Knit Sweater

  • Silver Spray Paint

Step 1

Search for a sweater with a wide, open knit. Try locations such as thrift stores, outlet stores, and secondhand clothing shops. The sweater should be as plain as possible. Color does not matter.

Step 2

Remove any tags or decorations from the sweater.

Step 3

Cut the sleeves to the desired length, if necessary. Tie off the ends of the yarn to keep the sweater from unraveling.

Step 4

Lay the sweater flat in an open, ventilated area and spray lightly with silver spray paint. Do not stand close enough to allow paint to build up and drip as this will ruin the effect, just a dusting is needed to give an authentic look. Allow the sweater to dry and reapply if necessary. Repeat until the desired look is achieved.


Wearing fake chainmail under a belted tunic or combined with pieces of more authentic armor creates a more authentic look.