What is Japanese chainmail? 

"Japanese chainmail is a lot more like fabric. There are a few different types of chainmail, but the main ones are European—which is the type you see in mail shirts and stuff in movies—and Japanese chainmail. European chainmail has a direction--it’s woven in a direction, so if you want to hang it, if you hang it one way, it looks one way;  if you turn it, it hangs out of shape. They use it in movies because the looser weave shows up better on screen.

"But you can hang Japanese chainmail from either direction and it doesn’t change shape. If you take a square of it, and turn it to 45 degrees, you get, effectively, bias-cut fabric. 

"When you bias-cut fabric, it goes from having threads going up and side to side, to both of them going at 45 degrees to each other, so that it will flex and it will flow. That makes it easier to shape it. It swishes.

 

"And because Japanese chainmail is mostly less rigid than European, it moves more and it’s more forgiving to drape and wear."

 

- designer Kyra Matsui