Learning Resources

For Teachers, Pupils, Parents and more

  • Coif

  • About

Weight: 1.5 kg


This was a hood of mail, worn with a lining or placed over a padded textile arming cap or metal skull-cap.

The mail coif usually had a shaped flap, called a ‘ventail’, which went across the lower face from left to right to cover the chin and throat. The ventail was skilfully made to fit closely to the chin, jaw and neck.

The coif was usually made as part of the hauberk, although separate coifs were also known. These extended out to help protect the area between the neck and shoulders.

How was it used?

The mail coif was a standard part of the armour of knights and men-at-arms. It could also be worn by most other types of medieval fighting man, depending on how wealthy he was. Iron and steel armour of any sort was much more expensive than that made out of padded cloth.