The origin of this ancient Eastern craft can be traced to India. The Arabs adopted it during the second century, and it soon became their regular armature. The armour was also used by the Greeks and the Romans. Later it was adopted by the Germans, and through their influence spread across Europe as well.  

The armour provided special protection against stabs and cuts, and as it was light in weight, it did not constrain movement. Chain-mail is nothing more than interlinking metal rings, which, by covering most of the body, provides protection in close fighting.