Maille Skirt

Material Reference pictures

Click the thumb for High Rez
The above pictures are from the Weta Workshop and were provided by

Description of Maille
From the
Alleycatscratch website:
"The armor "skirt" looks like a below-the-knee scale mail hauberk split for riding, but it's thousands of fingernail-sized pieces of silver leather patterned like fine lizardskin and sewn to a backing. Somebody went crazy to make this one! The cloak and underskirt were of grey Lorien cloak fabric and silver fabric respectively."

Underskirt Description:
from Jen Running Deer on the
Alleycat Scratch Yahoo list
"The cloth that shows under the armored skirt seemed to be a rusty, coppery red metallic with a slightly iridescent sheen to it. "

In the far left picture above and in the far left, the material in the center is the underskirt.

Shape Reference Pictures


I do not have the patience, money or energy to do this authentic. So again, I am being creative in how I accomplish this look.

Edit. After seeing the amazing close ups, I might give this a go. I'll be doing it for the neck piece for sure and will decide after that how difficult the entire skirt will be.

Test strips for skirt

Gold and bronze fabric paint on brown material

Painted first and then cut - Cut first and then painted.

I am also considering using thin vinyl, but I'm not crazy about the look of this...

Cut material the right shape. I covered mine with fabricpaint, but you could skip that... especially if you are using thin vinyl. Mark where you will cut with pencil (I used too dark, go light) From practicing I realized that having the marks does help enough to make it worth the extra trouble. And in a pinch for time, you might be able to just leave it marked without cutting.


At first I only cut out every other row and it looked decent, as you can see above. But then I decided to go ahead and cut them all out. It takes hours. Paint over with metalic paint. I ran out and will have to use more to even this out. If you skip the fabric paint, the spray paint might get sucked up into the fabric... experiment first.


The background material on the original is clearly a light color. I experimented with both light and dark and ended up for my own preference, going with dark. The edging I used was a vinyl trim that folds over on the back. I lifted up one side of it and used fabric glue to secure it around the edge of my skirt panels

I used an extra guitar strap I had to hold it on.

Other tutorials and methods:

Scale Armor Revisited

Right now I'm opting to do Haldir's costume, so I'm using scarlet
Eventually I may do a random elf version...

Cut four panels gather and stitch to make skirt

When it hangs straight it looks like a full skirt.

Suggestions and Feedback are always welcome