Chainmail Purses

Our chainmail purses and bags are bright aluminum, have a crossbody strap, and are a historical recreation of bags. They are 100% handmade, with every jump ring open and closed twice. In addition, there are marvelous purse kits available to make a wider variety of styles, which we can special order for custom requests.

Chain mail purses, also known as mail or mesh bags, were entirely made by hand.

Chainmail purses or mesh bags date back to the Middle Ages. The earliest mesh bags were handmade in 1700. It took artisan weeks to make a bag. Knights were encased in chainmail armor and often carried bags.

The popularity of mesh bags took off in the 1820s. Their ostentatious beauty made them an elegant addition to any woman’s wardrobe. Mesh bags were meticulously crafted by hand in the home of artisans. Homeworkers completed a job then were paid. The mesh purses were elaborate materials like gold, sterling silver, German silver, and gunmetal. Less expensive materials like metal and steel were used too

(I didn’t know what gunmetal jewelry was, so I looked it up. Gunmetal, also known as G Metal, is a type of bronze that was previously used for. Ordnance. Admiralty gunmetal is made up of 88 percent copper. Copper, tin, and zinc make up 10% of the composition.)

(I didn’t know what German silver was, so I looked that up too. The German silver is composed of three significant elements Copper, Zinc, and Nickel, and sometimes with Tin and Lead. There is no silver in German silver.)

Mesh bags grew in popularity by the turn of the 20th Century. In 1912 the first mesh machine was invented. Whiting and Davis bought the patent. This made bags available to the average person. The favored materials were 14 karat gold, 18 karat gold plate, silver plate, and gunmetal.

By the 1920s, mesh bags were most popular with flappers. Shiny dazzling bags allowed a woman to express her personality thru shiny textured metal bags, brilliantly through colorful patterns of wildlife, vividly colored floral designs, and boldly colored geometric shapes.

The decline of chainmail purses began during World War II when metal was rationed. They made a brief comeback in the 1950s

Vintage metal mesh purses are still available today in antique shops and boutiques. New creations are available in high end stores.

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