The earliest metallic armour to be worn by medieval
knights was chainmail armour, consisting of tens of thousands of interlocking
rings woven by hand to form a shirt, coif, or leggings.
Because of the mild steel produced in medieval times
each ring had to be riveted to keep all the rings from spreading and opening
under the weight of the piece.
Underneath the metal armour the knight would wear a
padded garment known as an aketon, or gambeson.
To this defensive equipment he added a shield,
usually made of leather covered wood, and a helmet.